First Team - Report
|Newcastle Town||2||vs||0||Belper Town|
Newcastle Town 2 Belper Town 0
This was disappointing start to the Tommy Taylor era although there were plenty of positives despite a 2-0 opening day defeat at the Lyme Valley Stadium.
Richard Adams was preferred ahead of Rob Ludlam at right back and surprisingly was one of eight players from last season’s squad involved in this game.
Looking resplendent in their new kit, the Nailers started well and established a quick tempo the lasted for the majority of the first half.
Jon Froggatt nearly created a scoring opportunity in the 2nd minute when he nudged the ball over the onrushing ‘keeper but found himself surrounded by defenders who had quickly covered any shooting opportunities there may have been.
The Nailers had caught their opponents on the back foot with their early vigour and enthusiasm and in the 4th minute Froggatt’s cross was headed just wide by Andy Rushbury who was playing his 295th game for the club.
Kyle Diskin sent a low 10th minute drive straight to Andy Richmond in the Belper goal, then the Nailers almost caught Newcastle cold in the 20th minute when Andy Rushbury’s early cross had the home team’s defenders struggling to clear.
Nathan Sutton put a shot on the turn a yard wide two minutes later, but Newcastle had caused very few problems for a Nailers side looking confidant on the ball and quick into the tackle.
Belper went close again in the 30th minute when Rushbury headed a Ruben Wiggins-Thomas cross into the path of Deon Meikle who hit a rising volley just over the cross bar.
Wiggins-Thomas did well to create an opening in the 33rd minute and unselfishly slipped the ball inside to the better placed Jon Froggatt, but Belper’s leading scorer from last season missed a great chance by scuffing the ball wide of a virtual open goal.
Impressive approach play in the 37th minute ended with a rather tame shot from Froggatt and moments later Wiggins-Thomas looked set to score when he met a Damien Magee cross, but the ball appeared to hit David Dyson in the face before being cleared by a defender.
The Nailers were then denied by the width of the post after Wiggins-Thomas was hauled down by David Whittaker, and Froggatt’s almost perfectly struck free kick agonisingly struck the upright with Dyson beaten.
The second half beckoned with much anticipation but sadly proved to be something of a let down as Newcastle upped their game from the start.
But it was an individual piece of brilliance from Tony Malbon that accelerated Belper’s decline.
The former Port Vale striker left Tommy Hannigan in his wake with a slick turn on the edge of the penalty area and the Belper central defender clumsily attempted to retrieve the ball leaving the referee no choice but to award a penalty kick that Malbon coolly converted.
Now, the dominance that Belper had enjoyed in midfield in the first half slowly dissipated and it was Newcastle who were calling the tune.
The Nailers only made sporadic appearances in the home team’s penalty area, however from one of these in the 53rd minute, Richard Adams headed Jamie Smith’s corner wide of the target.
Belper’s best opening of the second period came in the 73rd minute when substitute Ben Spargo latched on to a Wiggins-Thomas through ball, but despite getting in a good shot on target the Newcastle ‘keeper managed to beat the ball away.
If that had gone in there would have been the impetus to have pushed on for a winner, but Malbon’s stunning volley in the 81st minute put an end to all Belper hopes of a first league victory under Tommy Taylor.
Liam Davis had an opportunity to have at least reduced the arrears in the 90th minute but could only blast the ball over the top from 18 yards out.
Taylor kept his players out on the pitch for some time after the final whistle trying no doubt, to understand how his side had lost a game that had appeared to have been well within their capabilities of winning.
Newcastle Town: Dyson, Willis, Chadwick, Harper, Whittaker, Macpherson, Diskin (Blake 83), Askey, Sutton (Sawyer 72), , Miller (Harrison 68). Unused subs: Bradbury, Ashman.
Belper Town: Richmond, Adams, Magee, Camm, Hannigan, O’Hare (Ortuno 81), Wiggins-Thomas, Meikle, Froggatt, Smith (Spargo 68), Rushbury (Davis 61). Unused subs: Thorpe, Pride.
Referee: N Hobbs (Birmingham)