Clipstone secure Notts Senior Cup final place

Clipstone celebrate one of Nicky Walker's goals in the Notts Senior Cup semi-final (Pic: Andy Sumner)
Clipstone celebrate one of Nicky Walker's goals in the Notts Senior Cup semi-final (Pic: Andy Sumner)

Clipstone are one win away from a trophy, having reached the Notts Senior Cup final for the second time in two years.

The Cobras squeezed past Radford on Tuesday night, winning 2-1.

Nicky Walker got both goals for Clipstone, who will meet Basford in the final on 26th April, at Mansfield Town’s OneCall Stadium.

Their route to the final included a 5-2 win over Kimberley Miners Welfare and an away victory on penalties at Ollerton.

The semi-final was their first game under new boss Billy Fox, the replacement for James Colliver who took over the reigns at Sheffield FC.

With no outfield substitutes all 11 players played the full 90 minutes and each of them dug deep as Radford applied pressure in the last 20 minutes.

Former manager Jas Colliver stepped in as a player and almost got his name on the scoresheet.

Clipstone had the first chance of note on 14 minutes when a long ball from Colliver was chested down by Pat Lindley into the path of Oli Ryan who was then bundled over as he went past a defender but the referee waived play on.

Radford’s danger man and top scorer, John King, then set up Phil Hinton but the latter’s shot was off target.

The visitors then created a great chance after 23 minutes when James Ashmore and Liam Royles took a quick free kick.

Royles moved the ball to Walker and his cross from the right evaded all defenders and Colliver looked to have scored from two yards out until Radford ‘keeper Richard Stainsby some how clawed the ball back when it looked to have gone past him.

The Cobras did deservedly take the lead on 26 minutes when Jahmal Smith made progress down the left hand side and then pulled the ball back from the goal line to Walker who scored with a low left foot shot from ten yards.

After Steve Hernandez had denied King with an outstretched leg, Radford were back on level terms nine minutes later when King broke quickly and set up Dave Udoh who scored from close range.

Clipstone regained the lead four minutes later with a fine solo goal from Walker after a mistake by Radford ‘keeper Stainsby.

The Cobras had the first opportunity of the second half when a long headed clearance from Michael Trench allowed Walker to get in behind the defence but this time Richard Stainsby stood tall and saved the attempted chip shot.

Walker then turned creator and set up Ryan but Stainsby did well to get down low and take the ball off the striker’s toes.

Walker continued to be the Cobras’ main attacking threat and he saw a 25-yard shot come back off the bar on 54 minutes before a 30-yard long ball from Josh Scully gave him another opportunity but this time his half-volley was wide of the post.

Clipstone legs naturally began to tire and Radford mounted a sustained offensive in the last 20 minutes to get a goal back and take the tie into extra time.

King’s influence on the game was reduced via the combined efforts of Trench and Scully on the left hand side whilst Jamie McAllister dealt well with the aerial balls.

Lindley, returning from a layoff, was dominant all over the park winning plenty of challenges and working his socks off.

Radford had a great chance with 16 minutes remaining when a shot by Jahred Russell was saved by Hernandez but the ball fell into the path of Kenny Reeves who contrived to miss the target from two yards out.

There were a number of balls played into their box and scrambles but the Cobras back four plus Hernandez defended well.

There was however a scare in the fifth minute of added time and with the last kick off the game, Joe Meakin saw his shot hit the post and rebound to safety.

A delighted Fox said: “It’s been a good night and a good result.

“The lads have worked hard and put a lot of effort in. We had a couple of lads who had not played for a few weeks and we didn’t want extra time. I said to the lads at half time that the best way not to go into extra time was not to let them score. To a man they stood up as men and did that.”

Praising the goalscorer Walker, he said:” “He’s a class act. Sometimes flair players take liberties when they should bury it and he did that a couple of times but he did enough and I can’t criticise him for the goals he did score.”

The Cobras next game is at home against Thackley FC on Saturday.