Belper demolish neighbours to make cup progress
By David Laughlin
Belper Town progressed through to the next stage of the FA Cup after a comprehensive replay victory over Matlock Town, and now face another local derby against Ilkeston Town in the 2nd Qualifying Round.
Jordan Ball heads in Belper's second goal (Photo: Tim Harrison)
The Nailers made two changes to the starting line up with Jordan Ball and Mark Ward coming in for Ashley Longstaff and Andy Rushbury who were both named as substitutes.
Michael Simpkins returned as a substitute after a period out through injury and suspension whilst the Gladiators gave a start to former Belper favourite, Ryan Hindley.
Ryan Mallon hit a first time effort in the 2nd minute as the game started off at a fast pace, then an in swinging cross from Aaron Pride in the 7th minute caused brief panic in the Matlock defence.
The Nailers were soon impressing with some good one-touch football and Jordan Ball caused problems with some intricate ball skills and he also put a good header on 17 minutes that was well saved by Jon Kennedy.
Mark Ward sent the ‘keeper sprawling to save two minutes later and the Nailers were well on top at this stage but needed a goal to cement their superiority.
The Gladiators’ defence was prone to periods of panic and in the 21st minute Jon Kennedy came well out of his area to foul Mark Ward but the Belper striker’s subsequent free kick was cleared after a scramble.
A rare opportunity came Matlock’s way in the 32th minute when Kane Richards was released on the right but having drawn Aaron Chapman out of his goal, he could only chip the ball straight into his arms.
Simon Harrison cut a swathe through the Matlock defence in the 40th minute and created a clear shooting opportunity but the ball veered away from the far post, then Kane Richards looked well offside when he was put through in the 43rd minute and fortunately his shot went just wide of the near post.
Jordan Ball turned well in the 45th minute to send a shot just over the cross bar and although the Nailers had been on top for the majority of the half they were disappointed not to have more to show for it.
Jordan Ball had a half chance early in the second half but miss hit his shot and the ball soared high over the target, then a good three man move in the 50th minute saw him put the ball over the cross bar.
Adam Yates made the perfect tackle to deny Jordan Ball moments later but was the villain on 53 minutes when he impeded Ball as he turned in the box and the referee didn’t hesitate in awarding the Nailers a spot kick that Ball converted himself.
The Nailers increased their advantage two minutes later when Jordan Ball nodded the ball over the line after Richard Stirrup’s overhead kick created the opportunity and Belper now had the lead their dominance deserved.
Steve Warne got on the end of another mesmerising move by Belper in the 64th minute but couldn’t put his shot beyond Jon Kennedy and the Nailers were forcing the Gladiators back with every attack
Belper Town tightened their grip over a demoralised Matlock side when Karl Colley planted a firm header past the ‘keeper from a Simon Harrison corner kick, and the Nailers were virtually home and dry.
Belper survived an anxious moment in the second minute of added-on time but managed to get the ball away and snuffed out the Gladiator’s only serious goal threat of the second half.
The Nailers completed a satisfying victory over their closest rivals and can now look forward to a trip to the New Manor Ground on 22 September.
Belper Town: Chapman, Pride, Wright, Stirrup, Adams (Simpkins 87), Colley, Harrison, Warne, Ward (Longstaff 73), Ball, Mallon (Marrison 78). Unused subs: Rushbury, Leonard, Roulston, Ratcliffe.
Matlock Town: Kennedy, Whitcombe (Roe 71), Featherstone, Foster M, Yates, Lukic, Richards, Foster L (Leesley 60), Ellington (Tuton 60), McMahon, Hindley. Unused subs: Dennis, Buxton, Deakin
Referee: David Plowright (Clipstone)