Belper Town U21 fightback for Carlton Town draw

HUCKNALL Six-A-Side League update.
HUCKNALL Six-A-Side League update.

The Nailers recovered from a two-goal deficit to earn a well-deserved draw at League leaders, Carlton Town.

The hosts, who had not conceded a goal in their 100 per cent winning start to the season, started strongly and might have opened the scoring as early as the second minute when Belper needlessly lost possession but Jason Law’s fierce effort flashed just wide of the post.

Sam Parker produced a fantastic recovery tackle to retrieve the ball when Kameron Frost looked odds on to get a clean strike on goal, as the host’ shouts for a penalty were waved away.

The breakthrough for Carlton arrived after 28 minutes when a long clearance was picked by Anton Price who nicked the ball beyond Nailers ’keeper Mark Rathbone and rolled the ball into the vacated goal.

And they almost doubled their lead moments later when Price eluded his marker to meet a corner with a fierce volley that flew inches over the crossbar.

But, the Millers didn’t have to wait long for their second goal.

Nailers’ skipper, Josh Marshall was penalised for pushing a Carlton forward as the ball was floated into the penalty area. Jason Law stepped up to fire the resulting penalty kick high into the net.

Belper responded well and Laurence Constable brought a fine save out of Carlton’ keeper Jack Steggles, who dived low to his left to keep out his 20-yard shot.

Carlton were playing with great confidence at this stage and Belper were grateful to Rathbone who twice punched the ball clear under heavy pressure from the home forwards.

But the Nailers were handed a lifeline on the stroke of half time when Declan Taggart’s low strike from the edge of the box squirmed under the goalkeeper and trickled over the line.

Sam Vickers produced a moment of brilliance as he weaved his way through the Carlton defence only to be undone by a wayward finish.

The Nailers restored parity on 59 minutes with a superbly executed goal.

Sam Birks collected a quick throw in and glided his way into the heart of the Carlton defence before releasing a perfect through ball for Laurence Constable to guide the ball past Steggles.

But the Nailers were again indebted to Rathbone as the Belper ‘keeper pulled off a stunning save to deflect Price’s goal-bound effort over the bar.

Josh Marshall hacked the ball off the goal line after Rathbone was finally beaten as the young Nailers fought tenaciously to hold onto their point.

And they could have snatched all three points when Tom Gilliot’s near post header flashed inches wide of the far post.

After that, despite a succession of high balls launched into their defence, Belper held out comfortably to gain a deserved share of the spoils.

Carlton Town: Steggles, Charlton, Guy (Bonnington 75), Knight, Frow, Bartle, Frost, Newton, Price, Law (Smith 45), Hallam. Other Subs: Reffin, Halliday, Asare.

Belper Town: Rathbone, J. Taylor, Parker, Gilliot, Marshall, Barnes, Carr (Harris 56), Taggart, Birks, Constable (S. Taylor 84), Vickers. Other Subs: Gandola, Knowles

Referee: Sean Hutchinson (Huthwaite)