Clipstone stay on track with win over Railway

Clipstone v Lincoln Moorlands Railway.    'Ryan Damms scores for Clipstone in the second half.

Clipstone v Lincoln Moorlands Railway. 'Ryan Damms scores for Clipstone in the second half.

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Two second half goals saw Clipstone keep the pressure on the NCEL Division One frontrunners as they stayed on track with a 2-0 home win over Lincoln Moorlands Railway.

The Cobras are third with three games in hand on leaders AFC Emley with just a three point gap to close.

The extremely windy conditions were not conducive for a football spectacle, especially for the quick-passing, high energy Cobras, though they gave it a good go.

Ryan Damm had an excellent opportunity to open the scoring after just two minutes, hitting a half volley inches over the bar.

Lincoln were worthy opponents in the early exchanges and won themselves a series of corners, thanks to some great goalkeeping from Nick Siddons.

Their number 11 had a great chance, so must have been disappointed to see his effort fly over the bar.

Lincoln were working really hard at this stage of the game, but the Clipstone defenders showed their experience in soaking up the pressure.

Matty Ord went on one of his regular runs on 10 minutes, this time the ball just running away from him, and a throw-in for Lincoln was given.

Before the game restarted the referee gave Ash Rawson a stern talking to for an off-the-ball incident.

One minute later great interchanging between Rob Paling and Jamie Brown, saw Paling unleash a rasping shot which must have stung the keeper’s hands.

The windy conditions was really spoiling what could have been a great game of football, neither side being able to sustain any constant pressure.

Lincoln won a free kick 25 yards out which was hit straight into the wall, and Clipstone cleared their lines. This enabled the home side to keep the ball for a while.

Ord received the ball wide on the left and swung a vicious cross into the area which the visiting keeper did very well to hold onto.

The opportunities to use set pieces to either side’s advantage was not taken efficiently enough, mostly down to not using the conditions to the best effect.

On 34 minutes debutant Levi Walker played a through ball for Damm, just evading the striker’s touch and running through to the Lincoln keeper.

Again Lincoln’s midfield was working overtime, not allowing the high-flying Cobras to settle.

Each pass was being contested and no real chances created.

Near the end of the first period Clipstone won a free kick just outside the Lincoln penalty area, but Steve Whitehead’s direct kick was deflected out for a corner off a central defender.

The resulting corner was played into the mix, sending confusion in the visitors’ defence, but they eventually cleared their lines.

Dan White had a free kick decision given against him on the halfway line, but captain Rich Mintoft, looking back to full fitness, cleared the danger as the half ended goalless.

Lincoln were not able to keep the high tempo pressing against the home side in the second period, which enabled Clipstone to make more inroads into their opponents’ half.

Young Walker was looking like he had been in the settled side and never looked out of sync for the whole game.

He did well in clearing his lines after being put under pressure from a Lincoln free kick which was deliberately played in his direction, a test that he passed with flying colours.

Ten minutes into the second half manager Chris Millington decided it was time to shake things up, so he gave Ord a deserved rest and replaced him with Dan Wood.

Suddenly Clipstone were carving out all the better chances with the Lincoln players visibly tiring.

On 65 minutes Clipstone really made them pay as Whitehead took another free kick 25 yards out.

He fired the ball in on goal where the keeper saved well, but the rebound went straight to Ryan Damms who cheekily lofted the ball back over the keeper and into the roof of the net.

Just three minutes later Siddons saved Clipstone’s blushes with an excellent save to deny a Lincoln striker.

Jamie Smith was replaced by Matt Austin on 73 minutes, having made his first appearance since a three match ban.

On 77 minutes Brown went on a mazy run, beating two defenders with a third bringing him down inside the area and a penalty being awarded. Paling stepped up to convert, and double Clipstone’s lead.

With Clipstone taking complete control from then on without creating further scoring chances being created, Lincoln’s spirited performance leaving them flat on their feet for the last 10 minutes.

COBRAS’ MAN OF THE MATCH: Rich Mintoft.