Depleted Belper United reserves beaten at Thoresby

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Belper United Reserves were beaten 1-0 by title challengers Thoresby after missing a large number of players for the second game running.

As many as 32 players were missing across the two squads for various reasons resulting in the squad being used at its fullest for fulfill the fixture.

However, despite this, the reserves showed true character throughout the 90 minutes and were unlucky not to get anything out of the game.

Belper boss Dave Kinder said: “After the beating we took at Swanwick three days earlier it was said before the game that we don’t expect anyone in this club to down tools and give up in games and the lads reacted today and the spirit within the group was fantastic.

“It is a long way to travel and face an awkward side but, despite the loss, this was probably one of the most pleasing performances of the season.

“The lads deserve credit for it and we deserved a point and this feeling was reinforced by a couple of people watching who congratulated us on the performance after the game.”

Thoresby attacked down the slight slope from the start and were using the wind to their advantage, but most of their play was being thwarted before becoming truly dangerous.

With their attacking intent evident it was starting to leave spaces in behind the Thoresby back line and Belper looked to capitalise on a couple of occasions on the break with Shaun Bestwick and Dan Walliss having shots blocked at the last second.

Thoresby got their first real chance after 25 minutes when Starbuck cut in from the right and was about to fire at goal but the ball was pinched off him at the last second by his own player and blasted over the bar.

Before the end of the half Ali Ferrar came out of his sweeper position and went on a couple of twisting runs towards the edge of the Thoresby box which allowed shots on both occasions but the ‘keeper was not troubled.

The match looked to be heading to half time goal-less but in the dying seconds of the half Thoresby broke the deadlock.

A free-kick from inside their own half was lofted towards the back post area where Tebbett managed to get a half hearted shot away which deceived both Sam Beadle and Mark Rathbone before sneaking inside the post.

Belper did not let this setback effect them and came out in the second half with the intent to get an equaliser.

During the opening 15 minutes of the half Paul Robinson, Dan Walliss, George Marshall and Richard Holmes got free of their markers in dangerous positions but the final ball was either cut out or the resultant shot was blocked.

In the last half an hour the game became a real end to end affair with both teams playing some good football in the process.

Mark Rathbone pulled off a good save to his left and Matt Crooks was on hand to clear the danger as Thoresby looked to pounce on the rebound.

Ali Ferrar was pushed forward in the last stage of the game and his pace was causing Thoresby to panic but an opening failed to materialise.

In the last seconds of the match Belper won a corner and threw all 11 players into the box.

Freeman swung the ball to the back post and Belper ‘keeper Mark Rathbone leapt to win the ball but saw his header go inches wide before the referee blew for full-time.

Belper: Rathbone, Beadle, Ferrar Crooks, G.Marshall, Bestwick, Freeman, Akers, Holmes, Robinson, Walliss. Subs: S.Marshall Bennett