“Luke Davies getting thanks from Ben Walton following Waltons Stunning Winner”
Nailers grind out key victory against Leek to move out of the relegation zone.
In a ‘must win’ encounter for Belper on Sunday against old rivals Leek, it ended with a well-deserved but hard fought 2-1 victory for the Nailers.
Right from the off it was clear the visitors Leek had come to try and get a point and smother the Nailers expansive play. They set up with the ½ court press and just would not come out to attack for almost the whole of the 1st period.
As we tried to build up play through the midfield, the Leek 5 across the middle just blocked out any hope of an expansive game and their more physical approach with some testing tackling came to the fore to break down play at any opportunity.
It was a very tough 1st half with very few chances for the Nailers, as Leeks defence somehow held firm from wave after wave of Belper attacks. There was though an underlying aggressive nature coming to the fore which was to boil over in the 2nd period.
A frustrated first 1/2 to forget.
Belper 0 – 0 Leek
The 2nd period however burst into life with both good and bad sides of the match showing their faces.
It was on 38 mins when from the rarest of Leek attacks, their German import Tobies Mueller pounced on a loose ball to give the visitors a shock lead and send their bench into raptures along with some ‘over exuberant celebrations’ from players on the pitch.
Belper 0 – 1 Leek
The Nailers where in shock but our own Aussie import Ian McHugh soon found himself on the end of a great midfield / forward move to slot his first goal for the club to bring the Nailers back on level terms on 41 mins.
Belper 1 – 1 Leek
With Belper now back in charge the game spilled over with an “Exchange of views” off the ball after a poor heavy tackle leading to both teams being reduced to 10 players, with goal scorer McHugh for Belper getting a 10 min suspension but the Leek player Paul Nixon getting only 5.
Belper were now dominating proceedings again, chances were being created and unfortunately missed on regular occasions, Belpers pace and stamina were just too much for Leek to handle.
As both teams got back to full strength it was a piece of sheer brilliance that led to Belpers 2nd. With Luke Davies on fire at right half he led a brilliant piece of attacking play through the midfield that ended with him smashing the ball into the Leek ‘D’ for the advancing Ben Walton to get a great deflection on the ball which headed right into the roof of the net for a stunning goal.
Belper 2 – 1 Leek
Unfortunately there was still a twist in the game as Paul Nixon from Leek put in 1 too many heavy tackles and received his 2nd yellow of the game converting to a Red Card. Some unfortunate scenes on the side lines as Nixon left the field were not what we are used to at Belper and gave us a valuable lesson in making sure we are the opposite side of the pitch to the spectators.
As the final whistle blew the joy was there for all to see from the Belper boys, 3pts and out of the relegation zone. Boom Boom Belper !
This weekend sees Belper take the short trip to bottom of the league West Bridgford (1:30pm start) where another win will see our East Midlands rivals almost certainly relegated, so we know they will be well up for the game and looking to avenge the 6-0 defeat they suffered on the Meadows last October.