Selston extend lead at the top after win over Belper

Selston FC v Belper
Selston FC v Belper

CMFL South Division leaders Selston extended their lead at the top of the table to six points with a win over second-placed Belper United.

Belper came to the Parish Ground in good form, having beaten Swanwick PR 3-0 in midweek, and they were clearly raring to go, Louis Mundin and Sam Vickers catching the eye early on.

Selston FC v Belper

Selston FC v Belper

The first action of note came after 8 minutes when Selston striker Carl Moore picked up on a loose ball and played in partner Wayne Cooke who’s shot was well blocked by the United defence.

The game was one of attrition, with both teams trying to wear the other down. Belper’s early efforts came from distance with Vickers firing well over the bar on a couple of occasions. The game close to an opener when Vickers did find the target after 15 minutes but Jake Ball was equal to his angled shot.

Selston had to replace midfield dynamo Joe Riley due to injury on 20 minutes, Sean Gregory the replacement.

Just four minutes later, skipper Ben Moore got Selston’s party started when he chased down a ball wide left and headed the goalward.

Selston FC v Belper

Selston FC v Belper

His effort struck the bar and Wayne Cooke was on hand to register the first of the day and his 12th of the season.

Sam Vickers beat the offside trap and finished expertly to drag his side back into contention.

The pace of the game increased with both sides attacking ceaselessly. On 25 minutes, Carl Moore restored the Parishioners lead when he hit an early shot, defender Adam Robley got a block in but the ball looped up and over United keeper Scott Whittingham to make it 2-1 to the hosts.

The score remained that way until half time.

Early in the second half, Shaun Farnsworth made an uncharacteristic error, his weak back pass letting in Sam Vickers. However, the Belper man’s touch gave Selston custodian Ball just enough encouragement and the keeper dived bravely at the feet of the hit man to smother the chance and keep his side clear ahead in the tie.

A series of half chances came and went for the hosts; Perry Marriott heading wide from a corner when unmarked was probably the pick of the bunch.

With the game stretching towards the closing stages, the visitors putting everything into attempting a come back, Sean Gregory collected the ball from Jake Ball’s throw and drove at the Belper back line.

The Selston midfielder’s ball put top scorer Carl Moore in space in the area and despite the best attempts of Shaun Roulston, the Selston marksman’s shot was true and angled across Whittingham to make it 3-1 to Selston, this his 19th goal of the campaign.

The win secured a six-point lead for the Parishioners who have two big games to come, with Bulwell on Saturday (March 26) and local rivals Pinxton at the Parish two days later on Easter Monday.