Injury-time winner breaks Belper Town hearts

Belper Town players celebrate one of the side's goals. I(PHOTO BY: Tim Harrison)
Belper Town players celebrate one of the side's goals. I(PHOTO BY: Tim Harrison)

Supporters were left deflated after Belper Town threw away a two-goal half-time lead to sink to a 3-2 defeat at home to Gresley on Bank Holiday Monday.

The end-to-end match in the Evo-Stik Northern Premier League, Division One East was terrific entertainment for the 355 crowd.

Gresley's Eric Graves challenges Belper's Cameron Clark for the ball. (PHOTO BY: Tim Harrison)

Gresley's Eric Graves challenges Belper's Cameron Clark for the ball. (PHOTO BY: Tim Harrison)

But Gresley’s injury-time winner was not what Belper wanted, nor indeed deserved, on an afternoon when a share of the spoils would probably have been fair.

The hosts settled well and took the lead in the 25th minute when a mix-up between visiting ‘keeper Jack Livesey and his defenders allowed Nathan Curtis to slide the ball into an empty net.

Belper dominated the rest of the first half and doubled their lead eight minutes later when Craig Nelthorpe delivered an exquisitely struck free-kick. With Nelthorpe and Curtis going close again, there seemed no way back for the Moatmen. But then the nightmare began for Grant Black’s side.

Nelthorpe tarnished his display by giving a penalty that Martin Smyth squeezed inside the post, with Leverton at full stretch, to launch the Gresley fightback.

Craig Nelthorpe celebrates his spectacular goal. (PHOTO BY: Tim Harrison)

Craig Nelthorpe celebrates his spectacular goal. (PHOTO BY: Tim Harrison)

The equaliser came in the 72nd minute when the ‘keeper appeared to misjudge a free-kick, allowing Kieran O’Connor the chance to score with a glancing header.

And as both sides chased the winner, the visitors found it when Dexter Morris Clarke broke Belper hearts with a deflected effort seconds before the final whistle.

BELPER TOWN LINE-UP -- Leverton/ Lucas (Day 69), Clark, Paylor, South, Peterson, Nelthorpe, Allen, Curtis, Milner, Crouz (Ambulu 64). Unused subs: Gordon, Johal, Elliott.

A superb free-kick from Belper's Craig Nelthorpe flies into the net. (PHOTO BY: Tim Harrison)

A superb free-kick from Belper's Craig Nelthorpe flies into the net. (PHOTO BY: Tim Harrison)