A LATE postponement of the game at New Mills drew criticism from Belper Town and their supporters when the match referee overturned a decision made by a local official brought in to inspect the pitch earlier in the day.
Manager Peter Duffield explained: “We were told that we should travel to New Mills at around 11.40am, but shortly after we arrived the referee declared the pitch unfit and we’d had a wasted trip.
“There was a small area of the pitch that did look wet and the ball might not have moved freely and possibly with the threat of more rain, he decided not to risk it.”
The supporters’ section of the Nailers had chosen to run a bus to this game and were already in New Mills when the news of the postponement came through, and with others having to turn around in mid-journey it proved to be a disappointing afternoon all round for everyone.
Belper Town were unable to arrest their run of poor results at Grantham in midweek although there were signs that the Nailers were beginning to recover their form and should really have had some reward from the game.
“We played some good stuff and dominated long spells of the game,” said Duffield, “but we are still prone to making errors at the back and missing chances up front.
“Even though we lost the game I didn’t have a go at the players because I thought overall we played quite well and were deserving something from the game.
“For some reason we have stopped scoring although we are still creating chances, and we have to rectify that as quickly as possible for obvious reasons.
“We have had a tough four games and I thought we acquitted ourselves well against Carlton and Grantham, and basically threw away a point against Sutton Coldfield.
“It’s fair to say that we didn’t really deserve anything from the Kidsgrove game, but for a 20-minute spell in the second half we were all over them but couldn’t find the net.”
Duffield has recruited three more players during the last seven days with Michael Blythen, a midfield player having signed from Stocksbridge Park Steels, Gavin Saxby, an experienced goalkeeper from Rainworth Miners’ Welfare and pacy winger, Aron Wint who has arrived on an initial one-month loan from Scunthorpe United.
Saxby was happy to join the Nailers and be a squad member although he will have to compete against current custodian Andy Richmond for the goalkeeper’s jersey. Standing around six feet five inches tall, Saxby is a big man andvastly experienced having previously played for South Normanton Athletic, Alfreton Town, Shirebrook Town, Gresley and Shepshed Dynamo and was considering a switch to Stamford before he signed for Rainworth. He is the son of former Luton and Mansfield defender Mick Saxby.
Blythen is a midfield player who arrives at Christchurch Meadow from Stocksbridge and played under Duffield at Retford.
Wint is a first year professional at Scunthorpe United and has signed initially on a month’s loan, bringing pace and an eye for goal.
He was a second team regular at Glandford Park last season and Peter Duffield’s connection with Scunthorpe’s assistant manager Chris Brass helped to make the move possible.
The Nailers should have a full squad available for Saturday’s crucial home fixture against Shepshed Dynamo as Alan O’Hare, Jordan Turner and Aaron Pride will serve their suspensions on Tuesday (December 13) evening against Derby County, in the Derbyshire Senior Cup.
Looking ahead to the Christmas and New Year period, Belper have two attractive fixtures with Sheffield FC at Christchurch Meadow on Boxing Day, Monday, December 26 and then travel to Ilkeston FC on New Year’s Day.
Both games have a 3pm kick off.
After an entertaining 3-3 draw against Dronfield Town Reserves at Christchurch Meadow last Saturday, Belper Town’s reserve side go to Long Eaton United Reserves this weekend.