Belper United continued their strong end to the season with back-to-back 4-0 victories in the Central Midlands League South.
Following on from the victory against Mickleover Royals in the week, they lined up on Saturday at Calverton MW.
The game changed on 30 minutes when Kyle Wadsworth’s floated free kick into the box was missed by the Calverton keeper and, after a ricochet , Joe Sparham had the easiest chance of heading the ball in the net until a Calverton MW player nipped in and handled it on the line.
The referee immediately pointed to the spot and showed the full back a red card. Kyle Wadsworth stepped up to score.
Into the second half, on 49 minutes Shaun Smith’s solo run easily outpaced the Calverton MW defender and he slotted home to make it 2-0.
Chances were coming Belper United’s way but it wasn’t until the 65th minute that they finally put the game out of Calverton’s reach. Luke Crosby on the right got to the line and a low cross was met by Dan Riley who smashed it home.
Sub Matt Phillips had a chance to make an immediate impact but his sidefoot shot came back of the post.
Phillips got his reward late on when his volleyed cross deceived the goalkeeper and ended up looping into the top corner to make it four for Belper United.
Manager Steve Watson said: “The penalty on 30 minutes and subsequent red card changed the game in our favour. We finished the game off well in the second half and deserved our victory. It has been a long season and we have just one game left to secure third and our best finish in the CML.
“Hopefully we can continue to build in pre-season, and retain the current players for a real push at the title next year.”
Coach Phill Alcock added: “We are finishing the season strongly without playing at our best.”
“We now have four straight clean sheets, which means our goalkeepers and defenders are working well in tandem and has given our midfield and strikers a solid base to work from.”