Pre-Season Friendly - Saturday 1st August - WTFC vs Belper Town
Match Report: Football Returns! Finally!
After months of heartache and uncertainty football returned to the Recreation Ground under strict guidance from the FA as Wombwell Town hosted NPL outfit Belper Town.
The County Senior League side are a handful of divisions below the semi-pro side but put up a valiant fight and will feel proud to hold out for almost 70 minutes before two quick goals gave Belper the win.
Belper were unsurprisingly the better side throughout the game, but The Wellers had their chances to bag a goal on their first return to action since March.
Wombwell Town's defence held on well with Jono Davis making a number of saves and catches in goal to deny the opposition and made his first significant save on 22 minutes to give Belper a corner.
The ball did find its way into the back of the net twice in the first half, but both were ruled out for offside as Belper continued to press forward to no avail.
On 35 minutes there was something for the home fans (yes we did have support, which was carefully managed) to cheer as Luke Norbury, son of Belper Assistant Manager Mick, drove in a shot from the edge of the area and forced Ryan Musselwhite to parry away.
Three minutes later and a mistake by Musselwhite saw the keeper carry the ball outside the area as he collected the forward pass, but sadly Gareth McDermott could only strike the resulting free-kick wide.
On the stroke of half time Davis made yet another save to keep the score 0-0 at half time.
It was an almost total team change in the second half as Belper switched players freely and changed from yellow to white.
The change of personnel almost backfired three minutes into the half as McDermott broke through on goal and forced new keeper Lee Overton to block the shot.
Belper had the ball in the net for a third time on 55 minutes, but yet again it was disallowed, this time because of a foul on Joe Egan in the build up.
Danny South eventually gave the visitors a deserved lead on 68 minutes when he headed home the cross where the experienced player rose higher than Jake Padgett who fell into Davis giving the keeper no chance to get the ball.
It was a quickfire double as Steve McDonnell tapped home a minute later after Davis saved with his legs from the first shot but couldn't react quickly enough to stop the advancing forward.
In the final ten minutes Wombwell Town tried to be a bit creative and after a Luke Exley free-kick went over the bar a long range free-kick by Padgett nearly caught Overton off his line, but it too went over the bar.
Arguably the home side's best chances came with three minutes to go when Under-19 player Harley Blankley forced a save from Overton which produced a corner, from which one of his U19 team mates, Brad Cresswell, also forced a save.
Match Result: Wombwell Town 0, Belper Town 2.
WTFC Line-Up: Davis, Padgett, Bishop, Lycett, Westwood, Egan, Exley, James, Norbury, Peace, McDermott.
Subs All Used: Tedoradze, Sheldon (gk), Sellars, Blankley, Croggan, Cresswell.
Wellers' WhatsApp Group Man of the Match: Joe Egan.