Belper United started the 2014-15 Central Midlands League season with a 1-0 defeat at Blidworth Welfare on Saturday.
A one minute silence was observed out of respect following the death of Neil Dalton, who played from the age of 16 and gave three years of great service to Belper United.
Many of his friends are still at the club and everyone involved would like to send their condolences to Neil’s family.
Belper United started the stronger with Blidworth Welfare struggling to get out of their own half.
Desperate defending saw a sliced clearance come back off the bar and many chances were just not falling for United.
After 20 minutes, Blidworth finally got in the game and series of long range free kicks and corners followed.
Belper had two glorious chances to take the lead but Tim Perry could only blaze wide at the back post and a great Scott Slater header just drifted wide.
United started the second half in the same manner. A long-range Joe Conkleton effort was spectacularly saved and numerous corners and free kicks couldn’t give Belper United the goal they deserved.
After 72 minutes, Blidworth hit United with the sucker punch. A rare breakaway saw Blidworth flood forward and Stubley easily rounded the stranded Scott Whittingham for the winning goal.
Belper United pressed again for a equalising goal but many chances fell without them really looking like scoring.
After the game, manager Paul Postlethwaite said: “I can’t complain about the commitment and quality from the players today. Unfortunately we just didn’t get the goals our play deserved.
“In any other game, we would have come away with a victory and three points.”