Belper Town into cup semi-final after win at Bamber Bridge
Belper Town made it through to the semi-finals of the Integro League Cup with a commanding performance in a 3-2 victory at Premier Division Bamber Bridge.
Sam Colbear came into the starting line up as a replacement for the unavailable Derry Robson while Liam Owen retained his place ahead of Nathan Curtis, who had to be satisfied with a place on the bench.
After an even opening the Nailers struck first in the 25th minute when Colbear took advantage of Bamber Bridge’s inability to clear the ball and put a close range header past Danny Roccia to give the Nailers the lead.
Belper extended their advantage on 30 minutes when Danny South scored the first of his two goals by heading in a Piteu Crouz cross at the near post to put the Nailers in charge.
Belper had Brig on the back foot a number of times before the break, most notably when Crouz cut inside and made space for a shot that was blocked on the six yard line.
The hosts stretched Belper on a couple of occasions just to make them aware that the tie wasn’t all over yet, however the Nailers still looked strong favourites as the half-time whistle went.
The second half could have begun badly for the Nailers after Alfred Thompson was adjudged to have tripped a Brig forward, however Leigh Overton made a great save from the spot kick to retain the status quo.
Belper’s grip on the game increased when South rose superbly to head home a 65th minute free kick to make it 3-0.
There were always going to be some tricky moments as the game entered the final stages, and when Brig’s first substitute Chris Churchman pulled one back for the hosts on 80 minutes the pressure on the Nailers intensified.
Matthew Dudley ramped up the pressure even more when he scored with a fine header in the 90th minute.
However, Belper negotiated a lengthy spell of added on time to record an excellent away victory.
BAMBER BRIDGE: Roccia, Spooner, Dodd, Lawler, Charnock, McKnight (Churchman 80), Waddecar, Forbes (Marlow 72), Dudley, Harries, Linney. Unused subs: Doughty, Wilson, Rigby.
BELPER TOWN: Overton, Thompson, Colbear, Gordon (Curtis 46), Assenso, Ubah (Clark 88), Nelthorpe, Owen, South, Milner, Crouz (Mackie 90). Unused sub: Deacey.
REFEREE: David Croft.