Danny Smith heads home the equaliser. Pic: Dave Birt
Richard Teesdale heads clear. Pic: Dave Birt
Richard Teesdale heads clear. Pic: Dave Birt

With Chasetown drawing two of the last three matches and Belper six of of their opening nine league fixtures, it was hardly surprising that this one finished all-square.

Clear goalscoring opportunities were few and far between but after a quiet opening twenty minutes, Chasetown carved out the best three chances.

On 21 minutes, a great passing movement saw Andrew Westwood bearing down on goal, but his effort was blocked by Colin Marrison.

A minute later new signing Scott Rickards fired a free kick over the bar, before Gary Hay went the closest, when his fierce shot was parried by Dave Ratcliffe and Rickards was crowded out before he could do anything with the rebound.

In stoppage time, Hay and Rickards combined with the latter driving an effort over the crossbar.

Belper went close in the first minute of the second half, with Ryan Price doing well to keep out a Marrison close range header.

The home side’s most likely source for a goal was from the crosses of right midfielder Ant Maguire, who created three half chances in the space of a few minutes. On 52 minutes, the wide man forced a corner after a positive run forward, and then two chances fell to substitute Gavin Saunders. The first was sliced well off target but the second was inches wide with a half volley after Maguire’s corner had initially found Rickards.

Just prior to those chances, Chasetown keeper Ryan Price made a fingertip save to deny Andy Rushbury as the visitors came more into the game.

Danny Smith heads home the equaliser. Pic: Dave Birt

On 74 minutes, substitute Karl Colley skied a great chance from a left wing corner, and the visitors took the lead in the 78th minute when Steve Warne was allowed to beat several Chasetown defenders and he squared the ball to substitute Jared Stephens who could hardly miss from close range.

In a match where the key notes all seemed to revolve around the substitutes, seven minutes from time Rickards and Hay patiently teed up Theo Robinson whose powerful effort was met with equal skill from Ratcliffe to keep the Nailers ahead.

Chasetown levelled in the fourth of five minutes of stoppage time with involvement from another substitute. Rickards delivered a perfecty flighted free kick for Danny Smith to head home.

Chasetown: Price, Downes, Jackson, Farmer, Bate, Teesdale, Westwood (Smith, 65 mins), Egan (Saunders, HT), Hay, Rickards, Maguire (Robinson, 76 mins). Subs not used: Bryan, Degville.
Belper Town: Ratcliffe, Pride, Wright, Marrison, Adams, Simpkins (Colley, 30 mins), Harrison, Warne, Ward (Stephens, 71 mins), Tuton, Rushbury (Siribour, 60 mins). Subs not used: Stirrup, Chapman.

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