The wings of high-flying Belper United were clipped by jubilant Ollerton Town, who reached the semi-finals of the Central Midlands League Cup for the first time since 2007.
An eagerly-awaited quarter-final clash pitched United, who sit third in the league’s South Division, against an Ollerton outfit going well in the North Division. But the home side inflicted a 3-0 defeat to follow up their superb victory in the previous round when they knocked out South Division leaders Selston.
The first half was tight and goalless. United could have snatched the lead when pacy star man Sam Vickers got past Tom Cooke down the left for a cross that flashed across the face of goal, and they probably shaded the action, wasting a good opportunity when Chris Saunders fired over the top from inside the area.
In the second period, however, Ollerton looked the stronger side. Lewis Bingham pinched the ball off a United defender before seeing his curling effort tipped round a post by Scott Whittingham, and then Kyle Ludlow flicked on a Cooke throw for Eddie Bishop, who got there before the ‘keeper, only to see his effort cleared off the line by a recovering defender.
The pressure had to tell, and just after the hour mark, Ollerton took the lead. Jamie Charlton did brilliantly down the right wing, crossing from the byline for Ludlow, who directed a terrific header past Whittingham for his seventh goal of the season. The roles were reversed for Ollerton’s second when a cross into the box was helped on by Ludlow for Charlton, who struck home a sweeet half-volley.
A terrific second-half performance by Dave Winter’s team was capped by a third goal in the final ten minutes. This time, Bingham’s pace and movement proved too much for the United right-back, who fouled him in the area for a penalty. Up stepped Ollerton’s top scorer Kyle Clarkson to calmly send Whittingham the wrong way from the spot.
The other three teams to reach the semis were Appleby Frodingham, of the North Division, who won 5-1 at Pinxton, and South Division duo Hucknall Rolls-Royce, who beat Bulwell 4-1, and Blidworth Welfare, who knocked out Swanwick Pentrich Road on penalties after their tie had finished 1-1 at the end of extra-time.
Meanwhile, in the league’s Reserves Division, struggling Belper United Reserves crashed 5-0 at Sherwood Colliery Reserves.