Central Midlands League
Premier Division South
Belper United 4
AFC Hucknall 1
BELPER United returned to Alton Manor after five matches away and bounced back to winning form.
United immediately got into their stride and their early pressure forced a number of corners and with Hucknall unable to clear it was from one of these that Belper opened the scoring.
From Brewster’s inswinging flag kick, McRobie challenged the keeper and the ball fell for Slater who smashed it into the roof of the net.
Belper continued to press and Hucknall were restricted to sporadic attacks through the lively Fowler and Mather.
From another corner, Slater headed powerfully past the post when it seemed easier to score, then Brewster and Hemmings had shots but both failed to trouble the Hucknall keeper.
The visitors equalised when Postlethwaite was dispossessed, Denning burst down the right and hit a stinging shot which Jablonski who did well to parry but Denning then lifted the ball to the far post leaving Fowler the easiest of chances to slot home.
Belper responded and Wheeler and McRobie continued to cause Hucknall defensive problems and again they conceded a string of corners.
Brewster’s left footed deliveries caused chaos and it took some desperate defending to keep them out before the inevitable happened when McRobie rose high head home.
United went into half time 2-1 up, but disappointed they didn’t have a better advantage
The second half continued in the same vein with United attacking but they struggled to carve out clear chances from open play although they did threaten every time the visitors conceded a corner.
Brewster asserted himself with increasing authority and his close control and accurate deliveries gave Hucknall endless problems.
First he hit a stinging shot against the foot of a post and then he set Wheeler free down the left. As Wheeler looked to outpace the opposition he was unceremoniously brought down, but he collected himself and when Brewster whipped in another fine cross Wheeler rose majestically at the far post to increase Belper’s lead.
Hucknall failed to mount a meaningful attack and the emerging back three of Slater, Bacon and Postlethwaite were comfortable and assured.
The 76th minute saw a moment of contention. As a cross came in, Hemmings was fouled by his marker and McRobie headed the ball home but the referee awarded a penalty as he had already blown for the infringement.
Hemmings took the penalty and struck it powerfully down the middle of the goal but as the keeper dived to his right he held out a firm left hand to stop the ball but Hemmings was on hand to follow up and slot in Uniteds fourth.
The contest was effectively over and Belper replaced Hemmings with Wilde who made an immediate impact with his deft touches and neat football.
The three points gained and the readjustment due to the withdrawal of Kirkby Town from the league means Belper return to fourth place in the league table.
This Saturday sees Belper’s toughest test this season when they travel up the A38 to take on league leaders South Normanton Athletic FC. Kick off is 3pm