Belper throw away two-goal lead in crunch match

SOARING HIGH -- Manny Soar opens the scoring for Belper in their costly 3-2 defeat. (PHOTO BY: Terry Fletcher).
SOARING HIGH -- Manny Soar opens the scoring for Belper in their costly 3-2 defeat. (PHOTO BY: Terry Fletcher).

The title and promotion hopes of Belper suffered a major blow when they sank to defeat against high-riding rivals Khalsa in the Premier Division of the Midlands Men’s Hockey League.

With Belper sitting in second place in the table and Khalsa immediately below them in third -- both after six wins from their opening nine matches -- it was clear how important the match was. But despite taking an early lead and scoring twice within 60 seconds, West Midlands outfit Khalsa came back strongly to force a 3-2 victory that lifted them above their hosts in the standings.

Manny Soar and Chris Bestall gave Belper their two-goal advantage before Khalsa began their recovery with a strike just before half-time.

The second period was just as fierce, with dissent and indiscipline leading to sin-bin punishments for both teams. This seemed to work more in Khalsa’s favour, though, and they equalised midway through the half.

Jusd when the match seemed to be heading for a draw, the visitors were awarded a contentious penalty corner, which they converted to snatch the spoils. Their scorers were Aaron Nagra (2) and David Harris.