Brigg prove a tough nut to crack
By David Laughlin
Belper Town had to be satisfied with a point after dominating most of this game against Brigg Town although credit should go to the Zebras’ back line who snuffed out most of the Nailers’attacking efforts.
New signing, Daryll Thomas marked his appearance with a late goal to give Belper a share of the spoils (Photo: Tim Harrison)
The Nailers were able to field a strong line up against the Zebras with the only absentee being Richard Adams who was unavailable due to suspension.
The Nailers put pressure on the Brigg goal in the early stages with crosses and corner kicks testing the Zebras’ defenders and Karl Colley headed a Simon Harrison corner just over the top.
Richard Stirrup couldn’t find the target after a neat three man move gave him the opportunity, then soon afterwards, Mark Ward struck a beauty from the edge of the area that Miles Fenty did well to push wide.
Shaun Roulston nearly converted a corner kick but the ball skimmed the crossbar and moments later, Colin Marrison jumped above everyone to nod a free kick just wide of the upright.
After dominating first 20 minutes the game slowed down as the visitors began to get more possession and even when the Nailers were able to press forward, they found the Zebras’ defenders in good form.
Brigg had their first shot on goal in the 36th minute when Liam Davis hit a low drive that Aaron Chapman stopped cleanly however the Nailers were waiting for their first clear opportunity, despite all the corners and free kicks.
The Nailers needed to step things up a bit in the second half and began with two consecutive corner kicks that came to nothing.
Karl Colley jumped well to head a third corner just over the cross bar but it certainly wasn’t all one-way traffic as the Zebras had the ability to counter attack quickly.
In an attempt to break the stalemate, manager Peter Duffield elected to introduce Jon Froggatt in place of Mark Ward, and he soon made an impact with an excellent ball over the top for Shaun Tuton to run on to, but the Belper striker delayed too long and when he got his shot away it was blocked by a defender.
The Nailers found themselves a goal down on 64 minutes when Danny Buttle crossed from an unmarked position and Ryan Paczkowski sent a looping header over Aaron Chapman and into the far corner.
Greg Wright put in a good effort that Miles Fenty collected well on 73 minutes, but there was little end product from Belper’s attacking efforts, which was very frustrating for supporters.
There was a goal mouth scramble in the 76th minute when Darryl Thomas put a cross into the six yard area but somehow after two or three efforts on goal, the ball rested in the arms of the ‘keeper.
Andy Rushbury was then unfortunate to see a far post header knocked away by the ‘keeper and Belper were working hard for the equaliser but just weren’t getting the breaks in front of goal.
However the Nailers got the equaliser their endeavours deserved in the 85th minute when Jon Froggatt picked out Daryll Thomas with a peach of a pass and the former Ilkeston striker went on to score his first goal since rejoining Belper with an accomplished finish.
Aaron Chapman prevented the Zebras regaining the lead with a magnificent save from a shot by Danny Buttle, but in the latter stages it was Belper who looked more likely to get a winner.
Andy Rushbury sent a glancing header just wide of the far post in added on time but the referee brought the game to an end and the Nailers, who despite all their possession, had to settle for a share of the spoils.
Belper Town: Chapman, Pride, Wright, Marrison, Roulston, Colley, Harrison, Warne, Ward (Froggatt 58), Tuton (Thomas 62), Stirrup (Rushbury 73). Other subs: Deakin, Ratcliffe
Brigg Town: Fenty, Archer, Dudley, Davies (Flett 82), Hellewell, Gee, Davis, Dickens, Paczkowski, Preston (Lee 43), Buttle (Fisher 90). Other subs: Downey, Green
Referee; Alix Pashley (Chesterfield)
Match Sponsor: Eric Allen
Man of the Match: Shaun Roulston