10 man Belper have to settle for point
Belper Town’s bid to make it seven straight wins failed to materialise although they did well to take a point from play-off hopefuls, Stamford.
Jon Froggatt sends the ball under Stamford 'keeper, Ross Whalin for Belper's equalising goal
With regular centre back pairing Dan White and Richard Adams on the injured list, Karl Colley and Michael Simpkins continued their partnership as the Nailers attempted to edge nearer a potential play-off place.
It wasn’t to be a game of the quality that some have aspired to in Belper’s recent winning spell and they could have lost this fixture, on the other they might just as easily have taken all three points off the Daniels.
Stamford appeared to settle into the game better than the Nailers and could have taken the lead in the 7th minute when Aaron Chapman had to come out and block Harry Deane’s effort after the Stamford man beat the Belper defence for pace.
Danny Brooks nearly created a goal in the 15th minute with a well taken free kick that was met by Nick Ghislanzoni at the far post but Aaron Chapman saw the ball around the upright to safety.
Alton Rennalls provided Belper’s first notable effort in the16th minute with a shot that went a yard wide of the post, but in general this had been an untidy start from the Nailers who never really got into their stride until the latter stages of the game.
Stamford stretched the Nailers in the 18th minute when Harry Deane almost found Nick Ghislanzoni on the edge of the six yard area but the Daniels’ striker could only deflect the ball over the cross bar.
The Nailers created a half chance in the 27th minute when Alton Rennalls’ cross came at Jon Froggatt quickly, but Ross Whalin got a hand to Froggatt’s nudge and the ball was cleared away.
Mark Ward’s free kick flew inches over the cross bar soon afterwards, but Bruno Holden should have put the hosts ahead on 31 minutes when he met a 30 yard free kick however, fortunately for the Nailers he put his header wide.
Jon Froggatt struck a tremendous volley from the edge of the penalty area two minutes later and Ross Whalin saved brilliantly to prevent Belper from taking the lead, but it was Stamford who went ahead on 38 minutes after Aaron Chapman looked to have collected the ball safely but a split second later Bruno Holden was celebrating a goal.
Harry Deane came close to finishing Belper off two minutes after the re-start with a shot that came back off the post, and the Nailers continued to struggle to make an impact on the game.
Mark Ward raised hopes with a superb volley that whistled past the post on 54 minutes, then Jon Froggatt and Alton Rennalls combined to set up Ben Leonard who couldn’t make proper contact with his head.
Aaron Pride’s return to first team action nearly ended in disaster when he tripped Nathan Watson as he raced into the penalty area, and he was fortunate only to receive a yellow as he conceded a penalty kick.
Aaron Chapman fully redeemed his earlier error with a magnificent save from Danny Brooks’ spot kick and Belper were still in the contest.
The Nailers began to get into the game following this and a superb long ball from Aaron Pride led to the equaliser.
Jon Froggatt did brilliantly to turn Wayne Diuk and close in on goal, but he still had to beat Ross Whalin from an acute angle which he did with a low curling shot under the ‘keeper’s body.
After looking second best for much of the afternoon the Nailers suddenly had aspirations of winning the game.
Even Ben Leonard’s sending off after a second yellow card didn’t prevent Belper coming forward in their best spell of the game, and Steve Warne could have sent Belper ahead in the 78th minute when he side footed Andy Rushbury’s pass inches wide of the post when it looked easier to hit the target.
Aaron Pride made a strong run late on and managed to draw a fine save out of the Daniels’ ‘keeper, and in an edgy four minutes of added on time, the Nailers needed the skills of Aaron Chapman to block a last minute effort from Viktor Remjika.
This was a result that the Nailers would probably have taken before kick-off but with the play-offs on the distant horizon, three points was really a prerequisite.
Stamford AFC: Whalin, Garton, Pheasant (Mooney 16), Diuk, Whiley, Baxter (Holmes 20), Watson (Kemjika 83), Brooks, Holden, Ghislandzoni, Deane. Unused subs: Isamene, Harvey.
Belper Town: Chapman, Wright (Pride 80), Weir, Cotton (Leonard 52), Colley, Simpkins, Rushbury, Warne, Froggatt, Ward (Longstaff 80), Rennalls. Unused subs: Turner, Saxby.
Referee: Andrew Barney (Coalville)