‘Small margins cost us dearly' - Sleaford boss

​Sleaford Town’s poor run of form continued on Saturday afternoon as they crashed out of the United Counties League Knockout Cup at the first time asking at the hands of Belper United.
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The Greens had already shown vast quantities of character to overturn a 2-0 deficit to haul themselves level at 2-2 at the Longwater Stadium, but they were destined to experience late heartbreak for the third time in as many weeks as Pharrell Waite tapped home in the 96th minutes to steal victory for the Derbyshire outfit.

And it completed a bad week for Sleaford following their humiliating 6-1 defeat at the hand of Wisbech Town in midweek.

Belper found the opener their good early play deserved when a cross was inadvertently diverted into his own net by Max Ward in the six-yard area.

Sleaford score during Saturday's defeat. Photo: Steve W Davies Photography.Sleaford score during Saturday's defeat. Photo: Steve W Davies Photography.
Sleaford score during Saturday's defeat. Photo: Steve W Davies Photography.

Despite Greens improvements, they were to soon find themselves 2-0 down in freakish fashion when Kieran O’Connell’s cross took a wicked deflection before nestling into the net off the bottom of the far post.

The Greens’ response was instantaneous though and just three minutes later they were back in the contest when persistent work from Dominic Kew saw him finally set up Ryan Rushen to smash home at close range to half the deficit.

Sleaford then got level when Marcus Pancho took aim from distance and crashed a wonderful effort into the net.

But despite the Greens looking set to be the ones to steal a late goal it was a lapse of concentration at the other end that saw Pharrell Waite on hand to untidily tap over Liam Flitton and steal the tie for the Derbyshire side.

Player-boss Tom Ward told the club’s media channels: “Small margins were the difference in the game. I feel like we did more than enough to win the game comfortably but we didn’t get the luck again what with the own goal, the second goal being deflected and then to concede with the last kick of the game when we’d done ever so well to get level.

"It’s a difficult time but we'll pick ourselves up and go again.”

The Greens now have a free midweek before local rivals Newark & Sherwood United visit the Longwater Stadium on Saturday afternoon for a crucial league clash.