Belper Town U21 come from behind to beat Sheffield United
Belper Town U21 came from two goals behind to defeat Sheffield United 3-2.
The Nailers came into this challenging fixture looking to get back on track after a couple of heavy defeats.
The starting line up featured a new look centre half pairing of Louis Anthony and Fenwick Butcher whilst Laurence Constable and Sam Birks played either side of Marley Hamilton in a front three.
Belper were initially pushed onto the back foot but defended very well and unlike recent games did not concede early goals.
The new centre half pairing worked well and was ably supported by full-backs Jake Taylor and Sam Parker. When chances came, Goalkeeper Sol Swarvett was in excellent form.
The three-man Belper midfield of Billy Barnes, George Johnson and Mason Barker did an excellent job of breaking up Sheffield United attacks and having weathered the early pressure the team began to pose more of a threat going forward.
It was disappointing then when Sheffield United took the lead with a well-taken goal after 28 minutes from Blades skipper Will Wraith, when for the first time Belper failed to clear their lines.
Things got worse when United went two up after 37 minutes. Following a well worked move down the left hand side, Oliver Nugent finished off the move.
Belper would have been justified in feeling hard done to going in at 2-0 down as they finished the half strongly and had several chances to score.
Belper have had problems conceding goals at the start of the second half but not on this occasion as they started very strongly and scored two goals in two minutes just before the hour mark.
Laurence Constable had worked tirelessly up front and capitalised on a mistake by the United left back and within two minutes Mason Barker had put Belper level.
The game seemed there to win but the game took on a different complexion when shortly afterwards Jake Taylor was sent off for a second bookable offence.
Belper were now pushed back and defended strongly to keep Sheffield United at bay.
As the game drew to a close, the game became very stretched.
Courtney Harris was introduced for Marley and Belper began to exert pressure.
It appeared as though Belper had missed their chance to win the game as the Sheffield United keeper made a succession of great saves.
But in the 95th minute Billy Barnes picked up on a clearance and hit a fabulous drive from the edge of the box in to the bottom corner.
It was a deserved winner for a Belper side that showed great character and resilience.
Belper Town: Swarvett, Taylor, Parker, Anthony, Butcher, Barker, Constable (Harris 85), Johnson, Hamilton, Barnes, Birks. Other Subs: Taggart, Wearing, Harrison, Broughton.
Sheffield United: Greaves, Dunn, Gibson, Mitchell, Boardman, Sellers, Mughal, Wraith, Burton, Jay, Nugent. Subs: Bates, Pollard, Birds, Mundele, Meakin
Referee: John Stevens