Battling Belper Ladies emerge with credit

BELPER Town Ladies emerged with great credit from their first cup final appearance.

In only their third season, they finished proud runners-up in the Derbyshire Ladies Division Two league cup.

After an entertaining two-hour tie, Belper eventually went down 4-1 to unbeaten league leaders Hasland at Matlock Town’s Causeway Lane ground.

Belper began apprehensively but soon matched their high-scoring opponents in all areas.

The Nailers defence stood strong with keeper Emma Gilbert making some fine saves.

Hasland took the lead just before the break when a corner cruelly deflected into the net.

The Nailers began the second half strongly and Charlie Boot equalised with a looping shot from a Katie Harper cross.

Belper continued to pressurise a shaky Hasland defence but unfortunately couldn’t capitalise, Boot having a shot cleared off the line in the closing moments.

In extra time Hasland’s captain and play-maker scored with a long-range effort after which another deflected effort put Belper further behind then another lob put the tie out of their reach.

Belper Manager Phil Harper said: The whole effort was brilliant. We took the game to them for long periods and genuinely looked like winning. We will celebrate a fantastic performance and great achievement in reaching our first cup final.”