• Ethan Thatcher

Nailers win again as South marks 100th game with a goal

NPL MIDLANDS

Belper Town 2

South 54, Peterson 69

Cambridge City 1

Gent 90


Belper Town built on their recent purple patch of form and extended their unbeaten run to four games in all competitions with a 2-1 success over Cambridge City on Saturday.


The visitors started in strong fashion, forcing debutant Ollie Battersby into a fine save in the second minute of the game after a searching long ball found Michael Davis on the left wing. The winger produced a fierce low shot which Battersby was more than equal to.


Again, Cambridge came close from the resulting corner after Jarid Robson cleverly lost his marker which gave him a free volley on the edge of the six yard box, however the striker couldn’t keep his shot down which relieved Belper of some pressure.


The Nailers started to work their way into the game with Brodie Litchfield being the brightest spark for the hosts in the first half.


The closest Belper and Lichfield came in the opening half was in the 28th minute after Harley Kozluk produced a sensational long ball which found Belper’s winger whose shot was fired straight at the opposing defender.


The Lilywhites finished the half stronger of the two sides and were given a golden opportunity to capitalise on it in the 45th minute, when Josh Woodcock clumsily clattered into the back of Davis resulting in a penalty to the visitors.



Danny South (no.5) sees his header find the net. Photo: Mike Smith.


It was Ryan Sharman who stepped up only for his spot kick to cannon back out against the crossbar, much to the relief of the Nailers’ right back.


Belper needed a moment of magic to change the momentum of the game and that’s exactly what happened in the 55th minute. Craig Nelthorpe produced a sensational curling free kick 35 yards out from goal which fell perfectly onto the head of Danny South, whose looping header found its way into the far corner which put the hosts 1-0 up, very fitting considering it was his 100th appearance for the club.


The Lilywhites enjoyed an extremely dominant ten minute period following Belper’s opening goal which meant Grimsby loanee Battersby was a very busy man and was forced into many fine stops. Arguably the best came in the 55th minute after he stopped a bullet header from Thomas Hitchcock at point blank range.


Again a touch of class proved to be the difference between the two sides in the 69th minute after Nelthorpe battled to win the ball in the midfield, and his pass made its way out to Jonny Margetts on the right wing.


The striker then placed a sensationally curled cross through the six yard box which found his fellow forward Alex Peterson who slid in and made it 2-0.


The home side continued to dominate and were awarded a perfect opportunity to put the game to bed after Margetts was clumsily crashed into by Sebastian Simpson.


However, despite converting his previous two penalties, Margetts was unable to net his ninth goal of the season as the keeper got down very quickly to his bottom left corner to deny Belper.


Cambridge were eventually rewarded for their efforts in the 90th minute after an in swinging corner from Davis found skipper Jordon Gent in the middle of the Belper box, and he powerfully despatched his header into the roof of the net which, in the end, proved to be no more than a consolation goal for the visitors.