Belper Town slip to defeat after blowing two-goal lead

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Belper let a two-goal half-time lead slip on Saturday as a disastrous second half saw Pontefract Colleries fight back to win 4-2.

Town got off to a flying start, really taking the game to their opponents and in the 10th minute were awarded a penalty for a push on George Milner.

Craig Nelthorpe made no mistake from the spot and slammed home his penalty, right into the top corner.

Two minutes later, the Nailers nearly doubled their lead through Danny Gordon’s left-footed strike from distance, but the ball flew over.

On 18 minutes, they had another good chance, when Milner crossed for Nathan Curtis, who headed just wide.

Leigh Overton made an important stop at the other end to keep the hosts at bay.

Then, just before half-time, Town doubled their lead. Piteu Crouz took advantage of a slip from a Collieries defender and his collected finish found the far corner. Grant Black’s men had played well in the opening 45 minutes and went into the interval with what looked like a commanding 2-0 lead.

Five minutes after the restart, Overton was called into action once again. This time, making a fine save from a back-post header, following a dangerous free-kick.

On the hour mark, Pontefract pulled a goal back. Chris Jackson tapped in from a Jack Greenhough cross to give the hosts a lifeline.

Seconds later, they equalised. Excellent work from Michael Dunn down the left-hand side led to him cutting inside and rifling a low shot towards goal.

Louis Danquah, a new signing from Mansfield Town, nearly gave Belper an instant response on his debut, but his effort hit the outside of the post.

In the 67th minute, Pontefract completed their comeback and took the lead through a towering header from captain, Spencer Clarke.

The Nailers twice went close to levelling through Curtis before he was given his marching orders three minutes from time.

An Eli Hey penalty made it 4-2 in time added on.

Pontefract Collieries: Musslewhite, Greenhough, Jeffs (Cotton 45), Brown, Picton, Clarke ©, Smythe, Bailey (Cromack 45), Hey Jackson, Dunn (Guest 91).

Belper Town: Overton, Assenso, Nelthorpe, Robson (Sturgess 85), Colbear, Peterson © (Mackie 59), Danquah (Owen 69), Gordon, Curtis, Milner, Crouz.

Referee: Mark Powell.

Att 232.