United suffer an off day in top-of-the-table clash

Belper United 0

Sutton Town 3

Sutton Town started the first half of this vital top-of-the-table clash playing down the wind in a match which saw bright sunshine, torrential rain and hailstones.

Belper United were always under pressure from the wind and their inability to clear their lines. On five minutes, Sutton had a goal disallowed when a corner was headed in but the referee deemed that the scorer had been climbing on the back of the defender.

15 minutes in and Sutton Town opened the scoring. A long ball to the back post saw a Sutton Town striker in far too much space and he easily slotted home. And 15 minutes later Sutton Town scored an almost identical goal, as another long floated ball to the back post found a Sutton Town striker andm after an exquisite touch, he tucked the ball into the far corner.

Belper had no choice but to start pushing forward and an effort from just inside the box finally saw a save from Gav Saxby in the Sutton Town goal.

The second half started with Belper United having the advantage of the wind but they were off their game, and even with lots of possession never looked like turning that into the required goals.

Striving to get back in the game Steve Watson made three changes. Josh Wisdom, Jamie Wilde and Micky Dunne came on for Tim Perry, Matt Phillips and Ben Summers, going three up front, but as before the pressure all came to nothing.

Sutton Town always looked like scoring on the break, and, on 93 minutes, with Belper United still pushing forward, Sutton Town broke away and scored their third goal to complete a well-deserved victory.

Team manager Steve Watson said: “It was a crucial game and today we just didn’t turn up and Sutton Town were good value for their win. It has been a busy few weeks and I can’t fault the commitment of the players and staff, so we will continue pushing in the last few matches.”

“Unfortunately, the league title isn’t in our own hands now, but I’m sure there will be more twists and turns before the season is completed.”

Coach Phill Alcock added: “One bad game doesn’t make us a bad team. Since joining the club earlier this year, I have been very impressed by the quality of the side and I am sure we will continue to improve. This club and everyone in it is getting geared up to move forward and I am sure before long they will get their just rewards.”

Next matches (All CML South Fixtures) for Belper United are:

Belper United v Nottingham United - Saturday, May 4 - 3pm KO

Belper United v Mickleover Royals - Tuesday, May 7 - 6.15pm KO

Calverton MW v Belper United - Saturday, May 11 - 3pm KO