U21s clinch double with 3-1 win
The U21s clinch a league and cup double with a 3-1 victory over Borrowash Vics
With a League decision yet to be made about Mondays cancelled match against AFC Mansfield, the U21s went into the game in the knowledge that anything better than a 14-0 defeat would land them the title. The situation seemed to affect Belper early on as at times they were uncharacteristically wasteful in possession and slow to close down. However the side settled as the game progressed and some great, flowing attacking moves created a number of chances. It was from one of these that Belper took the lead, a lovely through ball from Joe Hunt putting Sam Birks clear to put Belper ahead with a cool finish. Vics were a bigger side and causing problems from set pieces and Mark Rathbone was called upon to make two or three excellent saves. Belper nerves were settled when Josh Bullock scored with a fantastic strike from 25 yards into the top corner. Belper missed a number of early chances to take the game away from Vics in the second half and the game became interesting when Vics pulled a goal back. However the U21s settled the game when Sam Birks tapped in from close range after the keeper had parried a shot.
The game completed a remarkable campaign for the young side. This time last season they had finished bottom of the League with only two wins from 14 games. With the AFC Mansfield situation outstanding, the U21s have won 9 from 13, losing only twice and scoring 46 goals as well as lifting the combined North and South League Cup trophy. They have played some excellent attacking football built on a sound defensive base. The players have developed and improved a huge amount over the season with seven of them making First Team appearances. The side finish their season with a champion of champions game against the League North Champions Handsworth next Wednesday on the 3G at Eastwood before taking a well earned break!
Team. Rathbone, Hunt, Broughton, Brumby, Parker, Barnes, Knowles, Butcher, Bullock, Birks, Taylor. Subs. Barker, O'Keefe, Constable, Ilson