Belper belter is perfect prep for Linby’s cup final

TOP MAN HICKMAN -- ma-of-the-match goalkeeper Gary Hickman watches on as Linby defender Tom Couipe deals with a scare at Belper.
TOP MAN HICKMAN -- ma-of-the-match goalkeeper Gary Hickman watches on as Linby defender Tom Couipe deals with a scare at Belper.

A copybook away performance to beat high-riding Belper United 2-0 sent LINBY COLLIERY WELFARE into their Notts FA Intermediate County Cup final last night (Thursday) full of confidence.

Belper had won by the same scoreline at Church Lane only 12 days earlier in their initial Central Midlands League, South Division clash. But Linby gained revenge on the back a perfect start when Dale Chapman marked his move to the frontline by latching on to a searching through-ball from Matt Peberday, outpacing the last defender, holding off the challenge of goalkeeper Scott Whittingham and slotting home.

Chapman then turned provider, calmly cutting the ball back from the byeline for strike partner Joe Butler to fire home the second goal from eight yards.

Linby showed terrific character and defensive shape to manage the rest of the game, with stand-in goalkeeper Gary Hickman producing a superb display that included one stunning double-save to deny the division’s top scorer, Sam Vickers, and a string of outstanding stops in the second half. He turned one deflected Vickers effort on to the bar, while in front of him, ex-pro Terry Henshaw marshalled the backline brilliantly.

LINBY LINE-UP (4-4-2) - Hickman/ Frizelle, Henshaw, Loydall, Coupe/ Mitchell R., Peberday, Charles, Mitchell K./ Chapman, Butler. SUBS: Winfield, Ryan, Mann.

LINBY’S win at Belper followed their eclipse of league champions Mickleover Royals. But in between, they suffered a disappointing 2-0 midweek defeat at Swanwick Pentrich Road.

Goals in the first 20 minutes by Shane Buckerfield punished poor defending, and a bad night was capped in the last minute when midfielder Az Ryan was sent off for a second yellow card. Rian Charles was man-of-the-match.