Barwell 1 Belper Town 0
Barwell break Belper with One Minute Winner as they move ever closer to the League title.
After taking the lead in the very first minute from a Kev Charley header, Barwell edged closer to the Evo-stik Division One South title with a tight victory. This was a close game and to their credit Belper took the game to the home side and asked many questions of the Barwell back four. To their credit, the home defence were up to the task and defended out the match.
The game started in the best possible way for the hosts as Jamie Towers received the ball on the right and lobbed to Kev Charley on the six yard line. He made an excellent connection and headed the ball up and over Alessandro Barcherini to stun the away supporters and give Barwell a dream start in the first minute.
In the fourth minute, Barwell were on the back foot as they faced a corner from Le Thompson. He drilled the ball low and it was just scrambled away by the joint efforts of the home back line.
In the ninth minute, the ball fell sweetly for Jon Froggatt who had been impressive in the match a few weeks ago. His volley had Richard Morris diving as he pushed the ball round the post and out for the corner.
Both sides were venturing forwards but neither had their touch going and defenders and goal lines won out in most cases. Ruben Wiggins-Thomas and Kev Charley both went close but to no avail.
With 21 minutes played, Froggatt beat the offside trap and crossed into the space across the six yard line. Fortunately for Barwell, the ball evaded everyone and went out for the goal kick.
On the half hour, Froggatt again threatened as he evaded the challenge of Francino Francis but his shot ended the wrong side of the post.
Belper went close on 39 minutes through Jamie Smith whose shot from close range was well stopped by Richard Morris in the Barwell goal. Froggatt was following up and guided the ball goalwards but Morris recovered in time to push the ball up onto the bar and safety.
As the half came to an end, Belper were looking the more organised but neither side was able to penetrate the back line and Morris in particular looked composed and capable.
On the stroke of half time, Jamie Towers had a shot from the right and the ball almost grazed the post but the score remained unchanged.
In the second half, Belper started strongly and threatened through Froggatt and Daryll Thomas but they were again unable to score.
However, with 50 minutes played, Matt Plant latched onto a ball from the right and volleyed drawing a superb one handed save from Richard Morris.
Barwell had a chance on the hour but Luke Barlone was unable to convert a Towers cross as he encountered a defensive foot ahead of the ball.
With a quarter hour left to play, Jamie Towers combined well with Lewis Dodd and Scott Rickards. Towers went for the return on the six yard line but once again, Belper, this time in the form of Liam Davies, made a timely interception and brought the ball away.
After 80 minutes, Scott Rickards was shown a yellow card after a challenge in the middle of the field.
Four minutes later, Rickards played an excellent ball in from the right for Towers on the penalty spot. He timed his header well but could only find the awaiting arms of Barcherini for Belper.
Belper had a chance to equalise with five minutes left as Matt Plant met a corner from Wiggins-Thomas with his head but he could not find the target and the ball went just past the post.
In the last minute of normal time, the hard ground almost caused a problem for Richard Morris as he fended away a shot from Lee Thompson. He was expecting to catch but the extra bounce forced him to parry over the bar.
In the third of four stoppage minutes, Andy Rushbury forced a decent save from Morris as he headed goalwards but the Barwell stopper parried and gathered at the second attempt.
Belper did at times look the better side but Barwell held on to gain an invaluable three points against a spirited Belper side that have seen much improvement over the last few weeks.
For an excellent display with some excellent saves, Richard Morris was awarded Man of the Match.
Needing only a draw from the match against Newcastle Town to win the league, Barwell will be out for the three points having dominated the fixture at Kirkby Road earlier in the season only to be pegged back by a late penalty.
Team: Richard Morris, Scott Lower, Chris Hollist, Guy Sanders, Francino Francis, Jai Stanley (Lewis Dodd 66), Jamie Towers, Scott Hadland, Luke Barlone (Nigel Julien79), Kev Charley (Scott Rickards 73), Craig Dutton.
Subs not used: Richard Letts, Adam Wykes.
Goal: Charley 1 min.
Man of the Match: Richard Morris