Belper Town academy well beaten by Mickleover Sports Blacks

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The young Nailers fell to their first league defeat of the season when they were comprehensively beaten 3-0 by Mickleover Sports Blacks.

Last season’s champions Sports were determined to avenge an opening day draw with the Nailers and they soon had the hosts backpedalling in the face of mounting early pressure.

Jack Repton had a react smartly to keep out an angled shot from Devon Livingston and then repeated the heroics minutes later to tip over a 30-yard shot from Yakeef Murphy.

Sports were creating havoc with a succession of in-swinging corner kicks and they made one count after 18 minutes when Kieran Cronin fired in from 6 yards to give the visitors a deserved lead.

Further corner kicks heaped the pressure on the beleaguered Belper defence and more than once, Repton came to his side’s rescue with important interventions, none more so than when he tipped a venomous shot from Livingston onto the crossbar.

Sloppy Belper defending allowed Sammee Husain to head goalwards, only to see his effort strike the post and into the hands of the ‘keeper.

But the remission was only temporary and Sports increased their lead on the stroke of half time when neat control and pace from Murphy took him past Gianluca Gandola and forced a great save from Repton only for Luke May to fire in the rebound with the Belper defence slow to react.

Sports put the game beyond the Nailers just five minutes after the interval when Connor Ward nicked the ball past Sam Weston and crossed for Luke May to tap in from close range.

Belper at least showed some greater enterprise in the second half but Dan Watson and Joel Cain both blasted presentable goal scoring opportunities over the bar.

The game fizzled out as a contest with Sports happy to play out time and Belper huffing and puffing but without creating very much in the way of clear cut chances.

The defeat may be a disappointment but at least the Belper youngsters will realise that there is still much more hard work to do if they want to hang into their place at the top of the league.

Belper Town: Repton, Gandola, Patrick, Craddock, Weston, Hall, Taylor, Watson, Camm, Cain, Bullock. Subs: Rathband, Mighty (GK), Bradbury, Walker, Dronfield, Rodgers

Mickleover Sports Blacks: Tolley, Gihooly, Cronin, Husain, Amiri, Sanderson, Tomkinson, Buxton, May, Livingston, Murphy. Subs: Ward, Haidary, Tariq, Jonks, Webster

Referee: Mark Hutton (Derby).