Belper United’s 100 per cent start to the season went on Saturday, but they stayed unbeaten after a 1-1 draw with Allenton United.
Injuries to Ben Summers, Joe Sparham, Tim Sterland, Jamie Wilde, Scott Whittingham and, with Joe Wheeler missing due to work commitments, meant multiple changes to side. Scott Slater returned from holiday and Craig Riley and Dan Riley had recovered from knee injuries.
Belper started slowly and after only two minutes conceded a poor goal. Scott Slater tried to head a ball over the top back to Adam Jablonski but it fell short and a lofted ball into the box was then deflected into the bottom corner for the opening goal.
Allenton were on top for the next 20 minutes, with Belper United struggling to find their game against a strong wind and narrow pitch. Having worked hard to keep Allenton United at bay for most of the half, Belper United finally started to play their football and finished the half the stronger but couldn’t finish off the chances they were making.
The game really changed on 55 minutes. Allenton United striker Danny Briscoe was fouled on the edge of the box but kept his feet and smashed a shot into the top corner. Unfortunately, the referee had blown for the foul and pulled the play back, to the discontent of the Allenton fans.
After that Belper United took control of the game and got a deserved equaliser. Good play from Shaun Smith on the right saw an excellent ball into the box and cause an Allenton defender to pull back Tim Perry. Skipper Kyle Wadsworth stepped up and easily convert the penalty. The game was pretty much one way traffic now with the odd Allenton attack on the break. A mixture of poor finishing and excellent keeping kept out Belper United.
On 90 minutes, Sam Vickers had a glorious chance to take all three points, after firstly beating two defenders but once one on one with the keeper, he blasted his shot wide.
This Saturday (3pm) sees Belper United’s first ever FA Vase game with an short away trip to Clipstone Welfare, from the NCEL Division One.
Everyone at the club is buzzing for what will be, for most players, their first taste of FA Vase football. t has been an exciting time at the club so far with the move to groundshare with Belper Town and the excellent unbeaten start to the season.
Assistant manager Paul Postlethwaite said: “The first five games of the season could not have gone any better for Belper United, with four victories, one draw, 13 points, 17 goals and only three goals conceded.
“But this will be a completely different test against a team from a level above. We will try and play our football and see where it takes us in this match. We are playing with a lot of confidence at the moment, so we are sure we can compete. Priority one is to try and get promotion this season but hopefully we can enjoy the adventure and it will all help in the progression of this club.’
The winners have another away tie against St Andrews from the Step 6 EMCL or Lutterworth from the Step 6 UCL Division One on September 24.