First Team
Sat 16 Mar 2024  ·  Northern Premier League - East
Belper Town FC
First Team

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Chris Nelson15 Mar - 15:26
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Ashington AFC (A) – Saturday, 16th March 2024

The Opposition - History
Like Belper, Ashington AFC were established all the way back in 1883.
Early years saw them competing in the Northern Alliance and East Northumberland League.
They won the Alliance in 1914 and gained promotion to the North Eastern League.
They were then elected to join the new Third Division North of the Football League in 1921.
After spending 8 seasons as a League team they finished bottom and and re-entered the North Eastern League but at Division Two as the top division was full.
1927 saw a trip to the FA Cup 3rd Round, losing to Nottingham Forest.
They remained in the NEL until it folded in 1958.
The 1960s saw them flit between the Midland League, Northern Counties League (founder members), Wearside League and North Regional League before becoming founder members of the Northern Premier League in 1968.
They resigned due to costs after one season and again moved around leagues in the north.
They remained back in the Northern League from 1970 all the way up to last season, when they defeated Glossop North End 3-0 to gain promotion to the NPL Division One East.

The Opposition - This Season
Ashington started the campaign by providing excellent value for money for their spectators in the north east. A 4-0 win over local rivals North Shields in the FA Cup was followed by a 4-4 draw with Brighouse to kick off the league campaign.
Their FA Cup campaign was ended by Stockton and Ossett United ensured that the Colliers were winless in their first two league matches.
They kickstarted it the following Saturday against Stocksbridge but a run of four successive defeats left them just outside of the relegation zone.
They bounced back with an impressive win over Dunston and thrashed Newcastle University to progress in the Northumberland Senior Cup.
After a couple of further league defeats, they went on a five match unbeaten to climb the table.
The run towards the festive period was difficult, although they scored plenty of goals there were a lot going in at the other end as well.
Boxing Day started a run of three wins in a row, including that over Belper at Woodhorn Lane.
A couple of defeats followed as their knack of following a good run with a bad one in quick succession continued.
They remain in the Northumberland Senior Cup following victory over West Allotment Celtic in the quarter-finals and come in to this match without defeat in their last two - a 3-3 draw with Pontefract and a good win at Consett 3-2 last weekend, securing the points with five minutes remaining.

A journey of around 180 miles awaits Ashington for this fixture - but at least it's not midweek!

Manager Ian Skinner took the reigns in April 2019.
Connor Thomson is top of the scoring charts this season with 16, Wilson Kneeshaw has 14.

They currently sit 10th with the following record:
P 29 W 11 D 5 L 13 F 51 A 53 Pts. 38
21 of those points have come away from home.

The Nailers
Belper come in to the match 3rd in the form guide, having previously topped it with four successive victories over Newton Aycliffe, Carlton Town, Ossett United and Consett.
The run ended with a 0-0 draw at home to Stocksbridge, a match which saw leading scorer Kevin Bastos sent off, and last time out it was defeat to Dunston in a match played at Brighouse.
Belper's record reads: P 29 W 16 D 4 L 9 F 57 A 40 Pts. 52.
Eight of those wins and 26 of the points have come at home.
Kevin Bastos remains clear as top scorer with 18. Cam Johnson hit 8 before his move to Sheffield and Phil Watt has 6.

Head to Head
Our game at Ashington at the turn of the year was the only meeting to date between the two sides.
Belper enjoyed the better of the early stages but the game was settled by a stunning 25 yard strike from Wilson Kneeshaw in the 32nd minute in front of 345 spectators.

Form Guide (League)
Belper Town - (27 Jan) WWWWDL (9 Mar)
Ashington - (10 Feb) WDLLDW (9 Mar)

Team News
Kevin Bastos serves the second of a four match ban.
Karl Demidh begins a two match ban.
New signing Tiago Nassunculo is available to make his debut if selected.

It's tight at the top with seven points separating 2nd placed Dunston and North Ferriby in 7th. In addition the number of games played amongst the teams varies from 27 to 30.
A win for Belper will be enough to lift them to 3rd if Hebburn lose at home to Bridlington. The goal difference of both Dunston and Hebburn means a move up the table is unlikely.
Newton Aycliffe will replace the Nailers in 4th if they better our result - they travel to Stocksbridge.
For Ashington, they are four points behind 9th placed Consett so can't climb the table.
Anything but victory would open the door for Grimsby Borough, Cleethorpes or Liversedge to overtake them

Match details
Belper Town vs. Ashington AFC
Northern Premier League Division One - East Division
Saturday, 16th March 2024 – 3:00pm kick off
Raygar Stadium
Bridge Street
DE56 1BA
Tickets: Adults £11, Concessions £7, U11s £0

Follow the match
Live commentary is available with Chris on Radio Belper Town -
Full coverage on X (Twitter). Team news, HT & FT scores on Facebook.
Match reports to follow on the website and in the Non-League Paper.

Elsewhere in Division One East

Game of the day is probably the one between the playoff chasers as Pontefract entertain North Ferriby. The visitors have played more games than the teams around them and really need to avoid defeat.

The three teams above Belper all have home games against teams in the bottom half of the table and if matches go to form the Nailers need three points against their north east based opponents.

At the bottom it's must-win time for Winterton who are six points from safety but have the chance to drag Ossett right back in to things with victory.

(2nd) Dunston vs. Cleethorpes Town (12th)
(11th) Grimsby Borough vs. Consett AFC (9th)
(3rd) Hebburn Town vs. Bridlington Town (16th)
(13th) Liversedge vs. Carlton Town (8th)
(6th) Pontefract Collieries vs. North Ferriby (7th)
(14th) Sheffield vs. Brighouse Town (17th)
(15th) Stocksbridge Park Steels vs. Newton Aycliffe (5th)
(1st) Stockton Town vs. Grantham Town (19th)
(20th) Winterton Rangers vs. Ossett United (18th)

Northern Premier League - East Fixtures

Sat 16 Mar 2024KO: 15:00
Cleethorpes Town
Sat 16 Mar 2024KO: 15:00
Grimsby Borough
Sat 16 Mar 2024KO: 15:00
Hebburn Town
Bridlington Town
Sat 16 Mar 2024KO: 15:00
Pontefract Collieries
North Ferriby
Sat 16 Mar 2024KO: 15:00
Brighouse Town
Sat 16 Mar 2024KO: 15:00
Stocksbridge Park Steels
Newton Aycliffe
Sat 16 Mar 2024KO: 15:00
Stockton Town
Grantham Town
Sat 16 Mar 2024KO: 15:00
Winterton Rangers
Ossett United

Match details

Match date

Sat 16 Mar 2024






Northern Premier League - East

League position

Belper Town
Team overview
Further reading

Team Sponsors

U14 Sponsor - Vaillant
Main Club Sponsor - Raygar Architectual Supplies
First Team Sponsor - Woodward Building Management
First Team Sponsor - Alan Benfield Limited
Sponsors Lounge Sponsor - Browns Builders Merchants
Facilities Hire - Nailers
Kit Supplier - Euro Soccer Company
Travel Partner - Slacks Travel
Match Sponsor - Topmark Joinery
Stand Sponsor - Fire & Acoustic Seals
4G Pitch Sponsor - Preserva-CSS
Main Sponsor - Morley Hayes
Shirt Sponsor - Umbro