Nailers hit six to maintain play-off push
Belper Town crushed strugglers Shepshed Dynamo with a five star second half performance to put themselves on the verge of play off qualification.
Ashley Longstaff volleys home his second goal of the afternoon to put the Nailers well in control at the Dovecote.
If the Nailers can win their final two home games they will have achieved something that seemed impossible just before Christmas when they had sunk to 18th place in the division.
Victory over Leek Town on Tuesday evening is essential is if Belper want to finish in fifth place but they are the form team at the moment having won 13 times in their last 14 outings.
It was the same starting line up that completed an excellent victory at Sheffield on Bank Holiday Monday although Dan White and ‘keeper David Ratcliffe were named as substitutes.
The Nailers have a dismal record at the Dovecote having only won once in their last nine visits and the frustrations of the first half left a sizeable Belper following anxiously awaiting a second goal that would steady their nerves.
In the end it was a very comfortable win for Mick Godber who is standing in for manager Peter Duffield while he is on holiday, but the Nailers suffered an early scare when Dynamo’s Jerome O’Connor ran through to lob the ball over Aaron Chapman and watched in disbelief as the ball bounced over the gaping goal.
A bumpy pitch did absolutely nothing to promote flowing football and the first 45 minutes was a tedious affair.
Chris Adam ran the ball out of play in the 10th minute after getting around the back of the Dynamo defence, but the consolation of an early goal arrived two minutes later when Andy Rushbury got the final touch after a goal mouth scramble ensued after the ball initially came back off the cross bar.
There was a half chance for Greg Wright in the 21st minute when he stabbed the ball just wide after another goal mouth scramble, then following a nondescript period of play littered with errors and fouls, Jon Froggatt had a fierce shot beaten away at the near post.
Ashley Longstaff headed just wide from a Michael Simpkins’ lob in the last moments of a forgettable first half, but with news that Leek Town were losing at Romulus, the mood was good amongst Nailers supporters.
It was certainly a different matter in the second period and it didn’t take long for the Nailers to get the second goal when Steve Warne’s pass was perfect for Ashley Longstaff to run on to, and he lobbed the ‘keeper to score a well taken goal.
Dynamo barely showed as an attacking force in the second half but Aaron Chapman seemed to lose Rob Mulonga’s dipping cross on 57 minutes and was relieved to see it bounce past the outside of the post.
It was soon to be 3-0 when Aaron Pride broke away down the right and crossed to Ashley Longstaff who brought the ball under control impressively before turning and volleying into the net on 60 minutes.
Glyn Cotton fed the ball through to Jon Froggatt but he couldn’t add to his season’s total as he fired over the top, but it was Dynamo provided the fourth goal on 68 minutes when Jacob Sturgess blasted the ball into his own net as he tried to clear a Steve Warne cross.
The Nailers were looking dangerous every time they went forward and Dynamo had lost all shape and confidence.
Substitute Jordan Turner got in on the act on 72 minutes when he took advantage of yet another scrimmage by striking the ball in off the post from 8 yards out.
Glyn Cotton made it 6-0 in the 73rd minute after again taking advantage of Dynamo’s inability to clear their lines and he lifted his driven shot high into the net and peeled away in delight as the Nailers completed a devastating scoring spell.
Mark Ward went close with a free kick that skimmed the cross bar and was even closer to scoring in the 90th minute when he cut inside to unleash a curling effort just past the angle.
The Nailers just need to keep this incredible sequence of victories going for another two games, and possibly beyond and complete one of the season’s most dramatic transformations from any club in the division.
Shepshed Dynamo: Martin J, Sturgess, Jenkins Z, Maddison (Krasniqi 62), Brewer, Hore, Mulonga (Spencer 60), Martin S (Wilson 81), Chaplin , O’Connor, Simmonds. Unused subs: White, Jenkins J.
Belper Town: Chapman, Pride, Weir, Cotton, Wright, Simpkins, Rushbury, Warne, Froggatt (Turner 70), Longstaff (Ward 66), Adam Leonard 62). Unused subs: White, Ratcliffe.
Referee: Scott Postin (Coventry).