Grant Black praises his Belper Town players despite Ilkeston defeat

Grant Black took time to praise his Belper Town squad despite seeing them fall to a 3-1 loss at Ilkeston on New Year’s Day.

By Mark Duffy
Tuesday, 4th January 2022, 1:52 pm
Belper boss Grant Black.
Belper boss Grant Black.

The Nailers led at half-time through Jonny Margetts’ penalty and were good value for that lead, but the Robins fought back well in the second-half to take the points.

And Black felt the result was ultimately the right one despite his players’ efforts.

He said: “First and foremost I’m proud of the players for their endeavour, work rate and desire to try and win a football match.

"Ilkeston are a good team but I think we competed for the majority of the game. We contributed to a couple of their goals but that’s football and as far as the players are concerned and what they gave us, it was a good effort considering what we were up against.

"For us to have competed at the top against sides with much better resources than ours up to January is phenomenal. Their reaction to beating us is credit to what we’ve achieved so far and nobody will want to play us.”

Belper have no fixture this weekend, enabling a two-week break before the next match against Sporting Khalsa on January 15.

And Black sees it as a chance to regroup ahead of the continued promotion push.

He said: “If we’d gone to Ilkeston and got battered it would have made it a lot harder to pick the lads up but I said to them that they can be pleased with their efforts and we’ll train and play a game on Saturday to keep sharp ahead of the next game.

"That’ll be on another 4G pitch at Khalsa so we’ll train on 4G to deal with that side of things.”