U21s win away at Eastwood
U21s consolidate second spot with 1-0 win away to Eastwood
In their first game since the end of November, the U21s faced third placed Eastwood on their 3G pitch. With Sam Birks and Dylan Garnett now playing regular First Team football and injuries/absences to other strikers, Fenwick Butcher stepped in to lead the line.
Unsurprisingly Belper looked a little rusty but pressed quickly from kick off with Fen proving to be an excellent focal point. He forced the Eastwood full back into a mistake and Laurence Constable forced the ball home to put Belper ahead after only 4 minutes. Eastwood grew into the game and had significant spells of possession but Belper continued to force mistakes and had good chances to take the game out of sight by half time. Despite the half time lead, there was still room for improvement and Belper came out and improved their possession and passing game. Butcher, Cartwright and Bullock prompted by Constable continued to cause problems but it was the defence that caught the eye. The back four of Parker, Broughton, Brumby and Gandola, supported by Knowles and Barnes were well organised and keeper Rathbone didn't have a serious save to make. Taggart and Wood came on to provide fresh legs and Belper saw out the game to maintain their status as the only unbeaten side in the League. Eastwood can now only match Belper current points tally and have a worse goal difference. Belper have twosomes in hand on both Eastwood and top side FBT who have a 5 point lead. The U21s are back in action at home in the cup on Wednesday.
Rathbone, Parker, Broughton, Brumby, Gandola, Barnes, Knowles, Constable, Cartwright, Butcher, Bullock. Subs; Taggart, Wood, Sismey