Buildbase FA Trophy – Preliminary Round
Belper Town 0, Stamford AFC 3
By Robert Ilsley
A strong Stamford AFC side beat Belper Town convincingly to proceed to the next round of the Buildbase FA Trophy competition and brought to an end the Nailers’ 17 game unbeaten record..
Both sides entered the fixture in great form with Stamford AFC scoring 15 goals in just their last three games and Belper Town defining all odds by beating Rushall Olympic in a thrilling FA Cup Third Round Qualifier game. With both teams being in the South East Division, this cup game gave both sides the opportunity to see how well they will possibly get on against each other in the league games.
It was clear to see as the first half got underway that Stamford had some dangerous players especially going forward, centre midfielder Rob Morgan was one of them as within the first five minutes he did some good work down the left-hand side of Belper’s penalty area and crossed in a teasing ball which no one could get on the end of. This was an early sign from Stamford showing how impressive they are going forward.
The Nailers struggled to find any real cutting-edge chances in the first half, with Stamford looking the more dangerous team in the final third, striker Ollie Brown-Hill had a couple of long-range attempts saved by Belper’s Ryan Mussel white who had to remain focused throughout. The only real chance Grant Black’s side had in the first half was when left back Cameron Clark found Alex Peterson with a great corner, but his glancing header went just wide.
It looked like both teams were heading into half time at 0-0 but just two minutes before the break Stamford break the deadlock. Brown-Hill found teammate Jon Challinor who made a great overlapping run down the left-hand side and neatly tucked away the ball into the far corner from just eight yards out, leaving no chance for Musselwhite.
This was a big blow for Belper and certainly would have changed Grant Black’s half time team talk now being 1-0 down. However, his team were still in the game and they came out in the second half looking a lot more promising, last weeks hero Charlie Dawes crossed a great ball into the penalty area from the left-wing position narrowly missing the head of Peterson. Stamford just seemed to be to much for Belper to handle going forward and had the chance to make the game 2-0 in 48th minute, danger man Brown-Hill played a great through ball to Tendai Chitiza leaving him one on one with the Belper goalkeeper but hit the post, another huge let off for the Nailers
Stamford’s defence was just as strong as their attack with captain Sean Wright at the heart of it, with the Nailers struggling to get any clear cut chances it would have had to of taken some magic to get their first goal of the game and this nearly happened as target man, Peterson saw Stamford keeper, Danny Haystead off his line and attempted to lob him from 30 yards out, this forced Haystead to pull off a great save tipping it over the bar.
The travelling team doubled their lead in the 62nd minute as they received a free kick after a challenge from Belper captain Danny South. With the free kick just on the right-hand side of the area it was perfect for the left foot of Brown-Hill, who curled the ball into the far top corner clipping the post on the way through and extending his teams lead.
Just a minute later and Stamford get their third of the game, with number 10 Pearson Mwanyango finding Cosmos Matwasa with a great cross from the right-hand side allowing the winger to flick his header into the far post using the pace of the ball after getting in front of his man. Despite the game looking well and truly finished for Belper, they carried on pushing to get a goal and substitute Leyton Swaine nearly did this in the 88th minute on his debut however, his shot from inside the box was smartly blocked by skipper Sean Wright.
Stamford deserved to leave the Silver X Stadium as 3-0 winners and would have given themselves great confidence for the up and coming league games against Belper. However, Grant Black’s side can now look forward to facing Notts County at Meadow Lane in the Emirates FA Cup – Fourth Qualifying Round.
Belper Town: Mussel white, Bryant (Kozluk 82), Clark, Bertram (Wright 59), South, Watt, Gordon, Robson (Swaine 63), Peterson, Curtis, Dawes. Unused subs: Milner, Ridley, Waldram, Nelthorpe.
Stamford AFC: Haystead, Cooke, Corralling (Amrstrong 75), Vince, Wright, Blunden (Luto 70), Chitiza, Morgan, Brown-Hill, Mwanyango, Matwasa. Unused subs: Daniels, Tarris.
Referee: Luis Martin