Belper United leave it late to earn draw

Shaun Roulston, Belper United''Photo by Terry Fletcher
Shaun Roulston, Belper United''Photo by Terry Fletcher

A late goal from Shaun Roulston earned Belper United a 2-2 draw on Monday at Hucknall Town in the Central Midlands League.

For the first time in a long while, United were able to name an unchanged starting 11.

Hucknall Town started very strong and immediately put United under pressure.

After five minutes, Hucknall took the lead. A corner wasn’t cleared properly and the ball found its way to Matt Clowes, who fired home an unstoppable shot from the edge of the area.

Hucknall were looking to double the lead as United were struggling to keep up with the pace and tempo of the home side.

Belper United held out, gradually got into the game and for the rest of the half shared possession, without either side having a clearcut chance.

United started the second half better and could have equalised when Adam Robley headed a corner wide from three yards out.

After 60 minutes, United got a deserved equaliser. A surging run from Ryan Wheatcroft saw him upended in the box and Luke Crosby stepped up and easily scored from the resulting penalty.

Belper United were starting to dominate and had the better of the chances. A Shaun Roulston header slid just wide, as did a shot from substitute Jon Poplar.

With ten minutes to go, Hucknall Town, roared on by their fans, got a second wind and Scott Whittingham had to tip over a fabulous header that looked destined for the back of the net.

On the stroke of full-time. Hucknall took the lead. A free-kick from the right was swung in, and with the United defence totally flatfooted, an unmarked Arron Evans headed home.

United looked devastated but somehow picked themselves up for the remaining moments of the game. With nearly six minutes of injury time on the clock, United were awarded a corner kick, which even keeper Scott Whittingham came charging up for.

With the ball swung in, Shaun Roulston (pictured) rose the highest and dispatched his header into the bottom corner for the equaliser.

Manager Paul Postlethwaite said: “It must have been a wonderful game for the neutrals but for us the word of the day is sloppy.

“We defended sloppily and conceded two goals from set pieces and up front our finishing was sloppy. In the end, we have to be happy with the draw and the commitment and belief shown to come back and score in the dying seconds was tremendous.”

Photo by Terry Fletcher