Clipstone rocked by late goal and penalty miss

A cruel goal three minutes from time followed a missed penalty to ruin a plucky fightback from 2-0 down by Clipstone in their latest Toolstation Northern Counties East League, Premier Division match.

By The Newsroom
Monday, 31st October 2016, 4:04 pm
Updated Wednesday, 16th November 2016, 3:57 pm
SO CLOSE -- Harrogate Railway Athletic defenders scramble the ball to safety as Clipstone go hunting for goals during their Northern Counties East League, Premier Division clash.
SO CLOSE -- Harrogate Railway Athletic defenders scramble the ball to safety as Clipstone go hunting for goals during their Northern Counties East League, Premier Division clash.

Despite the spot-kick blunder, Billy Fox’s Cobras looked all set to share the spoils at home to Harrogate Railway Athletic, who sit just below them in the table. But then the visitors’ young right-back Toby Lees danced through their defence and delivered the ball into the danger-zone where striker Paul Beesley pounced to win it at 3-2.

The Yorkshire side had also opened the scoring back in the 17th minute when Dan Barrett latched on to the rebound from his initial blocked shot to drive hard and low past goalkeeper Jamie Bailey.

And after Beesley had been denied by an outstanding save from Bailey, the lead was doubled on 28 when a tricky run by Chris Ovington took him to the by-line, from where he squared into the six-yard box for Stephen Bromley to apply the simplest of finishes.

With Harrogate on the hunt for a third goal, Clipstone responded by changing to a 4-2-3-1 formation, and the result was instantaneous as midfielder Ellis Wall chested the ball down and hit it first time on the volley for a thunderous goal.

They might even have levelled when striker Josh Nodder turned two opponents on the halfway-line and released newly-signed striker Jack Siddall, whose chip from the edge of the box beat the ‘keeper but just missed the open goal.

The Cobras also started the second half on top, with Nodder causing trouble, creating and getting on the end of chances. Frontman George Milner was also influential, teeing up openings for Michael Trench and Andrew Fox, and Clipstone should have equalised in the 56th minute when Brandon Cardwell was brought down in the box. Referee Paul Buck pointed to the spot, but Nodder skied the penalty high over the bar.

Thankfully, the home side refused to be deterred and, nine minutes later, they were all-square as Milner struick a beautiful shot into the bottom corner to set up a stirring last 25 minutes.

Clipstone seemed to have the momentum with them, and Nodder fired over either side of a couple of chances for substitute Nathan Forbes.

Both teams then had goals disallowed -- a linesman’s flag denying Harrogate when Ovington tapped home after Bailey had parried a shot by Beesley, and then the referee correctly whistling for a foul by Cardwell as Clipstone found the net in a scramble. Home skipper Richard Patterson also whistled a 25-yarder just off target.

But with the game threatening to swing either way, it was the visitors to snatched the spoils before professionally keeping the Cobras at bay in four minutes of added time, seeing off efforts from Rob Paling and Milner.