Skipper’s late penalty rounds off United victory

Belper United's Kyle Wadsworth
Belper United's Kyle Wadsworth

Manager Steve Watson made three changes for Belper United’s CML South clash against Nottingham United.

Dan Riley returned from suspension, Ben Summers and Scott Slater were rested, with Tim Sterland and Matt Phillips returning to the starting line-up. Shaun Smith, after a long-term ankle injury, took up a spot on the bench.

The game kicked off in bright sunshine at Alton Manor with Belper United instantly dominating possession.

With Belper not finding the net for two straight games, they were looking to put that statistic to one side.

The game took its time to get started and Nottingham United easily rebuffed Belper United’s attacks. On 20 minutes, Tim Perry suffered a hamstring injury and was replaced by Ben Summers.

After 35 minutes, the game finally came to life as the Nottingham United keeper was finally called into action to make a couple of decent saves and then, shortly after, Ben Summers crashed a 25-yard shot against the post.

Just before half-time, Nottingham United had a chance, but Adam Jablonski made a neat one-handed save after a deflected shot looked to be sneaking into the corner.

After a more sedate half-time chat than Tuesday night, Belper United came out with a bit more zest and immediate got their reward.

After only 30 seconds, neat work by Adam Nicholls on the left saw his cross miscued by a Nottingham United defender and Luke Crosby had the easiest task of smashing home from close range.

Steve Watson threw on leading scorer Shaun Smith and he had an immediate effect. A typically mazy run led to him being upended in the box and skipper Kyle Wadsworth stepped up and easily converted the penalty.

Belper United should have run riot for the rest of the game but a mixture of good goalkeeping and poor finishing kept them at bay.