Ruthless Belper United punish Southwell City

Belper Utd v Southwell. For Belper is Joe Conkleton and for Southwell is Billy Pycroft.
Belper Utd v Southwell. For Belper is Joe Conkleton and for Southwell is Billy Pycroft.
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Clinical finishing saw Belper United move up the table and leave Southwell to fight on to get clear of the basement region after a 5-1 win.

The visitors played some excellent football up to the edge of the penalty area, particularly in the first half, but the could not match the lethal finishing of a United side who celebrated their fourth successive league win.

Southwell made a bright start but were pushed back by Sam Vickers who used his pace and control to leave Chris Bowles behind on a couple of occasions.

When the gap opened up for a third time on eight minutes Vickers’ low cross was prodded home on the run at the near post by Tim Parry unmarked as not one Southwell defender tracked his run.

A second goal followed for the home side less than a minute later and there was more than a touch of fortune about this.

Vickers went around round two players and chipped into the area perhaps later than he might have.

His shot took a deflection before William Morris appeared to clear the ball off the line. A linesman rather tentatively signalled that the ball had crossed the line and the referee had no choice but to award a goal which was credited to Sam Vickers.

It did look unfortunate though, as the decision was questionable to say the least.

More torrid defending by City found them three goals behind after 18 minutes when a low corner passed right across the face of goal before the ball once again ended up in the net.

This time home skipper Scott Slater claimed the final touch.

Michael Oxborough kept his side in the game with a great double save, first from Dhindsa and then from Ball’s return in the 28th minute.

It was followed by an excellent Southwell attack from which Marlon Waites cracked home a beautiful shot to reduce the arrears, and Southwell recovered from their poor start to knock the ball about well until they got to the edge of the penalty area.

The second half began with Southwell looking as though they had more belief in themselves.

Twice Tom Tyler failed to take advantage of space down the right as the visitors looked as though they might get themselves back into contention.

But they continued to lack any cutting edge up front and at the other end a Conkleton free kick was deflected for a corner and Ball’s low cross beat everyone in front of goal as the ball begged to be put into the net.

And all City’s second half enterprise was in vain in the 74th minute when Morris made a dreadfully short pass back to his goalkeeper and Jordan Bell walked round Oxborough to slot the home side’s fourth goal into an empty net.

And that was the end for plucky Southwell.

The goalkeeper then made two brilliant one-handed saves from substitute Ryan Wheatcroft and Ball, and then a Shaun Roulston volley came back into play off the angle of bar and upright. Oxborough distinguished himself again with another super save from Jamie Baxter.

Then, with three minutes left Adam Robley turned up somewhat unexpectedly at the back post to volley in Louis Mundin’s free kick, once again Oxborough getting his hand to the ball but the sheer pace of the shot only helped the ball into the net.

BELPER UNITED: Scott Whittingham, Adam Robley, Adam Moss, Shaun Roulston, Scott Slater (captain), Alfie Holland, Joe Conkleton, Tim Parry (Ryan Wheatcroft 79), Jordan Ball, Ashley Dhindsa (Jamie Baxter 82), Sam Vickers (Louis Mundin 73). Substitutes not used – Jamie Sparkes, Tristan Spencer.

SOUTHWELL CITY: Michael Oxborough, Tom Tyler, William Morris, Billy Pycroft (Lyes Aliovu 87 minutes), Rory Brown, Stuart Gill, Arron Burns, Myles Gory (Richard Fletcher 67), Johnny Upton, Marlon Waites, Chris Bowles. Substitute not used – Jon Kononowicz.

REFEREE: Wayne Hatfield

ATTENDANCE: 40

STAR PLAYER: MICHAEL OXBOROUGH (Southwell City)