Clipstone cut gap at top of NCEL Premier with derby win over Rainworth

Nicky Walker scores from the spot for Clipstone. Pic by Andrew Sumner
Nicky Walker scores from the spot for Clipstone. Pic by Andrew Sumner

Clipstone cut the gap on NCEL Premier Division leaders Tadcaster Albion with a 3-0 win over Rainworth.

The game was effectively won in the first half when Rainworth failed to capitalise on the advantage of a strong wind, in a half where they were always second best and trailed by the only goal.

A penalty and a strike from the league’s leading marksman Alex Denton in the second half ensured it was Clipstone, who deserverdly went into the New Year in the better spirits.

It ended a good day for Clipstone with pacesetters Tadcaster having their game postponed and fellow pace-setters Worskop Town being held to a 2-2 draw.

Rainworth almost caught Hernandez out in the 8th minute when Matt Sykes snap shot was caught on the wind.

It was Clipstone however who looked the more threatening and should probably have taken the lead a few minutes later, when Ryan put his effort over when well placed.

Such was the Clipstone dominance at this stage that you would have been forgiven for thinking it was they who had the advantage of the wind.

Walker saw his effort flash past the post and Guy must have thought he had scored only to see Widdowson pull off a remarkable save at the expense of a corner.

A goal seemed inevitable and it came when Clipstone broke and Somes’ cross was put into the bottom corner by Walker.

Rainworth had their moments, but it wasn’t until the final minute of the half when Liam Morris had a couple of chances, the first saved by Hernandez and the second taken off his toe when it seemed the equaliser was inevitable.

Rainworth started the second half brightly and began to string some passes together, but they had the post to thank in the 49th minute when the wind aided a corner.

Clipstone were awarded a 53rd minute penalty when Matt Plant was adjudged to have fouled in the area, Walker stepped up and doubled the lead.

Rainworth almost pulled one back in the 57th minute when Connor Smythe’s effort was saved at full stretch by Hernandez.

It was Smythe again who caused trouble in the 64th minute when, after a mazy run, he left defenders in his wake before shooting over the bar.

Just when it looked that Rainworth were getting back into the game Alex Denton hit a shot that gave Widdowson no chance and finally put the game out of reach.