Belper United boss Paul Postlethwaite has praised the character of his players after they defeat Hucknall Rolls Leisure on penalties.
United progressed to the southern section semi-final of the Floodlit Cup with a dramatic 5-4 shoot-out win after the match had ended 1-1 after extra-time.
Said Postlethwaite: “The lads that came in tonight were brilliant and totally deserved their chance.
“I am really pleased with every aspect of the night’s performance and it was apt that Mark Rathbone got the glory at the end with his penalty save.
“They all deserve the credit for a great cup victory. With seven players returning on Saturday, this has given me a selection headache, but one I will enjoy.”
Paul Postlethwaite made eight changes to the game on Saturday due to a mixture of rotation and unavailability.
Mark Rathbone, Ali Ferrer, Gary Conway, Tom Curtis, Tarik Harvey and Matt Wright all stepped up from the reserves.
Sam Vickers returned after his one match suspension after it was found the Nick Murray couldn’t play as his registration has been received just hours after the seven day allowance for cup games.
Belper United started slightly better but only had two long range free-kicks to talk about.
United tried to keep the game flowing and play football and were rewarded with the opening goal on 36 minutes.
After good play from Ash Dhindsa, Tristan Spencer released Sam Vickers and he ran straight through the middle and lobbed the on rushing keeper.
Just before half-time United had six consecutive corners and were very unlucky not to double their lead.
Rolls Leisure came out strong in the second-half and got a deserved equaliser on 51 minutes.
With the defence not closing down an early 20 yard shot caught everyone by surprise and nestled into the bottom corner.
United were visibly rattled and struggled to get into the game for the next 15 minutes.
The game became even again until the last 10 minutes when playing down the hill, Roll Leisure launched an onslaught on the United goal looking for the win, but the United youngsters held firm.
The first half of extra-time was even, but Rolls Leisure were soon down to 10 men after a two-footed challenge on Alfie Holland was rightly deemed a straight red card.
Both sides held out without two many goalmouth scares.
After the first five penalties it was still even at 4-4. Tristan Spencer was the first player up in sudden death and somehow managed to squeeze his penalty under the goalkeeper, before Mark Rathbone made himself a hero and pulled off a brilliant save to deny Hucknall Rolls Leisure.
Team: M.Rathbone, A.Moss, A.Ferrar, L.Mundin, G.Conway, T.Curtis, T.Harvey, T.Spencer, M.Wright, A.Dhindsa, S.Vickers
Subs : A.Holland, A.Robley, D.Kinder.