Belper United look determined to grab runners-up spot

ON TARGET -- Tim Perry, who popped up with Belper United's equaliser in the 3-1 victory over Keyworth United.
ON TARGET -- Tim Perry, who popped up with Belper United's equaliser in the 3-1 victory over Keyworth United.

Determined Belper United are back up to second in the Central Midlands League’s South Division table after comfortably overcoming Keyworth United.

Paul Postlethwaite’s troops might have been forced to wave goodbye to their title hopes, but they are still gunning for the runners-up spot, and the 3-1 win over struggling Keyworth lifted them a point above Hucknall Town with a game in hand.

United piled on the pressure from the off, so it came as quite a shock when the resolute visitors jolted their hosts by taking a 33rd minute lead through Callum Barrett. But three minutes later, Tim Perry levelled and the home side finally got their noses in front on the hour with a goal from Chris Saunders. The points were sealed seven minutes from the end when Ben Stockley made the scoresheet.

Postlethwaite’s side are back in action on Wednesday night when they entertain mid-table Clay Cross Town at Christchurch Meadow. That will leave them with five more fixtures before the season is out, starting with another home game on Saturday against Linby Colliery Welfare, who have just announced that Lewis Saxby, son of exc-Mansfield Town man Gary Saxby, will be their new manager, replacing Dave Marlow.

By coincidence, Linby’s latest game also resulted in a win over next-to-bottom Keyworth, whom they defeated 2-0 thanks to second-half goals from lanky striker Joe Butler.

Meanwhile, at the top of the table, Selston’s relentless march towards the champions’ crown continued with a 4-1 home win over Eastwood Community in front of a crowd of 326. Goals by Thomas Widdowson, Carl Moore, Ben Moore and Perry Marriott mean they need just one more victory to secure the title in their first season back in the league.

Towards the foot of the table, Holbrook St Michael’s suffered two more defeats -- 3-2 at home to Blidworth Welfare, despite a strike from Dominic Hayes and an own goal, and 5-0 at Clay Cross Town.

In the Reserves Division, bottom-of-the-table Holbrook St Michael’s Reserves celebrated only their fourth point of a winless campaign with a 1-1 draw at Pinxton Reserves, earned by a goal from Aaron Pegg. But Belper United Reserves slipped to a 2-1 defeat at home to Blidworth Welfare Reserves, despite a goal from Louis Mundin, and Holbrook Sports Reserves fell 1-0 at home to leaders Hucknall Town Reserves.