Belper Town U21s face anxious wait in pursuit of league title

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Belper Town U21s face an anxious wait to find out if their title chase will go down to the last game of the season, after Monday night’s scheduled clash with AFC Mansfield U21s was cancelled.

The young Nailers - chasing a league and cup double - were notified just hours before kick-off as their opponent’s were unable to field a side due to injuries and availability of their players.

A point would have guaranteed Belper the North Midlands Development Football League South title and a memorable double following their League Cup success on Thursday night, which came against the Bulls.

League officials will meet this week to decide whether the points will be awarded or the game will be replayed, with Belper scheduled to finish their fixtures against Borrowash Victoria on Friday.

Carlton Town U21s - the only team that can mathematically catch Belper - will watch with interest as they harbour hopes of overturning the three point and 17 goal difference deficit on the leaders.

Carlton play Eastwood Community U21s on Tuesday night and Belper U21s manager Wynne Garnett is preparing himself for an interesting few days, which will define his team’s 2016/17 campaign.

He said: “We were looking forward to having it done and dusted last night so it is a bit frustrating from our point of view. We’ll have a better idea in the coming days and play again on Friday.

“It would have been nice to have played last night, won it and celebrate but it didn’t happen. Now we’re not quite sure what is happening and from that perspective it’s a little bit frustrating.

“We might find out that we’ve been awarded the points and won the league without having to play that game. They’re meeting on Tuesday night - the same night Carlton play their last game.”

If the game is rescheduled it could see a fixture congestion with the league proposing the winners of the South and North divisions play in an end of season showdown on Wednesday 17th May.

RELATED ARTICLE: Belper Town U21s clinch first piece of silverware

Meanwhile, the club are appealing for players aged 18-21 who feel they can compete at the Evo-Stik League First Division South to get in touch as well as local businesses who might be able to offer their support. Interested? Call Wynne Garnett on 07939 061454.