Long-serving strikers Sam Vickers and Tim Parry bagged the goals that earned an important win to ease the early-season pressure on relieved Belper United.
United have found life tough in the East Midlands Counties League, losing nine of their first 12 games after moving up from the Central Midlands League. But they showed much-improved form at Holwell Sports and returned home with a 2-0 victory, courtesy of Vickers, who opened the scoring in the 18th minute, and Parry, who got the clincher two minutes into the second half.
The result moved Belper out of the bottom three and gave them every reason to look forward to this Saturday’s home clash against high-riding Blaby and Whetstone Athletic.
Only just above United in the table are their near-neighbours Holbrook Sports, who suffered their 11th defeat in 16 matches in a scrappy affair at home to Birstall United. Mid-table Birstall took the honours 2-0 thanks to goals from their skipper Lewis Dodd, who drove home low in the 31st minute before rapping home Sam Kee’s cross to settle the issue in the 67th minute. This weekend, Holbeook are away to Kimberley Miners Welfare.
In the Central Midlands League, the miserable start to the season by Holbrook St Michael’s continued with their eighth straight loss at the foot of the South Division. This time they crashed 7-1 at Southwell City, despite a goal from Ryan Fitzhugh. The Southwell scoring was spearheaded by Liam Moran, who fired a hat-trick, while Dalton Stephens netted two and Jonny Nussey and Will Stocks one apiece.
All four reserve-sides from the Belper area sit in the bottom five of the league’s Reserves Division. Belper United Reserves are anchored to the foot of the table after a 4-0 defeat at Swanwick Pentrich Road Reserves, for whom Dave Robinson, Carl Wilding, Henry Brooks and Adam Coleman found the net.
Just above them and also yet to win are Belper Town Reserves, who lost 3-1 at home to Harworth Reserves, despite a goal from James Rowson. And not faring much better are Holbrook St Michael’s Reserves, who lost 3-0 at Hilton Harrier Reserves in the Derbyshire Division Cup South, and Holbrook Sports Reserves, who were crushed 11-0 at Staveley Miners Welfare Reserves, for whom Ryan Damms and Joel Smith hit trebles.