BetVictor Northern Premier S/East
Belper Town 1, Worksop Town 2
By Sam Collins
Belper Town’s run of form ended with a 2-1 loss at home to Worksop Town in what were terrible conditions at the Raygar Stadium.
Belper came into this game fourth in the table, looking to get as close to the top as possible with plenty of football still to play over the rest of the season. The Nailers knew that it was an important game to keep them up with the pacesetters. Their opponents Worksop, who are reported to be have difficulties off the pitch, looked to keep the momentum going in a tough run of fixtures and excite their travelling fans by giving everything they had
The first 10 minutes were rather quiet with neither side creating any clear-cut chances. However, just after the 10-minute mark, a low James Carvell cross was met by George Milner, who forced a great save from David Reay.
Worksop had another close call when Belper’s Phil Watt directed his header down low before it was tipped away by the Worksop ‘keeper. Former Nailer Steve McDonnell then had the visitors’ first shot go wide from a low driven free-kick, around 30-yards-out.
With the conditions getting worse the hosts had a scare when a soft pass back from Watt meant Ryan Musselwhite had to hook the ball out for a corner instead of into the striker’s path. The referee waved away a penalty shout from the away side, who believed the ball struck the arm of Belper defender when a cross was blocked.
The Tigers then took the lead on 40 minutes when a pass from deep found Matthew Sykes who, on his first start since re-joining the club, chipped the out of position keeper and the ball went in off the underside of the crossbar. Worksop took their lead into half-time knowing that the Nailers would, in poor conditions, struggle to chase the game.
Belper were unlucky not to get an equaliser early in the second half, when a corner developed into a goalmouth scramble that saw numerous close-range shots kept out by a sea of Worksop bodies.
As they looked to chase the game, Belper were denied again by Reay who pushed a Danny South header away from the top corner. After a flat period in the game, Worksop grabbed their second on 71 minutes, this time McDonnell led a counterattack that was finished off by a Freddy Tracey strike into an empty net.
With just under 10 minutes to go substitute, Charlie Dawes found himself just inside the 18-yard-box and curled one beautifully into the bottom corner, giving the Nailers something to chase.
However, Belper couldn’t take the opportunity to equalise and subsequently came away from this game, with their first defeat in 10 outings and will look to rectify this with a win at their next league game at Stocksbridge Park Steels away.
Belper Town: Musselwhite, Bryant, Ridley, Gregory, South, Watt, Carvell, Robson (Gordon 86), Peterson, Milner (Dawes 68), Curtis (Bertram 45). Unused subs: Guy, Clark.
Worksop Town: Reay, Karkach, Woolley, Pemberton, Atherton, Rhodes, Sykes, Brownell (Jones 54), Tracey (Brunt 87, McDonnell (Mitchell 74), Gregory. Unused subs: Jordan, Templeton
Referee: Matthew Bacon