Heroic Holbrook St Michael’s belied their bottom-of-the-table status to give leaders Selston a fright in the Central Midlands League’s South Division.
The Saints, who had not registered a single point in their first eight games of the campaign, stunned the top dogs when a second-half goal from Gavin McCready cancelled out a 42nd minute opener from Ben Moore for the visitors.
But just when they looked set for a terrific 1-1 draw, their hopes were shattered by an 84th minute winner from Carl Moore to give Selston their ninth win from 12 games and extend their advantage at the top to five points.
Holbrook’s performance must surely give them hope for the rest of the season, beginning with another tough home match this Saturday against unbeaten title-chasers Hucknall Town.
For now, through, they remain stranded, four points behind next-to-bottom Teversal Reserves, who went down to a 1-0 defeat at Linby Colliery, where Kye Pilmore bagged the only goal of the game 20 minutes from time.
Fellow strugglers Swanwick Pentrich Road and Keyworth United were also beaten. Despite a goal from Chris Bradley, the Swans went down 3-1 at Eastwood Community, whose matchwinners were Greg Conn, Paddy Webb and Harry Allen, while Keyworth crashed 6-2 at Matlock Town Reserves, for whom Jordan Lee fired a hat-trick.
In the league’s Reserves Division, teams from the Belper area continue to occupy four of the bottom five places. They include rock-bottom Belper Town Reserves, who suffered their seventh defeat in eight matches when falling 3-1 at Mickleover Royal British Legion Reserves, despite a strike from Gareth Hague for the Nailers.
Also yet to win this term are Belper United Reserves, who were involved in a 2-2 draw with local-derby rivals, Holbrook St Michael’s Reserves. The match was marred by a suspected broken leg sustained by young Saints goalkeeper Lewis Jubb, who had to be taken to hospital. Scorers of the four goals were Ben Litchfield and Harry Carvell for United, and Michael Jukka and Ben Wallace for the visitors.
The reputation of the league received an enormous boost in the FA Vase where three teams, Sherwood Colliery, Hucknall Town and Blidworth Welfare, progressed to the Second Round proper.
Sherwood shocked unbeaten Northern Counties East League outfit Penistone Church, of West Yorkshire, 2-1, while Hucknall recovered from leaking two goals in injury-time to win a seven-goal extra-time thriller, 4-3, at Ashby Ivanhoe and Blidworth hammered Heanor Town 4-0.