A SENDING off and serious injury were the main factors in Saturday's game being a lacklustre appearance.
They became the game's talking points, taking over from the pre-match eyebrow raising caused by the appointment of a woman, Amy Rayner, of Loughborough, as referee.
The novelty soon wore off, especially as Ms Rayner controlled the game well and took the right decisions and right action at the right time.
Albion were the team to suffer the first blow when, after 20 minutes, Carl Frost turned the ball back into the penalty area from the byline and fell awkwardly. A stretcher was needed and Frost, on loan from Crewe, was later diagnosed with a broken collar bone, which will keep him sidelined for six weeks.
Six minutes later, Belper full-back Lee Stratford was dismissed with a straight red card after he kicked out at Adam Foy, who was merely running past him.
That forced Belper into a change of tactics, piling men behind the ball and denying Witton space. It also gave Witton a lot of possession.
It was not until the 40th minute that Albion goalkeeper Paul Gibson was brought into the action when he dived to his right to push a deflected Sean Gummer free-kick around a post.
Albion had started the half brightly with Frost and Darrell Dicken just off target. Frost also had a shot turned away for a corner and Simon Hughes headed inches too high.
Dave Nolan went even closer with his header in the first minute of the second half, but he saw the ball too late to make a clean connection.
Dicken (twice), Craig Sargeson and Nolan had shots comfortably saved by Gary Ingham, and ex-Vics man Dominic Crookes was fortunate in the 56th minute when he brought down Mike Moseley outside the area. Moseley was bearing down on goal but Crookes escaped with just a caution.
The game petered out slowly, with Witton throwing the ball repeatedly into the area but always mindful of a Belper break.
The point lifted Witton back into the top 12, the group who will be 'promoted' to the Premier Division in the summer's shake-up.
WITTON: Gibson; Sandeman, Barlow, Hughes, Furnival; Dicken, Foy (Eaton 65) Mallinson, Nolan; Moseley, Sargeson (Frost 290). Att: 230 Star Man: Steve Mallinson, driving force Next best: Simon Hughes Team Rating: 2 Match Rating: 2