Belper United went down 3-1 at home to Central Midlands League promotion hopefuls South Normanton Athletic on Saturday.
Paul Postlethwaite again had to make changes. Tom Yates, Tim Perry and Luke Crosby were all missing from Wednesday’s game. Curtis Fallows returned at right back, Ben Summmers at left back and Jay Harrison came in up front.
South Normanton started very brightly and immediately put United under pressure. Graham O’Reilly opened the scoring after Adam Jablonski failed to collect a back post cross from a corner kick.
On 20 minutes, South Normanton doubled their lead after more chaos from a corner, the ball eventually falling to Lee Sutton who hit a wonderful curling shot into the top corner. The Shiners kept the pressure on and crashed a header onto the crossbar and saw another effort come back off a post.
Belper United finally started to find their feet and with Ben Summers given a more advanced role, started to finally play some football. After 35 minutes, a great run and cross by Ben Summers down the left was slotted home from the edge of the six yard box by James Harrison.
United started the second half the better and had South Normanton penned in their own half for the first ten minutes and were unlucky not to equalise with a James Harrison shot just rising over the crossbar.
After that, the game was a more even affair with South Normanton having more of the possession but United looking dangerous on the break but not really knowing how to beat Andrew Mottershead, who was having impressive game in the heart of the South Normanton defence.
The game was finally decided in injury time. With Belper United pushing for a equaliser, they got caught on the break and Shane Newton headed home to secure all three points for South Normanton.
Paul Postlethwaite said: “The lads gave me everything today. We were really under the cosh for the first 20 minutes and deserved to be 2-0 down, but we gradually fought our way back into the game and got a goal back and South Normanton only secured the victory in injury time. “
He added: “On the day, South Normanton had too much experience and class for us but we are learning all the time and not downhearted at all. I’m sure a performance like this will give us a good chance of a positive result next Saturday.”