Belper Town U21s clinch first piece of silverware

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Belper Town U21s clinched their first piece of silverware on Thursday night with a 1-0 win over AFC Mansfield U21s in the NMDFL League Cup final.

The Nailers had to wait until three minutes from time to make the breakthrough which came through Sam Birks’ well-placed shot into the bottom corner of the net.

And the win was nothing less than the young Nailers deserved, according to U21s manager Wynne Garnett, in a season which may yet see more trophy success.

He said: “It’s really great for the players because last year was really hard for us but they’ve worked really hard and they’ve got their rewards.

“I thought the second half was probably our best performance of the season. Although it was only 1-0, we were much the better side in my opinion.

“Their keeper played a blinder and I think he was awarded man of the match at the end of the game. He did play very well and that was reflected in the score.

“We had so many chances to score that we couldn’t put away and then we scored three minutes from the end.

“We were so far on top we felt if we were patient we would get our chance and score - even if that meant going to added time, because of the amount of chasing they’d done.”

Garnett’s side now have the chance to make it a league and cup double if they can secure a point from one of their remaining two fixtures in the NMDFL South Division.

Belper face AFC Mansfield again on Monday night, this time in the league, before finishing their season away at Borrowash Victoria on Friday night.

“This season we’ve played so well the players deserved something, so I’m very pleased for them and it sets us up nicely for the week ahead,” said Garnett.

“Winning becomes a habit and the more you win the more confident you become and that started to show in the final on Thursday night. That will help us go into the league games with a bit more confidence.”

Cup final team: Rathbone, Hunt, Broughton, Brumby, Parker, Barnes, Butcher, Constable, Bullock, Garnett D, Birks. Subs. Knowles, Barker, Ilson, Towndrow, O’Keefe