Lincoln United denied valuable win after late Belper Town equaliser

Lincoln United drew 2-2 with Belper Town on Saturday at The Sun Hat Villas Stadium, however the Whites will feel as if they have dropped two points after all the teams above them won in the Evo-Stik First Division South.

A last minute change to the starting line-up saw Jack McGovern pull out. He was replaced by Gary King, with Sean Cann being added to the subs bench.

Lincoln United head into a crucial clash on Tuesday against play-off rivals Basford United (Photo: Ollie Collins)

Lincoln United head into a crucial clash on Tuesday against play-off rivals Basford United (Photo: Ollie Collins)

United’s first chance came in the 12th minute when Matthew Cotton’s half volley was blocked unconventionally by Belper defender Gerome Palmer. The ball struck him in the face and was deflected behind but nothing came from the resulting corner.

A good run and cross from Mitchell Griffiths gave Cotton another good chance for the Whites to take the lead but his diving header was off target.

Belper defender Dominic Allen will want to forget the half hour mark as a blistering shot from Nathan Whitehead struck him where it hurts. The ball fell back to Whitehead but he curled his second attempt wide.

After 32 minutes the Whites deservedly took the lead through Gary King who headed in Cotton’s looped cross.

Just before half time Belper defender Palmer almost doubled United’s lead when his sliced clearance hit the post from a Cotton pass.

Dave Frecklington’s men produced a dominant first half display and arguably should have been more than one goal to the good.

Ten minutes in to the second half the Whites won a free kick which led to a series of corners. Sean Wright had an opportunity to score but his header went wide of the post.

Belper looked a different side after the break and almost pulled the game level on the hour mark, however a series of blocks and a good save from keeper Richard Walton prevented a goal.

A stinging volley from Whitehead after 64 minutes was deflected behind. Back to back corners once again produced a chance for skipper Michael Jacklin but his powerful header struck the crossbar and went over.

In the 66th minute, Belper equalised through Jack O’Brian who converted a cross with his head at the back post.

Twelve minutes later the Whites were back in the lead after Robert Norris’ crossed free kick beat everyone and found the back of the net. The cross came in from the touch line, bounced once and defeated the keeper.

However, the Whites could not hang on to the lead as Belper scored in the second minute of stoppage time through Bradley Wells to level the game. Belper broke up the right side and Wells smashed the ball in with his right foot.

Lincoln United will be left to rue their missed chances in a game they should have won, however, the point does keep Dave Frecklington’s men in fifth position as they prepare for Tuesday night’s play-off clash with Basford United.

Full-time: Lincoln United 2-2 Belper Town

After the game we spoke to Lincoln United manager Dave Frecklington:

“To concede in the 92nd minute is really frustrating.”

“We’ve switched off in the full back area and they’ve equalised.”

“We’ve won four and drawn one in our last five which is good form.”

“We had about 20 corners and put numerous balls in to the box. We hit the bar and Matt (Cotton) should have scored with a header.”

“We dominated the whole game and asked question after question of their defence and on another day we win the game comfortably, but today they’ve worked hard and nicked a draw.”

“We’re still right in the mix. The lads feel like it’s a defeat in there but I’ve said heads up and we go again on Tuesday.”