First half performance sustains Clipstone as Liversedge fight back
Clipstone produced an excellent first half display that proved enough to earn them all three points against high-flying Liversedge.
Clipstone manager Billy Fox was forced to make changes to the team that drew with Athersley Recreation seven days earlier with Rob Paling suspended, Michael Trench injured and both James Ashmore and Jordan Edridge ill.
There was a debut for experienced defender Richard Haigh, signed from Parkgate, with Adam Shepherd and Chris Fawcus also both restored to the starting 11.
The bench included Adam Somes who has re-joined the Cobras from Worksop Town and Cameron Dear, formerly with Retford.
The home side had their first chance in the opening ten seconds when a miskick presented an opportunity to Nathan Forbes but his shot was wide of the target.
Cobras’ captain Richard Patterson missed a glorious opportunity to open the scoring when he shot directly at goalkeeper Ben Hunter.
The visitors then created a good opportunity when Rhys Davies cut through the middle but lost his balance.
The Cobras’ Ellis Wall limped off with a groin injury just after the midway point and his replacement George Milner opened the scoring with his first touch from six yards out after Forster had made a strong run on the left and pulled the ball back.
The Cobras played some of their best football of the season to date in the final 15 minutes of the half.
Top scorer Josh Nodder hit the post after great work from Milner before Clipstone grabbed the second goal they deserved five minutes before the break when Forbes found Forster in plenty of space and his first time finish gave Hunter no chance.
There was still time for the hosts to hit the woodwork again through a Forbes header.
In a classic game of two halves, the hosts sat back for long periods and the visitors seized the initiative.
Haigh and Regan Edridge were severely tested during the second 45 minutes against Liversedge duo Vaughan Redford and Joe Walton who have scored 31 goals between them.
It took a great saving tackle from Edridge on 49 minutes to deny Redford a shot and Walton was then gifted a free header that was straight at Bailey.
Full-back Chris Fawcus made a last ditch tackle as Redford looked set to score.
The visitors did reduce the deficit on 61 minutes when Walton went down in a challenge with Bailey and the resulting penalty was duly despatched by Rhys Davies.
The Cobras held firm however and avoided conceding the sort of late goal that has cost them so dearly recently.
Clipstone: Bailey, Shepherd, Fawcus, R Edridge, Haigh, Patterson (c), Forster (Dear 85), Fox, Forbes (Somes 71), Nodder, Wall (Milner 25).