Belper United manager David Moon said his players reaped the rewards of their own hard work in the 2-0 victory over Ingles.
Second half goals from Josh Wright and Ben Gowing saw the Green Army leapfrog their opponents in the East Midlands Counties League Premier.
Moon said: “The players got their rewards for their dogged display. The most pleasing thing was we kept a clean sheet and well done to our goalkeeper and back four who were organised and solid as a unit throughout the game.
“The last few games we have conceded late goals which has lost us both games, so one of the messages going into today’s game was to stay concentrated from the first whistle to the end and the lads made sure they seen the game out well.”
United were forced to make three changes with Louis Anthony having shoulder surgery, Ryan Baker missing through work and Tim Adcock dropping to the bench with Sam Foster, as Josh Wright and Laurence Constable replaced them in the starting line up.
The hosts started brightly with some neat and tidy football moving the ball across the pitch with ease and were on the front foot throughout the opening period of the game.
The first chance fell to Adam Dring whose shot was saved by the Ingles goalkeeper. Josh Wright was put through by Tom Rushby on the 20th minute but the ball wouldn’t settle which was cleared away by the Ingles defence.
A moment of controversy on 40 minutes when the Ingles goalkeeper handballed outside his area only for the referee and his assistants not to give anything, especially after the goalkeeper stopped and walked back towards his goal expecting the referee to award a free kick to Belper. Both sets of players and managers were left shocked by the match officials’ decision.
The first substitution for Belper came on 52 minutes when Joss Walmsley was replaced by Tim Adcock and Adcock made an instant impact driving forward with the ball and trying to create an opening.
Belper finally got the goal they deserved on the 55th minute after a corner taken by Constable was met by Foster who’s header was saved by the Ingles keeper only to be tapped home Wright from close range.
The second change for Belper was Shaun Smith coming on for the hardworking targetman Adam Dring on 72 minutes. Tom Rushby’s shot on 77 minutes was straight at the keeper however Ingles best chance throughout the game came from a free kick which Rathbone in Belper’s goal watched wide.
Belper’s third and final change saw Hudson replace midfielder Tom Rushby. Ingles on the 84th minute were harshly reduced to ten men when an Ingles midfielder was shown a straight red card for an alleged dangerous tackle.
Three minutes from the end, forward Shaun Smith was fouled just inside the penalty area and Ben Gowing sent the keeper the wrong way for his 14th goal of the season to cap off the victory for Belper.
Belper are away to Arnold Town on Saturday.