Nailers put Daniels to the sword
By David Laughlin
Belper Town hit four goals without reply to stun second-in-the-table Stamford and extended their unbeaten run to 14 games.
Chris Adam's blistering shot flies past Matt Finley to give the Nailers a two-goal advantage (Picture: Tim Harrison)
The Nailers welcomed back skipper Steve Warne after he missed the midweek game against Halesowen while Jon Froggatt and Shaun Tuton were preferred ahead of Mark Ward and Daryll Thomas.
The Nailers thought that they had taken an early advantage when Richard Adams headed the ball in from a corner kick in the 6th minute but the referee spotted an infringement and disallowed his effort.
Moments later Shaun Roulston headed a Simon Harrison free kick goal bound but Matt Finlay collected easily and Belper had made the strong start to the game that had been expected, given the importance of the match.
The Daniels responded with a shot from Jordan Hempenstall that Aaron Chapman held onto, but then Stamford caught Belper on the break and Chapman had to be alert to stop another Hempenstall effort.
Stamford showed good movement with the ball when Ben Saunders got on the end of a cross, but the Daniels’ striker headed the ball well wide.
However Belper took the lead in the 23rd minute after the Daniels lost possession in the centre of midfield and Jon Froggatt fed the ball through for Shaun Tuton to complete an accomplished finish.
Froggatt went close to extending the Nailers lead when he and Shaun Tuton combined well, although his shot curled just wide of the upright.
Simon Harrison’s persistence led to Belper’s second goal of the game in the 35th minute as he proceeded to find Chris Adam in space on the left and the Nailers wing man ran on to unleash a terrific shot that flew into the top corner, giving Matt Finlay no chance.
In a rare attack from the visitors, Aaron Chapman dived at full length to deny Ben Saunders’ hook shot, then it was Belper who found the back of the net for the third time on the stroke of half time when Greg Wright struck a low shot just inside the far post to give the Nailers a commanding half-time lead.
Shaun Tuton had a great chance to wrap up the points early in the second half when Jon Froggatt found him totally unmarked but with only the ‘keeper to beat, the Belper striker snatched at the opportunity and put the ball well wide.
Tuton got his shot on target from 22 yards as the Nailers continued to press for the fourth goal, then Chris Adam slipped the ball through to Andy Rushbury on the overlap and the resulting cross was gratefully collected by the Daniels’ ‘keeper.
Jon Froggatt demonstrated excellent striking skills in the 65th minute when he collected Andy Rushbury’s thoughtful cross, turned and stroked the ball past the wrong-footed Matt Finlay to make it 4-0.
Aaron Chapman kept the scores the same when Ricky Miller nodded a left sided cross towards the far post but the Belper ‘keeper saw the ball safely around the post.
Colin Marrison then had a reasonable chance when he headed over an Eric Graves cross, then Stamford missed one of their best opportunities of the game when Sean Wright put a free header well wide, which summed up the Daniels’ miserable afternoon.
Shaun Tuton raced away on 44 minutes in search of Belper’s fifth goal but sent his shot just past the far post as the Nailers were finishing the game in control.
This was a great effort from the Nailers who fully redeemed themselves after their poor showing at Stamford in November and in this sort of form, they seem to be heading for the playoffs even with 10 games still to go.
Belper Town: Chapman, Wright, Rushbury, Cotton, Roulston, Adams, Harrison (Graves 67), Warne, Froggatt (Ward 75), Tuton, Adam (Marrison 58). Unused subs: Thomas, Ratcliffe.
Stamford: Finlay, Wright, Hewitt, Saunders S (Batchelor 56), Jones, McGovern, Hall, Osmen, Saunders B, Miller, Hempenstall (Marshall 56). Unused subs: Staff, Hatswell, Swales.
Referee: Nigel Day (Stoke on Trent)
Match Sponsor: Office Care
Man of the Match: Shaun Tuton