Belper United made the long trip to Easington United with a decimated squad on Saturday but came away with a 4-1 victory in round three of the Central Midlands League Cup.
Manager Steve Watson had to make seven changes from last week’s squad at Hucknall Town as Adam Taylor, Craig Riley, Dan Riley, Ben Summers, Jamie Wilde, Ash Dhindsa and Jake Taylor were all missing.
Into the starting 11 came Joe Sparham, returning from a knee injury, Tom Curtis, who came back on the left after being rested last week, Mark Walker (full back) and Dean Salt (centre midfield) from the reserves, while Ryan Salt and Paul Postlethwaite were on the bench.
Belper United got off to a flying start and took the lead after only five minutes when Tom Curtis was found at the back post and he finished with the outside of his left foot.
Both teams made light of the sticky conditions in a very open first half and Belper United had chances through Luke Crosby, Jordan McRobie and Sam Vickers to increase the lead while Easington United brought two fine saves out of Adam Jablonski.
Belper United laboured against a bright Easington side for the first ten minutes of the second half.
However, on 55 minutes Belper United doubled their lead. Sam Vickers whipped in a fine free-kick and Jordan McRobie rose highest to glance home.
Sam Vickers made it three on 71 minutes after a fine solo goal and an excellent team move after 80 minutes was finished off by Tom Curtis for his second and Belper United’s 4th goal.
After the match, assistant manager Paul Postlethwaite said: “With so many players missing, it was a pleasure to see the team spirit come through today and they put in an excellent performance.
“The lads that came up from the reserves were exceptional and we are deservedly in the draw for the quarter finals.
“We have to now concentrate on the league with two tricky away fixtures coming up against Clifton AW and Pinxton.”
Clifton host Belper United on Saturday and then there is a trip to Pinxton on January 18.