United prepare for semi-final

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Belper United could be the first to play under the new floodlights similar in specification to those found at Football Conference stadia at Christchurch Meadow.

They will be up against Swanwick Pentrich Road on Tuesday, March 18, in the Central Midlands League Cup Quarter-Final.

Ground owners Belper Town have completed the installation of some of the best floodlighting in non-league football.

Constructed at a cost of £76,000, the new floodlighting system has doubled the existing lighting levels at Christchurch Meadow and was made possible after the Evo-Stik First Division South Nailers secured a £35,000 grant from the Football Stadia Improvement Fund, supporters of the Football Foundation and the largest funder of Non-League football in the country.

Belper United have started slowly this year after the long lay-off due to the weather but have finally got back to winning ways against top five side Allenton United.

Ten days’ rest will also see a number of players returning to the squad after injuries and work commitments.

Local rivals Swanwick Pentrich Road are currently in 13th place in there first season in the CML but are unbeaten in the last five matches in all competitions and recently beat second placed South Normanton Athletic 2-1.

Earlier in the season, Swanwick Pentrich Road inflicted Belper United’s first home defeat at Christchurch Meadow with 3-1 victory. Goals from Ash Buxton, Anthony Fay and Andy White won the game for the Swans and United’s lone reply came from Luke Crosby.

Belper United manager Steve Watson said: ”It’s always a close game between the two sides and with it being a cup game anything can happen.

“We have just come off a poor run of results but have been playing well and we are in good positive spirits. We have a good opportunity to get to the semi-finals and match last year’s efforts where we were knocked out by AFC Mansfield with the last kick of the game.”