Central Midlands League
Premier Division North
Real United 2
Belper United 4
THIS game escaped the frosty weather and went ahead due to the fact Real play on a new generation 3G artificial surface.
The true bounce on this surface allowed both sides to play a neat passing game.
Real were the quicker to the ball early on in the game but once Belper got hold of the ball they dominated possession and slowly got on top.
Tony Hemmings had a good opportunity to shoot but hesitated and the chance was snuffed out, then Searston had a chance but failed to make his shot count. Following this McRobie was through one-on-one with the keeper but under-hit his attempted lob and the keeper saved comfortably.
Belper were guilty of sloppy play for Real’s opener. Kelly gave the ball away down the right and Whalin attacked at pace and when he delivered ball into the area the ball was put into his own goal by Postlethwaite.
This gave the home side impetus and they forced a string of corners, from one of which they increased their lead. The ball was swung in to the near post and Real’s centre half Hunt rose highest to flick the ball into the far corner of the goal.
Belper looked deflated and they were somewhat fortunate to get a goal back on the stroke of half time. United broke and Kelly played the ball into the 18 yard box. First Hemmings shot was was blocked then McRobie had an effort saved by the keeper and in the melee the ball finally fell to Wadsworth at the edge of the penalty area and he calmly lifted the ball over everyone into the top corner for a very well taken goal.
There were some strong words in the Belper United dressing room at half time and the players responded positively in the second half.
United upped the pace chasing down Real when they had possession, and this led to some early opportunities for Belper but the home keeper Murphy saved well from McRobie and Wadsworth before McRobie played a defence splitting ball for Kelly to run on to and score sending the keeper the wrong way as he slotted the ball home for 2-2.
The tide had turned and Belper dominated with Searston and Hemmings controlling midfield.
And it was Searston who put United in front for the first time. A neat one-two put him clear of the defence and he calmly lobbed the home keeper.
Victory was sealed when Kelly put pressure on the home keeper and his miskicked clearance fell to Hemmings, ten yards inside the home half. He showed his experience and composure to calmly control the ball before accurately despatching it into the goal before the keeper could regain his position.
This was a very good second half performance and a much needed win for Belper, which lifts them back up to sixth place.
This week’s fixture is away at Clifton before a tough home game on January 28 against Basford (2pm).