The Evo-Stik League Northern Premier
Published 20th April 2012
....promotion push this weekend.
Victory over New Mills at Christchurch Meadow tomorrow will secure the Nailers a place in the play-offs. A draw or a defeat could even be enough, depending on how Sheffield FC and Leek Town get on.
A dramatic 2-1 win over Leek on Tuesday night, which followed last Saturday's 6-0 thrashing of Shepshed Dynamo, lifted Belper into the play-off places for the first time all season – and our destiny remains in our own hands.
This is no mean feat, considering the team was languishing in the lower reaches of the table before an incredible run of fourteen wins and a draw catapulted them towards the top five. Now they need one more push to get us over the line against New Mills.
"There are a lot of different permutations but we know that if we win, we finish fourth and that's the aim," said Nailers` assistant-manager Mick Godber. "At the moment, everything is going for us – but we know we've still got some work to do.
"We've put in an awful lot of hard work to chuck it away in one game. But if we don't make it now, it certainly won't be due to lack of effort."
Top scorer Jon Froggatt pounced to net the winner in the 5th minute of added time to finally see off Leek in midweek.
"We did what we had to do on Saturday at Shepshed, without too much trouble," said Godber. "That set things up nicely for the Leek game, which we knew we had to win. Leek were a decent side, though I was surprised at how they lined up. They went five at the back, with their top scorer playing at centre back.
"They had obviously come for a draw and they nearly got it but we had to go for it at the end and, luckily, Jon managed to stick one in at the third attempt.
"There's no better time to score the winner than with the last kick of the game!"
Despite the euphoria at the final whistle, Godber reminded the players that the job is not finished. "There were great scenes at the end – but we know we've done nothing yet," he said. "Don't get me wrong, we fancy it, but at the same time, we won't be taking anything for granted. Nobody in the changing room on Tuesday night thought it was over."
Godber and manager Peter Duffield have a couple of injury concerns ahead of this weekend, with a potential play-off clash at Ilkeston FC on Monday or at Carlton Town on Wednesday on the horizon.
Midfielder Chris Adam had to be replaced soon after kick-off against Leek after picking up a hamstring problem in the warm-up. And defender Michael Simpkins came off later in the match with a similar injury.