After the recent rain it was touch and go as to whether this game would go ahead but the standing water on Friday thankfully drained away thanks to sterling work by the Nailers’ ground staff.
Manager Lee Attenborough kept the same starting eleven that trounced Carlton Town last weekend, however a fit again Ben Rhodes was included on the bench. New signing Robbie McNicholas wasn’t available to make his debut.
The Ossett line up contained three players who needed no introductions to Nailers fans and in particular Alex Peterson and Derry Robson, while Janni Lipka also spent some time at the Raygar Stadium.
With the chasing pack all having their games postponed, it was of vital importance that the Nailers took maximum points from United who arrived at the Raygar in 17th place in the table.
Arguably Ossett’s best player Kelan Swales was on target as early as the 4th minute with a header straight at Dan Moore when he should really have put his team ahead. It was one of a number of anxious moments for the Nailers as the visitors tried their best to upset Belper on their own turf.
Swales went close again with a glancing header on 16 minutes, however a moment of passing brilliance from the Nailers changed the course of the game,
A swift breakaway culminated in a one-two with Zak Goodson and James Cadman struck a fine shot into the top corner out of the reach of Callum Hiddleston. Cadman headed a Curtis Burrows free kick straight at Hiddleston on 31 minutes, and the play was generally in the Ossett half of the field.
The Nailers capitalised on their superiority moments later when Goodson escaped the attentions of the Ossett defenders and ran on to slot the ball home and it was a well taken goal.
A rare Sidik Atcha slip nearly let in Swales on 35 minutes, but his shot went safe to Moore, and a Karl Demidh drive brought a good save at the other end as Hiddleston pushed the ball wide.
Moore was back in action again when he prevented the visitors from scoring with a great block. Once again it was Swales who was the perpetrator, and in a pulsating close to the first half, Kevin Bastos also had a shot saved.
A robust start from the visitors wasn’t what had been expected, but Ossett came out with determination that threatened to upset a Belper side who had looked in charge after 45 minutes.
Moore brilliantly saved a Derry Robson drive, then a Janni Lipka effort went just wide on 51 minutes. In response Demidh had a good shot pushed wide by the ‘keeper, and Swales had a deflected shot hit the the post as Ossett roared back.
Lipka was closer with his next effort moments later and this time the post saved the Nailers, and after an uncertain half hour of the second half, Belper started to get back in the game again.
A mazy cross field run from Bastos looked odds on to end with a shot from Belper’s top scorer, but he slipped the ball through to Goodson who saw his shot saved.
Ossett were still putting up a good fight and looked threatening on the break, but the Nailers’ defenders held strong and kept the visitors at bay. Goodson should have capped things off nicely in the last minute of added time after taking the ball through, but with just the ‘keeper in front of him, his shot flew over the cross bar.
It was undoubtedly a good solid performance against capable opposition and with two tough away games coming up in Consett and Cleethorpes, more of the same will be required.
Belper Town: Moore, Burrows, Warren, Dunn, South, Atcha, Goodson, Cadman (Austin 76), Demidh, Oliver (Rhodes 55), Bastos (Gbehe 90). Unused subs: Watt, Gregory.
Ossett United: Hiddleston, McLoughlin, Mohammed, Claisse, Farquharson, Killock, Turner, Lipka, Peterson, Robson, Swales. Unused subs: Priestley, Tingle.
Referee: Sam Wesson