United maintain their unbeaten start to season with 2-2 draw

Ryan Wheatcroft, Belper United''Photo by Terry Fletcher
Ryan Wheatcroft, Belper United''Photo by Terry Fletcher

Belper United earned a 2-2 draw on Saturday at home to Hucknall Rolls Leisure.

The draw means United lost their place on top of the Central Midlands League South Division but remain in the top three, only a point behind new leaders Swanwick Pentrich Road.

Belper had to make a couple of changes for the first meeting with Hucknall Rolls Leisure. Luke Crosby and Ash Dhindsa were missing, as were Sam Carter, Sam Vickers and James Baxter. Scott Whittingham failed a fitness test and was replaced by Mark Rathbone.

Things couldn’t have started any better for United with a goal after 17 seconds. Ryan Wheatcroft’s 20-yard shot went in off the post to take an early lead.

After 17 minutes, United doubled their lead as a cross from the right found Joe Conkleton free in the 18-yard box and he gleefully smashed it past the keeper.

Hucknall Rolls Leisure came back into the game on 30 minutes when a mistake by Adam Moss let in a Hucknall striker, who dispatched an unstoppable shot past Mark Rathbone into the top corner.

United came out in the second half and played with a better tempo and dominated possession. Good chances came and went and Hucknall Rolls Leisure, who worked immensely hard, were still in the game.

After 75 minutes, Hucknall finally had a sustained spell of pressure and five minutes later got the rewards for their hard work. After a scramble in the box, the ball was stabbed home for the equaliser.

Manager Paul Postlethwaite said: “We had a very lethargic first half but came out with a better tempo in the second half and should have put the game to bed well before they equalised.

“Hucknall Rolls Leisure worked harder than any team we have come against this season and in the end deserved the point.

“Even though we are disappointed with dropping two points, we are pleased to have now gone six games unbeaten.”