10 out of 10 for Clipstone with derby win
This was possibly the first fixture both clubs looked out for at the start of the season, and what a contest it turned out to be.
A crowd of 304 witnessed passion, a wanting to win, three really well taken goals and four yellow cards in a fantastic advert for local non-League football.
Clipstone manager Chris Millington was chuffed with his team’s work ethic, saying: “This was a tremendous advert for local football. I am really happy with what I saw today.
“We took our chances and for the majority of the game we defended well and were in control of the game. We have players who will put themselves in the line of fire where it hurts.
“We take one game at a time and are enjoying the ride that we are undertaking. We are on the crest of a wave. We have played some really top teams already this season, so 10 wins out of 10 league games is what dreams are made of for a manager.”
The game started at a really fast pace, with both teams defending well in the first few minutes.
The first shot in anger came in the third minute and went the way of AFC Mansfield with Carl Haslam trying his luck from 16 yards out, but Clipstone keeper Nick Siddons got his whole body behind it and held on well.
There was a midfield battle going on and pressure was mounting on a slippery surface as the rain just before kick-off made the ball skid off the surface.
When Matty Ord hit his back pass to Siddons a little too firmly, the keeper had to control with his chest and quickly clear the ball while being chased down by AFC’s Dean Rick, the ball ricocheting off the forward but not enough to cause any problems.
On 12 minutes Jake Currie was upended 25 yards out towards the left side of the penalty area. Rob Paling took the direct free kick and got his shot on target, making Gavin Saxby in AFC’s goal get his body behind the ball and smother the danger.
Two minutes later Currie won the first corner of the the game over on the left, taken by Steve Carty right onto the head of Currie, but his header was wayward and the danger was gone.
With little goalmouth action it wasn’t until the 27th minute the next opportunity arrived, Jake Currie picking up the ball again at least 25 yards out and hitting a first time shot, Saxby getting down well to his right and tipping the ball out for another Clipstone corner.
Five minutes later it was AFC’s turn to hit on the break, Danny Williams providing the cross for Rick to try a overhead bicycle kick, which was mis-timed and the ball floated high and wide of the target.
The battle for supremacy was ongoing and a few late tackles towards the end of the first half were going in favour of Clipstone.
But just as it looked like a goalless first half, just like the buses, two came along within two minutes.
First AFC won a corner over on the right which was floated into the packed six yard box and, with players kicking at air, the ball fell at the feet of Rick, who managed to beat the Clipstone defenders and put the visitors 1-0 up.
One minute is all that it took for Clipstone to equalise. Rob Paling found Callum Mawby, who in turn found Jamie Smith, and he showed why he is the league’s top goalscorer with a first time shot that gave Saxby no chance of saving.
Just four minutes into the second half, AFC’s Carl Haslam picked up the ball on the far left.
He cut inside two defenders and fired a shot at goal, missing the right post by a yard, stating the visitors’ intentions and making sure Clipstone knew they were in a game.
Two minutes later Clipstone were at the other end of the field with Ord racing onto Brandon Shaw’s through ball.
He crossed for Smith, who was just beaten to the ball by AFC captain Chris Timons, who had no option but to give away another Clipstone corner. This time Ash Kitchen was on hand to clear the danger.
Phil Buxton received the first yellow card of the game after an aerial challenge with Smith.
The resulting free kick was directed to Currie and again the visitors just beat the Clipstone forward and yet another Clipstone corner was awarded.
Ord fired in the set piece and Timons rose highest, somehow managing to head over his own bar for yet another corner, this time Danny Tighe managing to clear.
On 55 minutes Smith again ran the AFC defenders ragged. He raced 20 yards with the ball and hit his shot which rebounded off an AFC defender into the path of Currie, who shot first time and again it was blocked and this time cleared.
Clipstone were certainly on top and creating many more chances than their visitors and on 60 minutes another Clipstone corner was floated in from the right by Carty, right under the bar, with the ball bouncing on the goal line where the defender on the post made sure the ball did not pass him.
AFC made the first change of the game with Darren Bettison replacing Danny Williams on 63 minutes.
On 65 minutes Clipstone very nearly took the lead as Currie picked up a loose ball over on the right.
Travelling at speed, he looked up and picked out Smith, and just as he was about to pull the trigger, the ball was poked away from him by the AFC defender and the danger extinguished.
A coming together of Joe Naylor and Clipstone captain Ash Rawson saw both players receive a yellow card.
Just one minute later Haslam thought he broken through the offside trap, and after hearing the referee’s whistle, fired the ball wide of the goal, also receiving a caution.
Haslam did have the ball in the back of the Clipstone net two minutes later with a powerful header after climbing over the top of Clipstone’s Tom Carnall, a free kick awarded to Clipstone.
The winning goal came just 12 minutes from time after Kitchen had gone through the back of Currie on the far left 35 yards out.
Curri received treatment, then Paling whipped the free kick in with pace, which the visitors found difficult to deal with. The free ball flew into the path of Stu Hill who, with a first time volley, very nearly tore a hole in the net as he fired Clipstone into the lead.
Tom Carnall was on hand for a goal line clearance right at the death of the game, but Clipstone held on for a well deserved victory.