A New Year boost for title-chasing Belper United, and a thumping victory in the big Holbrook reserve-team derby. They were the first talking-points of 2015 in the Central Midlands League.
Because they were not in action over the festive holiday, United’s three-point lead at the top of the South Division table was in jeopardy.
But second-placed Hucknall Town failed to take advantage as they slipped to a 2-1 defeat at home to Pinxton in their vital match in hand over Paul Postlethwaite’s side.
Hucknall went in front two minutes into the second half thanks to an own goal. But Danny Evans equalised on the hour with a superb free-kick and Pete Stubley grabbed Pinxton’s dramatic winner ten minutes later.
It was a fine performance by Pinxton, considering they had been hammered 5-0 at home by Selston on Boxing Day. Selston are emerging as United’s chief rivals for the title, given that they sit only four points behind with two games in hand. What a match it promises to be tonight (Wednesday) when they visit Christchurch Meadow. United are also at home this Saturday when they take on mid-table Blidworth Welfare.
As for the Holbrook derby, that took place in the Reserves Division of the league where both sides are struggling near the foot of the table. It was won by Holbrook Sports Reserves, who inflicted a 5-1 defeat on Holbrook St Michaels Reserves.
Adam Lillie struck twice and Matthew Collins, Kristian Gilbert and Allan Hahn were also on the scoresheet as Sports celebrated only their third victory of the season against a Saints side languishing in last place after ten straight defeats and not a single point on the board.
At the other end of the Reserves Division table, Hucknall Town Reserves remain top after a 2-1 win over third-placed Graham Street Prims, courtesy of goals from Joe Ashurst and Montel Gatland.
Back in the South Division, three other matches have taken place over the past week, including only the third victory of the campaign for Collingham, who overcame Linby Colliery Welfare 2-0. After a goalless first half, Euan Morris opened the scoring in the 49th minute before Martin Waplington sealed the points with a delightful lob over the ‘keeper.
Collingham are now three points above bottom team Southwell City, who sank to a humiliating 10-0 reverse away to high-flying Eastwood Community. The home side ran riot, with Steve O’Connell netting three and Louis Bentley and Dave Worger two apiece.
Elsewhere, a Derbyshire derby resulted in a 2-1 win for Clay Cross Town at home to Matlock Town Reserves thanks to two goals from Aiden Ordidge in an entertaining clash that drew a crowd of 110.