Belper’s FA Cup dream turns into a nightmare
By David Laughlin
Belper Town’s FA Cup dream is over for another season after a poor performance and a 4-0 loss against Romulus, a club relegated last season from the Evo Stik League, writes Theo de Reus.
PHOTO: Marcus Day battles for midfield possession (Pic: Tim Harrison)
At the final whistle no-one in yellow and black could complain about this very disappointing outcome, a result that cost the club a significant amount of prize money that was on offer to the winners.
Despite the outcome, Belper started the game very well and after a killer pass through the Romulus defence, Nathan Curtis found himself 1 on 1 with Romulus goalkeeper, Pearson. But what followed was a real howler as Curtis scooped the ball over the goal from a great position.
For the Nailers, this was a forerunner for a miserable Saturday afternoon for the Belper supporters, who were a majority presence in the Castle Vale stadium
Halfway the first half Romulus deservedly took a lead after a fine move that split the Belper defence apart when Simon Williams hit an inviting ball from the left that Luke Richards guided into the bottom corner with a well-directed header.
Ten minutes later, more misery was piled on the Nailers when Danny South looked to have been pushed inside the penalty area. As he tried to keep his feet the ball struck his hand and the referee had no hesitation in awarding a penalty kick.
Mitch Piggon’s spot kick was well struck but despite a great effort from Max Beardmore, Romulus gained a two-goal advantage.
It had been miserable first period for Belper, who after Curtis’s early effort, were unable to create a decent scoring opportunity.
In the second half the Nailers opted for a more direct style to emulate the home team’s style of play but all too often the Romulus defenders were masters in the air.
Despite the lack of creativity on midfield, Belper at least mounted a few more meaningful sorties on the Romulus goal but the final ball into the area usually found a home defender.
As Belper started to gain territorial control without creating anything of note, Romulus were always dangerous on the counterattack.
Romulus made it 3-0 when a flowing move down the right saw a quick cross with Richards on the end to slot it past Beardmore
To make matters worse, another break down the right created by Luke Richards saw Romulus in on goal again, but after a great save by Breadmore, the ball come back out to Richards who hit it with the outside of his left foot into the top corner to make the game safe.
A late flurry from Belper saw them find the crossbar with a loopoing header but that would only have served as a consolation on what was a desperate day for the club and its supporters, and perhaps even more so for the bean counters at the Silver X Stadium.
Belper Town: Beardmore, Lucas, Clark, Paylor, South, Assenso, Gordon (Sturgess), Day, Peterson, Curtis, Milner (Crouz), Unused sub: Johal