Two controversial penalty decisions combined with two sending offs spoiled what could have been a very entertaining game of football as Clipstone drew 1-1 at Bottesford on Saturday.
Bottesford kicked the game off and started their smooth passing game from the early exchanges, but it was Clipstone with the first attempt at goal.
Steve Carty, bursting through from midfield, was unceremoniously brought down 25 yards from goal. Rob Paling tested the keeper from the direct kick down low to the left post, keeper Leigh Herrick saving well.
In a very even (in possession) first-half Clipstone were finding themselves more on the front foot as the half went along.
Dan Wood took on several defenders, eventually winning the game’s first corner on eight minutes after his attempted cross was deflected out behind goal. Carty’s set piece found Karl Colley to the middle of goal six yards out, but his header deflected up and over the bar.
On 22 minutes Wood received the ball just inside his opponents’ half and travelled 20 yards at pace before unleashing afierce shot which drifted just a yard wide of the far post.
The first contentious decision of the day came on 30 minutes. Wood was running at the Bottesford defenders towards the edge of the D and unleashed a fierce shot which struck a Bottesford arm, and the referee had no hesitation in pointing to the penalty spot. Rob Paling converting.
The Bottesford bench complained to the referee about that decision too strongly according to the referee and the hosts’ manager was given his marching orders for alleged foul and abusive language.
The second contentious issue came just over ten minutes later. A coming together off the ball saw Jamie Smith and Bottesford’s Lee Ridley fall to the ground. The referee did not see the incident but after consulting with his assistant Smith was shown a straight red card.
As half-time approached Clipstone were kept on the back foot, struggling to keep up with the slick passing from their hosts but defending very well.
Clipstone went close early in the second-half when Paling’s corner was met by Colley’s header but Herrick collected at the second attempt.
Just two minutes later, in a very similar situation, again Paling swung the ball to the far post this time right onto the head of Callum Mawby, but he was unable to guide his effort on target.
On 67 minutes Mawby again made his way into the Bottesford half and was tripped from behind a full 30 yards out from goal. Wood tried his luck could not keep his effort down and the ball sailed over the bar.
Ryan Damms was given a well-earned rest on 68 minutes. He had been up front on his own since the sending off of Smith and was replaced by Jamie Brown.
Bottesford were trying to make the man advantage count with some really crisp passing. When they finally had efforts at goal Nick Siddons was on hand in the Clipstone goal to keep the away side’s goal advantage.
When Siddons did need a helping hand it was Colley who was calm enough to help his keeper out.
How ironic it was though when the referee decided to even the scores up on 80 minutes.
It was Colley who was on hand to clear the ball from danger as Bottesford’s Martin Pembleton fell over Colley’s follow through. Again referee Mr Tomlinson, from a view through several players in front of him, awarded the second penalty of the game. Danny Boulton converted.
Despite no really harsh challenges in the entire game, it ended with two sending offs, four cautions, two penalties, two goals and ultimately the points shared.
Men of the match - Karl Colley and Rob Paling.