Town await drop fate after Belper breeze

Jon Froggatt, Belper Town''Photo by Tim Harrison
Jon Froggatt, Belper Town''Photo by Tim Harrison

The mathematicians haven’t quite put their calculators away because Hucknall Town are still keeping the goals-against column very busy (147 at the last count).

But the fat lady is singing and there are people on the pitch because they think it’s all over.

Yes, Hucknall Town’s relegation was all but confirmed by another hefty defeat in Division One South of the Evo-Stik Northern Premier League.

This time, promotion-chasing Belper Town inflicted the damage, leaving Hucknall 15 points adrift at the bottom of the table with only five games to play.

Now all that is to be decided is whether The Yellows will actually suffer demotion to the Northern Counties East League.

Or will they be given a reprieve because of other clubs in the division wishing to drop down the non-league pyramid because of financial problems.

The Evo-Stik air is thick with rumours, but more should be known once Hucknall’s relegation is mathematically confirmed, which could be after their trip to Mickleover Sports tomorrow (Saturday).

Helping to rub salt into The Yellows’ wounds last Saturday were four Belper players who used to ply their trade at Watnall Road -- midfielders Steve Warne and Eric Graves and frontmen Mark Ward and Daryll Thomas.

But it was much-travelled 31-year-old forward Jon Froggatt who made the biggest impact, bagging a hat-trick for Peter Duffield’s Nailers.

Froggatt tucked away an easy chance in the fourth minute, converted a penalty on 52 and supplied a neat close-range finish on 72.

The other two goals, which both came in the last nine minutes of the opening half, were scored by Shaun Tuton and Richard Adams.

Tuton sped past defender Ryan Cheetham to strike a fearsome shot into the roof of the net before Adams rose unchallenged to head Simon Harrison’s corner firmly past ‘keeper Michael Yates.

On a hard, uneven pitch, Hucknall’s chances were limited. The best came just before the interval when Belper goalie Aaron Chapman needed two attempts to save a low drive from Anthony Rowley.

Otherwise a depleted side left fans and boss Darren Kelk with familiar feelings of frustration.