Lincoln United midfielder Rob Norris salvaged a point for his side at Belper yesterday to extend the Whites unbeaten run to five League and Cup games.

There was to be no repeat of Tuesday’s FA Cup annihilation of Belper as the hosts took the lead after only three minutes when Josh Barr-Rostron weaved his way into United’s penalty to hit the opening goal.

Appeals for offside fell on deaf ears as the assistant referee’s flag remained firmly by his side.

It took Sam Wilkinson’s men 15 minutes to make their first attempt on the Belper goal when striker Conner Robinson’s twenty-yard screamer fizzed just past the post.

Robinson followed up that effort a minute later when his quick turn and shot skimmed the bar.

Belper looked dangerous on the break and United’s back five had to remain focused and aware of the Nailers’ speedy strikeforce.

In the 38th minute Sam Wilkinson’s charges began a move from the back and played the ball on the deck through midfield and up to the forwards.

Seven men were involved in the build-up which was finished off by the in-form Rob Norris who smashed home the equaliser from 20 yards.

Five minutes later Robinson found himself islolated up front so decided to take on the Belper back five single-handedly.

His mazy run ended in the keeper’s gloves but only after the Whites’ front man had beaten four defenders.

For the first 15 minutes of the second half, United piled on the pressure and at one stage the home side could only stand and watch.

Ryan Oliver worked tirelessly and would have been rewarded with his second goal for the club but for the heroics of Danny Roberts in the Belper goal.

Shortly afterwards, Cotton’s shot clipped the bar but then at the other end of the pitch, Jake Turner had to pull off a tremendous reaction save to keep the scoreline level.

Belper fought back and would have grabbed the winner in the final minute of added-on time but for young Luke Hornsey’s match-saving tackle.

Overall a draw was a fair result but you could sense the disappointment in the United players as they trooped off the pitch knowing that all three points was well within their grasp.

Tomorrow afternoon Carlton Town visit the Sun Hat Villas in a match which Sam Wilkinson’s side will be looking to grab all three points in front of an expectant Bank Holiday Monday crowd.

Peter Hayward

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