They had to dig deep and retrieve a half-time deficit -- but tabletopping Belper Town Academy again emerged victorious from their latest match in the Evo-Stik NPL Youth League.
Belper trailed 2-1 at the break away to Mickleover Sports Reds Academy before mounting a second-half fightback that carried them to a 4-2 win and stretched their unbeaten record this term to eight matches.
At a windswept Don Amott Arena, The Nailers started brightly and were in front by the 12th minute when Josh Bullock ran on to a through ball and lashed his shot into the bottom corner.
Only a fine tip-over by home ‘keeper Jack Barker prevented a venomous effort from Dan Watson making it 2-0. But then the game was tipped on its head by a couple of goals from Mickleover’s influential midfield player, Lewis Belgrave. First, Belgrave fired in a free-kick from just outside the box that flew into the top corner. And then, on the stroke of half-time, he saw another set-piece shot sail past ‘keeper Morgan Mighty, who really should have saved.
With the wind at their backs, Belper came out for the second period in determined mood and squared it up at 2-2 in the 57th minute. Scott Taylor latched on to a long clearance from Mighty and delivered a cross to the near post that was deftly headed in by Bullock.
Nine minutes later, they were in front as one of Sam Weston’s troublesome long throw-ins caused havoc in the Mickleover backline and allowed Watson to crash the ball home from 15 yards.
By now, it was all Belper and substitute Ryan Hall headed against the top of the bar, with Barker beaten, before a fourth goal when Taylor lashed home from point-blank range after Josh Craddock’s inswinging corner.
BELPER ACADEMY LINE-UP -- Mighty/ Gandola, Patrick, Watson, Weston, Hall, Camm, Craddock, Cain, Taylor, Bullock. SUBS: Bradbury, Dronfield, Rathband, Walker, Repton.