The perfect end to eventful week

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It was business as usual for Clipstone Welfare on Saturday as they took all three league points on offer at the end an eventful week for the club.

The excellent 2-1 win at lowly Parkgate gave the Cobras a Northern Counties East League Premier Division double just a few days after the future of the club appeared to be in doubt.

A week earlier the club resigned from the league, but then plans were quickly put in place for them to continue until at least the end of the season.

The players and management team celebrated by following up a 3-1 home victory over Parkgate in August with Saturday’s win that moved them up to 12th.

Manager Billy Fox made three changes from the defeat at Thackley the previous weekend, bringing in Chris Fawcus, James Ashmore and Martin Brissett.

In the opening 15 minutes the Cobras were restricted to efforts from distance by Richard Patterson, Nathan Forbes and Andrew Fox.

The home side took the lead when Chris Simpkins intercepted and found winger Kieran Hirst, whose effort from around 25 yards flew past Jamie Bailey.

Parkgate’s celebrations were short lived, however, as a minute later Clipstone levelled.

Nathan Forbes’ driving run found Ellis Wall, who was fouled as he shaped to shoot inside the box.

Fox converted the penalty and for the remainder of the half the Cobras looked the brighter side.

They missed a good opportunity to take the lead just before half-time. An Ashmore corner caused havoc in the penalty area, but defender Joe Austin couldn’t get a strike away for what seemed a certain goal.

Clipstone started the second period brightly with two chances falling to substitute Steve McDonnell.

They were rewarded for their dominance in the 58th minute when a stunning long-range shot by Ellis Wall found the bottom right of the goal.

Adam Shepherd and Wall linked well throughout the game and caused Parkgate many problems.

Wall tested the keeper from distance and forced a corner, from which Forbes saw his shot blocked in the six-yard box.

The Cobras were now in charge and substitute striker George Milner was only denied a third Clipstone goal by the speed of Nick Senior and an outstanding tackle.

In the 80th minute, Parkgate went close to an equaliser as Ben Thornton’s powerful shot went narrowly wide of the upright.

Seven minutes from time the visitors won a second penalty, again through a clumsy challenge on Wall.

However, this time Fox’s spot-kick rebounded to safetyt off the inside of the post, having sent the keeper the wrong way.

At the final whistle Clipstone’s players and management team celebrated their victory with a show of support for the future of the club.