Wicked deflection brings cruel defeat

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For the second game running a wicked deflection robbed Hucknall Town of at least a share of the points, this time away at title contenders Belper United.

The Yellows will equally be disappointed with their own performance, aiding to their own downfall, in a game that saw them create enough chances to have won comfortably. Town started with recalled Josh Henry at right back, Nathan Robinson and Myles Gorey in midfield. Dave Leak a big loss in the heart of defence due to work.

Robinson twice had a chance to put Town ahead followed by a mis-hit Michael Banister effort. While at the other end Henry was being tested by Belper winger.

Belper took the lead after a cross was not cut out and Tom Crisp was out jumped at the back post, the header falling to the unmarked centre forward to stroke into the net.

Town didn’t really get going and Belper were keen to time waste from this point on. Neither side produced any chances of note for the rest of the half.

The second half was dominated from the off by Town and within a minute Niall Thompson was denied by the far post with the keeper well beaten. Town looked good going forward and Henry had blunted the Belper winger’s threat forcing him inside.

The game was still stop-start and the Town supporters incensed by some bizarre decisions by both the referee and his assistants.

Nathan Francis and Johnny Hamilton were introduced and gave Town more pace going forward and it was Hamilton who struck the same post as Thompson following a good jinking run and shot with keeper scrambling across.

Town were pressing for the equaliser and it finally came when Thompson finished well into the bottom corner.

Belper responded with a rising shot that James Beddingham looked to have got a hand to and then a slip let in their striker but Beddingham stuck a foot out to knock the ball clear.

Town had a golden opportunity to take the lead when a Hamilton cross found Leon Aikman unmarked with the goal at his mercy. He chose to side foot first time rather than take a touch and make sure, to give Belper a huge let off.

Five minutes of added time were indicated by the referee.

They were already deep in to it when Beddingham chose to pass to Myles Gorey just outside the penalty box, when the safer option would have been to go long.

Belper’s Sam Vickers seized on this opportunity and nipped in to take the ball. Gorey pulled him down and was sent off as last man and Town faced a direct free kick, with the clock now showing seven minutes of stoppage.

Hucknall had their worst fears realised when the resulting free kick took a wicked deflection off Henry’s shoulder and past Beddigham via the post. Town (4-2-3-1): Beddingham, Henry, Danso, Atkinson, Crisp, Robinson (Francis), Banister, Gorey, Aikman, Waplington (Hamilton), Thompson. Subs not used: Gatland.