Belper United knocked off the top by defeat at Hucknall Town

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A damaging defeat against one of their closest title rivals, Hucknall Town, dumped Belper United off the top of the table in the Central Midlands League’s South Division.

United travelled to Watnall Road full of confidence after only two defeats in 18 league games all season, but they crashed 4-1 to a Hucknall side bouncing back to their best after a barren run of four consecutive losses.

ACTION from Belper United's 4-1 defeat at Hucknall Town.

ACTION from Belper United's 4-1 defeat at Hucknall Town.

After Kajally Danso and Adam Nelson had given The Yellows a two-goal lead, Paul Postlethwaite’s team were given hope by a Sam Vickers penalty that reduced the deficit on the stroke of half-time. But new signing Joe Ashurst put Hucknall 3-1 up in the 65th minute before Leon Aikman’s stoppage-time strike sealed the home side’s emphatic victory.

United duly surrendered top spot to Selston, who also have two games in hand and looked in commannding form as they disposed of Blidworth Welfare 2-0. In a full-blooded contest, the home team took an 11th minute lead through Rory Davis and doubled it on 56 when Ben Moore’s corner evaded everyone to end up in the net. The result stretched Selston’s highly impressive winning sequence to 13 matches. This Saturday, they entertain Mickleover Royal British Legion, while United are at home to Keyworth United and Hucknall travel to meet Blidworth.

At the other end of the South Division table, the woes of Holbrook St Michael’s continued in a 5-1 defeat against fellow strugglers Bulwell. Holbrook did take a 20th minute lead through Josh Muschett and were still in front until collapsing in the last 27 minutes when they conceded five goals, including a 15-minute hat-trick from Bulls hero Sean Craven.

In the Reserves Division, bottom-of-the-table St Michael’s Reserves went down 3-1 at Sherwood Colliery Reserves for their 13th straight defeat of a torrid campaign, despite a goal from Aaron Pegg, while Holbrook Sports Reserves threw away a 2-0 half-time lead, supplied by Kristian Gilbert and Callum Green, to draw 2-2 at Harworth Reserves, who scored twice in the last 15 minutes.