Report, by Jack Drury:
Belper Town’s unbeaten run in the league came to an end after they were defeated 2-0 by Loughborough Dynamo at the ADT Stadium.
Goals from Karl Demidh and Ryan Robbins either side of half time were enough to sink the Nailers, who performed well below par throughout the afternoon.
With conditions again playing a big part in proceedings, Belper struggled to get hold of the ball early on, and Robbins squandered a great chance after just five minutes, as he found himself in on goal.
Piteu Crouz, who started on the left but constantly swapped wings, was a bright spark for the visitors, and he powered a shot from the edge of the area over the bar.
Unpredictable winds had a negative effect on Belper’s play off of Danny South, who in the first half was mostly limited to difficult headed chances.
The big man however attempted a spectacular overhead kick midway through the first half which travelled wide, following Derry Robson’s header to keep the attack alive.
Crouz, back on the left hand side, combined well with Nathan Curtis half an hour in to produce a fantastic ball across the face of goal, evading a number of Belper attackers narrowly.
After a fairly even first 45, Josh Riley’s darting run down the right hand side allowed him to cutback to Robbins, who scuffed his effort to Demidh who made no mistake from close range to give Loughborough the lead in added time.
After half time, the hosts began to show their dominance. Six minutes into the half, Demidh curled a left footed effort high and over from the edge of the box, as he looked for his second of the afternoon.
Luke Thorogood impressed throughout the game, and worked a shooting opportunity well just a minute later, but he too couldn’t find the target.
After 56 minutes, Dynamo should have doubled their advantage as a deflected cross fell kindly to Demidh, who blazed over from 12 yards.
15 minutes later and the hosts did double their lead, as Robbins made the most of Belper again failing to clear their lines, leaving the forward a simple tap in to kill the game.
Belper struggled especially to keep possession in the second half, resulting in only a handful of chances, most notably a dangerous set piece which was agonisingly close to being converted by one of South or Alex Peterson.
The Nailers have some time to regroup and recover following a disappointing performance. Their next fixture in the Evo-Stik East Division is in two weeks’ time, as they look forward to welcoming struggling Pickering Town to the Silver X Stadium.
Malkowski, Thompson, Clark, Robson, Assenso, Peterson ©, Nelthorpe (Deacey 61), Gordon, South, Curtis (Milner 52), Crouz (61)
Taylor, Bryant, Gordon, Young, Sibson, Keenan, Asamoah, Thorogood, Demidh (Steadman 83), Robbins, Riley
Unused: Brown, Holmes, Thornberry, Oliver
Reaction by Danny Bloomer:
Belper Town manager Grant Black labelled his side’s 2-0 defeat at Loughborough Dynamo as the “worst” performance since his arrival at the club last summer.
Goals in each half from Karl Demidh and Ryan Robbins saw the Nailers leave the ADT Taxis stadium empty handed, ending their unbeaten league run of five matches.
He said: “I just thought they looked quicker, sharper, stronger all over the park today. Fair play to them but we were really, really below par and it’s probably the worst we have been since I have been here in my opinion.”
The game was played in treacherous weather conditions and strong winds were apparent throughout the 90 minutes. Despite having the wind behind their backs in the first half, the Nailers struggled to create many clear-cut chances.
Striker Danny South came the closest for Belper, as his acrobatic over-head kick flew just wide of goalkeeper Charlie Taylor’s goal.
Black wasn’t afraid to express his disappointment at his side’s performance but refused to blame it on the conditions: “I don’t think so, it’s the old cliché where it’s the same for both sides.
“They managed it one half, we didn’t play how we should have played when we had wind and in the second half when we were against the wind, we didn’t play how we should have played. They played them conditions well.”
In contrast to the visitors, Loughborough created a number of chances throughout the afternoon, mainly due to the dynamic attacking duo of Robbins and Demidh. Black believes his side were lucky to escape with just a 2-0 defeat.
He said: “The score line flattered us, if it would have been six, I don’t think we could have had any complaints. We just looked like we were carrying six or seven players today which at this level you cannot afford to do.”
Belper boss Black also rejected the idea that his team’s Tuesday nights cup exploits in Farsley played a part in their lacklustre performance.
He said: “I think that’s looking for excuses for some of the players today, for me they should able to do Tuesday, Saturday. We didn’t train, but as a player which I have been, you look for excuses. Tired legs are one that we have heard in there, but it is not one that washes with me.”
The Nailers now have a two week break before the next Evo-Stik East division fixture as they host Pickering Town, where they will be looking to get back on track ahead of the final month of the season.