Captain Lamb Leads the troops to a great win.
Once again though the lead up to Sundays match against Wakefield was very frustrating, as no fewer than 3 players had to drop out within 48 hours of the match day. Goal Keeper Chris Burton suffered a re-occurrence of a Knee problem, Richard Kitchen (v cpt) hadn’t recovered in time from his hamstring strain and on Friday afternoon Steve Batten was rushed into Hospital for surgery on his appendix.
Draughted in where Goal Keeper Neil Slane, Young Ben Hurst for only his 2nd National League run out and Full back Luke Davies.
With the guys knowing exactly what was required today we were strangely subdued during the warm up but Walton and Cpt Lamb soon got the boys ready and fired up for the game, a tough match against a team we had never beaten and with Dan Mills (ex Belper in their ranks)
On just 3 mins from a Belper error it was Dan Berry of Wakefield that found space un-marked just 8 mtr out from Goal to slot high past Slane giving Wakefield the lead.
Wakefield 1 – 0 Nailers
We could easily have crumbled under the pressure the early goal against put us under but these days we are made of stronger stuff.
As we pushed hard at Wakefield their only response appeared to be to throw the big aerial but the Nailers pairing of Lamb and Inshaw at the back kept the threat at bay.
When you need a pick – me – up nothing goes better than a goal and what a goal we scored to bring things level.
It was Drew Burkin who on 11 mins turned his defender a full 14 mtrs out from goal and unleashed a thunderous reverse stick strike that flew into the top right corner of the goal with everyone stood in awe, what a strike, what a goal.
Wakefield 1 – 1 Nailers
We were now in control and Wakefield just could not cope with the Nailers midfield power, chances came and went with Belper having 2-3 very good chances to go further ahead, Wakefield also created some chances of their own from Penalty corners but Slane in goal was saving with ease.
The ½ time whistle came just at the right time to save Wakefield.
As the 2nd half started Wakefield began to push hard and certainly became more physical in their approach but the Nailers just rode through it all and continued to dominate.
In a six minute spell the game burst into life regarding Goals and incident.
On 48 mins it was time for Skipper Lamb to step up for a trade mark thunderous strike from a Penalty Corner to give the Nailers a well-deserved lead.
Just 1 min later though on 49 mins the award of a harsh Penalty Corner to Wakefield saw Owen Leask tap home to bring the scores level again.
With the Nailers feeling very aggrieved they held their discipline well and just pushed hard to get back in front, and what a way to do it.
Dave Ebbage crowned a great personal performance by pressing the Wakefield Centre Back hard and stealing the ball cleanly with a left handed reverse take, a simple push from there into the ‘D’ and Ebbage picked his slot to send the Nailers into raptures and in to a 3-2 lead.
Wakefield 2 – 3 Nailers
But the Nailers weren’t finished there as just moments later it was Drew Burking out on the left who spotted a great run from Tom Sherratt and fired the cross ball for Sherratt to slide in at the far post to tap in Belpers 4th on 54 mins.
Wakefield 2 – 4 Nailers
The game became very scrappy following this goal fest and Wakefield received 2 x Yellows in the last 15 mins and Alex Robey of Belper added to his collection with a 10 min Yellow of his own.
But for once time was on our side as the whistle blew for another great Belper victory.
Manager Taylors Comments:
The loss of 3 players so near to game day was disastrous but all those called in played their part in a great win.
The quality of the goals today was magnificent and tactically Murray the coach got it spot on again.
This team is week in week out giving it everything they have, the effort and commitment required to play at this level should not be understated, they are a fantastic bunch and it’s a privilege to manage them.
We now face the prospect of a win next week assuring us of National League Hockey once more at the Meadows, our nearest rivals Deeside have to better our result and as both teams are at Home anything could happen.
West Bridgfords loss sees them relegated back to Midlands Hockey and its any 1 from 3 (Nailers, Deeside or Khalsa) for the playoffs.
I would advise everyone to get down to the Meadows next Sunday 2pm for what promises to be a tense but fantastic afternoon. The Belpermen are doing the club proud so we want as many people as possible to get down and lets hear the Belper supporters ROAR.