Clipstone go joint top in the NCEL

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Clipstone went joint top in NCEL Division One, third only on goal difference, after a superb 2-0 home win over Emley on Saturday.

With both teams coming into this game so far unbeaten in all competitions, something had to give.

Emley went straight on the attack, winning a corner on the right. Jordan Townsend swung in the set piece, but it was easily dealt with by the Clipstone defenders, and the danger was cleared.

The home side then decided to play their football, keeping possession with precise passing that led to the first shooting opportunity of the game, Callum Mawby not quite connecting correctly and the ball trickling into the hands of the visiting keeper.

On 16 minutes Clipstone were well in control of this game when Jamie Smith found himself in an advanced position on the right edge of the penalty area. He laid the ball off to Matty Ord and, with a first time cross, debutant Josh Gibson got his head to the ball, keeper Adam Lawlor pleased to see it dip just over the crossbar.

Matty Ord continued to be a big threat to the Emley defenders throughout the opening 45 minutes, and was Clipstone’s main outlet going forward.

On 27 minutes Jamie Smith was awarded a free kick 25 yards out from goal after a late challenge from the Emley defence. Ryan Hindley stepped up and whipped in a shot just whistling past the far post.

Just before the break Clipstone won a throw in on the far right, Matt Varley hurled the ball right onto the penalty spot and Jamie Smith just directed his header wide of the near post.

Clipstone came out after the break with real gusto and within 20 seconds of the restart Matty Ord was upended 20 yards out and slightly to the right of goal. This time Ryan Hindley’s effort was well headed clear by Reuben Jerome.

That period of play set up the scene for the second half.

On 51 minutes Clipstone won a corner on the right, again Hindley took the set piece quickly to the edge of the area where Matty Ord was waiting, taking one touch to control and another to blast the ball inside the post to give Clipstone a well deserved lead.

Within two minutes Jamie Smith played in Ord once again and, 35 yards out, he ran on to the edge of the box and with a similar devastating finish doubled his and Clipstone’s tally for the afternoon.

Tempers flared on 57 minutes after a tough high challenge on Steve Whitehead left him rolling on the ground.

A typical handbags at three paces situation soon arose which surprisingly saw Whitehead shown a yellow card along with Emley’s Anthony Leech.

Amongst the melle, Clipstone’s Callum Mawby was adjudged to have pushed over an Emley player and received a straight red, leaving the home side down to 10 men for the remaining 33 minutes.

This left many gaps for Emley to try to take advantage of, so a quick reshuffle of the pack saw Jamie Smith drop to help out the defence and Matt Varley move in midfield. This was a great tactic which left Josh Gibson all alone in a forward position.

Emley substitute Nathan Parks had a great chance to pull a goal back on 80 minutes, but Clipstone were having none of it, Nick Siddons in the Clipstone goal keeping the Emley forwards frustrated.

Clipstone defenders Tom Carnall, Stu Hill and Brandan Shaw were working overtime to keep the home sides two goal cushion.

On 85 minutes Emley won a free kick 20 yards out, Max Leonard firing the ball low just left of the wall, taking a few deflections on the way before Siddons calmly took it into his hands.

Six minutes of added time was played by the referee , with no further goal scoring chances for either team as the sound of the full-time whistle sent the home supporters into raptures.