Harrison's strike paves victory path
By David Laughlin
A stunning 35-yard strike from Simon Harrison set Belper Town on their way to a comfortable victory over Lincoln United at Ashby Avenue, allowing the Nailers to consolidate their position in the top five
Steve Warne fires the ball into the far corner of the net to give the Nailers a two-goal cushion. (Photo: Tim Harrison)
On a bright February afternoon the Nailers travelled to Lincoln without the suspended Colin Marrison and Aaron Pride who fell victim to a freak knee injury while walking his dog.
Belper have had a very good record at Lincoln in recent times and have won many more times than they have lost, and with the Whites floundering at the wrong end of the table it was expected that the Nailers would bring back all three points from this one.
They started in a lively manner without making a breakthrough and after a benign first 15 minutes it was the home team who registered the first effort on goal when Whites’ skipper Brendan McDaid sent a looping header from a corner kick just over the cross bar.
Glyn Cotton responded with a wild shot after Simon Harrison had worked hard to feed the ball into his path, and after a lengthy spell of scrappy play, Ben Garrick struck a viciously swerving shot just over the cross bar from 18 yards.
Shaun Tuton did well to get into a position to lay the ball into the path of Jon Froggatt in the 28th minute, but the Belper striker’s shot was deflected straight at Phil McGann in the Lincoln goal.
The Nailers took the lead in the 31st minute in dramatic style when Simon Harrison instinctively let fly from over 35 yards out, and saw the ball drop over Phil McGann and bulge the back of the net.
This was a true ‘goal of the season’ contender and arguably edged out Aaron Pride’s block busting effort against Chasetown a week earlier.
Simon Harrison should have bagged his second goal in the 36th minute when he ran through the Lincoln defence only to hit a poorly struck effort against the onrushing ‘keeper.
But Belper were soon celebrating when Steve Warne finished clinically from 15 yards after a Richard Adam’s throw in to Jon Froggatt led to a fine block from the ‘keeper, and subsequently creating the opportunity for the Belper captain.
George Zuerner gave the Whites hope with a header just wide in the 49th minute, but Belper tightened their grip on the game three minutes later when Shaun Roulston’s header from a corner kick hit the underside of the cross bar and Jon Froggatt poached a striker’s goal from barely a yard out.
Lincoln thought they had reduced the arrears in the 59th minute when Ben Garrick turned the ball in from close range after a Scott Coupland free kick, and initially the referee awarded Lincoln a goal, but after consulting with his assistant he disallowed it.
The Whites had barely got over their disappointment when the Nailers extended their lead to four goals when Jon Froggatt met a corner kick and forced the ball over the line.
Shaun Tuton should have made it five on 71 minutes when he ran through and pulled his shot wide of the target with only the ‘keeper to beat, then a series of substitutions from both sides seemed to turn the game in Lincoln’s favour.
For a few minute the Nailers seemed to go to lose concentration and in this period they were punished twice.
Simon Mowbray scored from a cross by Dave Howe in the 83rd minute, and with Belper seemingly powerless to prevent it, they conceded another, two minutes later when Gio Carchedi finished from close in from a right wing cross shot.
The Nailers pulled themselves together and kept a resurgent Lincoln side at bay for the remaining minutes of the game and claimed another vital three points.
Lincoln United: McGann, Fleming, Coyde (Rice 60), McDaid, Reddington, Wright S, Hone, Zuerner, Garrick (Mowbray 65), Carchedi, Coupland. Unused subs: Cowan, King, Raby.
Belper Town: Chapman, Wright G, Rushbury, Cotton, Roulston, Adams, Harrison (Adam 69), Warne, Froggatt (Ward 72), Tuton (Thomas 77), Graves. Unused subs: Simpkins, Godber.
Referee: Akil Howson (Leicester)