United end long season by securing third place

Belper United's Joe Sparham
Belper United's Joe Sparham

Belper United finally reached the end of their season last week by beating Bilborough Pelican 3-2 to clinch a creditable third in the CML South.

The game kicked off and for 20 minutes was an even affair, with Bilborough Pelican having plenty of possession and having a couple of good chances early on, but Belper United did well to sniff out the danger.

After 20 minutes, Belper took the lead. Great play on the left by Adam Nicholls saw the ball squared to Kyle Wadsworth on the edge of the area and his low shot easily beat the Bilborough keeper.

On 28 minutes, Belper United scored a second as an exquisite through-ball from Joe Sparham, found Shaun Smith and the club’s leading scorer took it in his stride and smashed it home.

Belper United looked to score a third but missed a couple of very good chances, the worst culprit being Joe Sparham who headed wide from only two yards out.

Bilborough Pelican weren’t gving up though and, just before half-time, a shot from the edge of the area was saved well at the second attempt by Adam Jablonski.

Bilborough came out the stronger side after the break and for 20 minutes took the game to Belper United and the pace of the forwards was causing Belper United problems.

Belper looked like they could score on the break but the next goal was crucial. On 65 minutes, Pelican raced through and slotted pastAdam Jablonski to make the game 2-1.

They then went looking for an equaliser and only a spectacular save from Adam Jablonski kept them at bay.

Belper United looked to have finally secured all three points on 75 minutes when a neat ball found Adam Nicholls in the area and he waltzed past three players before his clever finish from inside the six-yard box nestled in the far corner.

Bilborough Pelican scored a second goal from close range in the final seconds.