Friday, 13 April 2012

The Sharp End of the Season

Mondays 2-0 win at Sheffield means that promotion os now well and truly in Belpers own hands. Three games to go and three wins means we will definitely finish in a play off place.
The weather and the pitch were rough on Monday but the players stuck at the task and as Sheffield lost their discipline (having two players sent off) Belper took the initiative and scored from the spot (Froggys 32nd goal of the season). This was followed by a great strike from Ash Longstaff 4 minutes later and we had made it 12 wins in 13 games.
Tomorrow we travel to second-bottom Shepshed Dynamo. The Butthole (unfortunate name for a football ground location if ever there was one !) is not  a happy hunting ground for Belper, even when Shepshed are struggling. I recall last season we went there and lost 0-1 to a penalty and Shepshed finished in a relegation spot but were reprieved to struggle again this season.
I also recall going there in a 12 game unbeaten run and losing 3-0. We must be due for a good result - lets hope it's tomorrow.
Following on from that we have the biggest game of the season so far - a visit from Leek. If we beat them the play offs look an almost certainty (assuming we have already beaten Shepshed). Of course there is also the fact that Leek and Sheffield need to keep winning also to take it down to the last game of the season.
Cycling wise I've only managed a couple of rides for the past two weeks thanks to the weather. Having said that todays ride included a severe drenching in the middle of a 20 mile ride - not a pleasant experience but I've had worse !
Currently I'm up to almost 500 miles for the year. With Summer ahead I'd like to think I could manage a target of 2012 miles for the year. If thats to happen I'll have to pile on the miles during the close season as the end of the year will see a reduction. Last year I did 508 in just under half a year so that would be a massive jump but lets go for it !

Monday, 9 April 2012

Ain't no stopping us now !

Following on from the Coalville win we sneaked past a resolute Romulus side at home having to come from a goal down to make it 11 wins and a draw in the past 12 games. We even won the Manager of the Month award for March which is usually a poisoned chalice. As things stand we are 3 points behind Leek having played 38 games each. Four games to go and all to play for. 

Today we're off to Sheffield FC - or Sheffield Club, or The First Club in the World or The OLDEST Club in the world (whatever they are calling themselves this week !) We love that fact that they are in Dronfield, which is officially in North Derbyshire but they insist they are from South Yorkshire. Either way it's a massive game which could send us on to Shepshed next Saturday in high spirits or could potentially finish off our season (depending on Leeks result at home to New Mills (our last day opponents) today).

You will recall that I was cycling in 20+ degrees a couple of week back, then on Wednesday last week we got up to this :

Not brilliant as it was taken at 6:30 as we were heading off to work but you get the idea. What you can't see is that it was blowing a blizzard and we could only just get off the drive. Is this what global warming is all about ?

I'll update what happens in the next day or so.

Sunday, 1 April 2012

And on we go

Another game, another win. Thats now 10 wins and a draw in the last 11 games for Belper. We haven't been beaten since yesterdays opponents Coalville won 2-0 at Belper back in January. We sit just 1 place below the play offs after yesterdays win at Coalville (combined with Stamfords defeat against Loughborough). 
A scrappy first half on a bone hard pitch in a biting wind saw Belper take the lead through a Longstaff snapshot that caught out the Coalville keeper and the Coalville snapper by the looks of things

Coalville equalised just after the break but Belper came back to score two more though Froggy (number 31 for the season)

and a Mark Ward free kick which caught the keeper out at his near post.

Five more games to go and the play off are still the topic of conversation - anyone want to buy a Jethro Tull ticket ?

At half time we were having a cup of tea in the boardroom and sheltering from the bitter wind (10+ degrees cooler than Thursday without the wind chill factor). I looked through the window and saw that the Coalville snapper had left his camera equipment by the goal and obviously one of the Ravens substitutes fancied a bit of a go. From what I saw he needs a bit of advice on his technique !!

Next up it's third bottom Romulus at home on Saturday - surely the run can't come to an end there can it ???