Belper Town and Sporting Khalsa will have to do it all again to see who progresses in the FA Cup after their preliminary round tie ended 1-1 at the Raygar Stadium on Saturday.
The Nailers endured a frustrating afternoon and their emotions were compounded when Nathan Curtis saw his 87th-minute spot-kick saved by Sporting’s impressive goalkeeper Sam Arnold.
The visitors play their football in the Midland Football League - a step below Belper - and had made a good start to their campaign by winning their opening three league games.
And they were thankful to Arnold for keeping the game goalless when he saved well from Craig Nelthorpe. Steve Ridley and Zeph Thomas also went close. But that was curtailed when Sporting took advantage of gaps in the Belper defence in the 15th-minute, Josh McKenzie was left completely on his own to slip the ball past Ryan Musselwhite virtually at his leisure.
From this point on Belper did everything they could to get back on level terms, but just couldn’t find a way past Arnold.He tipped a powerful Curtis header over the bar before Riece Bertram headed a good opportunity wide of the target moments later.
The home supporters would be forgiven for thinking it wasn’t going to be their side’s day when Arnold somehow kept out Nelthorpe’s volley. Bertram had a close range shot blocked on the line and Danny South headed wide just before the break.
After the restart, Thomas, South and Thomas again went close to finding the equaliser before Alex Peterson’s prod forward bobbled over the line on 65 minutes.
Belper were afforded a huge let off when Sporting’s Carlo Franco hit the post, Arnold saved superbly from Derry Robson at the other end before a match-winning chance presented itself from the penalty spot.
George Milner fouled but the in-form Curtis’ resulting spot kick was too close to Arnold who had guessed correctly and kept his team in the tie. There was still time for Nailers keeper Ryan Musselwhite to produce a vital stop from Sean Williams as it ended all square.
The Nailers now replay the tie on Tuesday 3rd September (K.O. 7.45pm).
Belper Town: Musselwhite, Bryant, Ridley, Bertram, South, Peterson, Gordon (Robson 74), Nelthorpe, Thomas (Milner 64), Curtis, Dawes (McDonnell 53) Unused sub: Watt, Clark, Waldram, Kozluk.
Sporting Khalsa: Arnold, Franco, Worsey, Miles, Robinson, Woodhouse (Singh 64), Armstrong, Perks, McKenzie (Meese 88), Westwood (Whittaker 64), Williams. Unused subs: Perry, Taylor, McGrady, Smith.
Referee: Tom Hales.