• Nigel Oldrini

Nailers win thriller at Wisbech with South at the double

NPL Midlands

Wisbech Town 3

Allen 11, 43, Edge 66

Belper Town 4

Mancinelli 33, South 38, 68, Margetts 58pen

A well-taken brace from skipper Danny South helped to earn the Nailers a hard-won victory over a much-improved Wisbech side at the Fountain Fresh Stadium, and made it eight wins out of the last nine outings for Grant Black’s men.

This run of excellent form has seen the Nailers haul themselves up from a mid-table position to fourth place and just four points behind leaders Ilkeston Town.

Earning maximum points from Saturday’s game was anything but easy as the Fenmen, under new management, had seen an upturn in form that made for a testing afternoon for the Nailers.

Belper had to deal with some early pressure from the hosts before registering their first shot on goal when Craig Nelthorpe struck a low shot straight at Luke Pearson after a good move down the left.

Prince Mancinelli fires home Belper's first goal. Photo: Mike Smith.

The Nailers had the ball in the net moments later but the effort was disallowed for a marginal offside decision, however in the 11th minute it was the Fenmen who took the lead.

An awkward bounce deceived Riece Bertram on the half way line and Toby Allen streaked away to plant a firm shot just inside Ollie Battersby’s near post.

Belper thought they had drawn level in the 39th minute when Nathan Curtis stooped to head in after another well worked move on the left, but once again the assistant’s flag ruled the ‘goal’ out despite strong protestations that Curtis had been onside when the cross came over.

Then, the game produced three goals in nine minutes.

Prince Mancinelli took advantage of a fortuitous ricochet to drill the ball into the corner of the net from 16 yards in the 33rd minute, then the Nailers took the lead three minutes later after Curtis’ thunderous shot came back off the inside of the post to South who hit a superbly controlled half volley to send the ball into the roof of the net.

Any thoughts that the Nailers would go on and win the game comfortably were dashed when Allen’s speculative shot on 42 minutes took a huge deflection and completely wrong footed Battersby in the Belper goal.

The Nailers started the second period on the front foot with Jonny Margetts’ long range shot being well saved on 53 minutes, and Ben Rhodes’ header two minutes later should have at least tested the ‘keeper.

Belper were gifted an opportunity to regain the lead in the 58th minute when South was tripped just inside the penalty area and Margetts stepped up to convert the spot kick comfortably.

The Nailers broke well in the 64th minute and South was frustrated to see his shot go straight to the ‘keeper, then the Fenmen hit back once again to level the scores for the third time when Dylan Edge stuck a low shot from the edge of the area into the far corner of the net.

The scores weren’t level for long as South rose above everyone to power a solid 69th minute header into the corner of the net from just inside the penalty area.

To their credit, Wisbech never let up and pushed the Nailers to the limit for the remainder of the game, however Josh Woodcock could have sealed victory when he over hit the ball from 18 yards when he had time and space to pick his spot.

The Nailers survived a late goal mouth scramble to get the ball away on 88 minutes, and they managed the six minutes of added time comfortably enough.