FA Vase dream over as Belper United wilt in extra-time
Belper United boss Paul Postlethwaite says his side will need to dust themselves down after their FA Vase exit.
United went out of the competition after losing 4-2 after extra-time at home to Clifton All Whites in the first round of qualifying.
Postlethwaite, who was without four key players for the clash, says he was upset to lose in extra-time for the second consecutive season.
He said: “I’m extremely disappointed to go out so late into extra-time for the second year running.
“We were missing some experience players but I am extremely proud of the way my team performed today in what must have been an exciting game to watch.
“The game could have gone either way so we will have to pick ourselves up and go again next week.”
With Shaun Roulston, Ash Dindhsa, Ben Stockley and Tristan Spencer all unavailable the United chief had to shuffle his pack.
Clifton started the more positive but it was the hosts who took an early lead via the penalty spot.
Sam Vickers was upended in the box, allowing Louis Mundin to smash home the resulting spot-kick.
After 30 minutes Clifton were having the better of the possession but United were looking the more likely to score, with wing duo Vickers and Mundin both seeing good chances go begging.
Belper thought they had doubled their lead after 35 minutes after Tim Perry’s header but the goal was disallowed for an alleged push on the goalkeeper.
Clifton were unlucky not to equalise just before half-time but they didn’t have to wait long for their equaliser.
Connor Hardy slotted home at the near-post to restore parity shortly after the restart.
The game was now end-to-end and the Clifton goalkeeper did well to tip over a headed deflection from his own defender.
The visitors took the lead on the hour, when Hardy hit an unstoppable shot from the edge of the area.
United then equalised almost straight away when static Clifton defending from a corner allowed Scott Slater to bundle the ball over the line.
The hosts then saw another goal disallowed towards the end, to force an extra 30 minutes.
Belper had a chance to steal the win, but Alfie Holland blazed over from 10 yards out.
Then, with penalties looming, Clifton pinched the win thanks to Ben Clark’s late brace.