Late goal sends United into the cup semi-finals

Belper Utd 3 Sutton Town 2

Baris League Challenge Cup Quarter Final

The game started evenly. Shaun Smith and Adam Nicholls were causing constant problems up front for Belper with Craig Mitchell looking dangerous for Sutton Town.

On the half hour though, Sutton Town took the lead. Belper were slow to react to a long throw-in and the resultant header was spectacularly kept out by Adam Jablonski but Sutton reacted quicker and headed the rebound in.

Almost immediately Belper United could have equalised. Adam Nicholls picked up a ball from the left wing and although the ball appeared to be out of play and with the Sutton defence complaining, Nicholls continued on goal and, although beating Gav Saxby in the Sutton Town goal, the ball cannoned against the post and Shaun Smith could only smash the rebound high and wide.

Ten minutes into the second half, Belper finally got the equaliser, Shaun Smith latched onto a long clearance by Adam Jablonski and after some excellent hold-up play, fed the ball in for Dan Riley to smash home.

The game now became end-to-end with neither side wanting a replay.

On 65 minutes, Belper made three changes with Luke Crosby going on upfront, Jamie Wilde in midfield and Tim Sterland bolstering the defence.

Crosby made an almost instant impact when a smart turn and shot from 30 yards found the net.

Sutton piled on the pressure and Jablonski was at his best to keep a swerving long-range effort out but, with ten minutes left, Sutton found an equaliser after a Sutton corner turned into a scramble and, with Belper having chances but failing to clear the ball, Sutton scored.

A hectic last ten minutes followed but it was Belper who found a winner. A Nicholls free-kick caused chaos in the box and, after two failed efforts to score, the ball finally fell to Scott Slater on the far post who calmly slotted home the winner.

Manager Steve Watson said: “There was nothing between the two sides for most of the game, but I think our greater desire for victory on the day got us through. It was an excellent result from another excellent team performance. We now look forward to a semi-final against a very good AFC Mansfield side from CML North at Hucknall Town’s Ground and is just reward for all the hard work everyone at the club has put in this season. If we carry with our current form it should make for exciting end to the season.”

Next Fixtures:

League - Blidworth Welfare vs Belper United - Wednesday, 10 April 2013

League - Belper United vs Southwell City - Saturday, 13 April 2013

Baris League Challenge Cup Semi Final

Belper United vs AFC Mansfield - Tuesday, 16 April 2013 at Hucknall Towns Ground

League - Newark Town vs Belper United - Saturday, 20 April 2013