United make round two for the first time ever

Luke Crosby
Luke Crosby

Belper United made history and progressed into the second round for first the time ever with a 4-1 win over Clay Cross Town on Saturday.

Boss Steve Watson made four changes for this first round tie against CML North side Clay Cross, as Josh Wisdom came in for his first start of the season up front with Ben Litchfield coming in at right-back after performing well for the reserves.

Joe Sparham and Adam Taylor also returned from injury to make the starting 11.

The game started in the pouring rain but a tight first ten minutes saw both teams looking dangerous.

Belper made the first impact after 12 minutes when Wisdom neatly controlled the ball to run through and crash home from 18 yards.

United looked rampant with both wide men, Ben Summers and Sam Vickers, causing trouble and on 25 minutes doubled their lead when Luke Crosby ran through the centre to slot past the oncoming keeper.

Clay Cross finally find their feet and took a hold of the game. After 35 minutes they pulled a goal back when a 30 yard free-kick was spilled by Adam Jablonski and after a goalmouth scramble the impressive Ant Lynam scored from inside the six yard box.

Clay Cross were pushing hard for an equaliser but last ditch defending saw Belper to half-time with a slender lead.

The second-half was a more even affair with both sides playing great football in the tricky damp conditions.

Clay Cross’s Carl Longmore blazed a glorious chance over from six yards out before Jablonski was forced to make a fabulous point blank save to keep them at bay.

After 80 minutes, United finally secured their win as Crosby ran through to slot home again and five minutes later he repeated the feat, this time rounding the goalkeeper and finishing into an empty net for a well deserved hat-trick.