Gutted Belper United’s hopes of landing the Central Midlands League, South Division are hanging by a thread after a crucial defeat against the current tabletoppers, Selston, on Saturday.
It was the league’s match of the day, with second-placed United needing to win to draw level on points with Selston, who have a match in hand.
But even though they had been boosted by a 3-0 victory in midweek at home to Swanwick Pentrich Road, courtesy of goals from Tim Perry, Ben Stockley and substitute Sam Vickers, Paul Postlethwaite’s men sank to a 3-1 reverse.
Selston took a 24th minute lead through Wayne Cooke before United hit back to level almost immediately with a strike from the ever-effective Vickers. An own goal on the hour restored the home team’s lead and the points were wrapped up ten minutes from time by Carl Moore.
United now trail the leaders by six points with ten matches to play, although they are not in action again until after Easter when they travel to Sherwood Colliery on Saturday, April 2, which is followed by the return fixture against Selston, at Christchurch Meadow, on Wednesday, April 6.
At least they held on to second position in the table because the side immediately below them, Hucknall Town, dropped two valuable points in a 1-1 draw at home to Blidworth Welfare. They even trailed at half-time to a goal from Ryan hawley before Joe Ashurst rescued a point.
Lower down the South Division table, Holbrook St Michael’s celebrated only their fifth victory of the season with a 3-1 success at home to fellow strugglers Mickleover Royal British Legion. The improviong Saints made it three wins from four thanks to goals from Josh Piggott, Doiminic Hayes and Amah Shariff, with Daniel Minto replaying for Mickleover.
Elsewhere, Hucknall Rolls Leisure spanked Clay Cross Town 5-0, Linby Colliery Welfare beat Collingham 3-0, Matlock Town Reserves dismissed Southwell City 3-0, Pinxton beat Bulwell 4-1 and Eastwood Community won 3-0 at Keyworth United.
In the league’s Reserves Division, Belper United Reserves stay next to bottom after their 14th defeat in 16 matches -- 4-0 at home to Harworth Reserves, for whom Mick Wibberley netted twice.