Match report: Clipstone beaten by Pontefract Collieries as chance to go top three slips by

Match action from Clipstone v Pontefract Collieries (Pic: Andy Sumner)
Match action from Clipstone v Pontefract Collieries (Pic: Andy Sumner)

Clipstone slipped to a second successive home defeat, as they were beaten 2-1 by Pontefract Collieries.

The Cobras could have moved into the top three with a victory, but these hopes faded as they conceded two early goals on a bitterly cold afternoon.

Match action from Clipstone v Pontefract Collieries (Pic: Andy Sumner)

Match action from Clipstone v Pontefract Collieries (Pic: Andy Sumner)

They also lost top scorer Alex Denton after 13 minutes through an ankle injury.

The home side were already 1-0 down at that stage.

Pontefract attacked down the left and the resulting cross was headed back across goal by Andrew Catton to Liam Radford who beat Steve Hernandez from close range.

Pontefract’s dangerman Aaron Moxam then showed a goalscorer’s instinct on 13 minutes when he beat two defenders and fired home from inside the penalty area. The Cobras’ best chance of the first period came on 43 minutes after Oli Ryan was fouled on the corner of the box.

Match action from Clipstone v Pontefract Collieries

Match action from Clipstone v Pontefract Collieries

The resulting free-kick from James Ashmore was perfectly placed and Chris Salt rose well at the back post but was unable to get his header on target.

In the second half the home side produced a response, although they were unable to consistently attack with the high tempo play that has been a feature of many recent matches.

On the hour mark, a quick break from the Cobras saw Ellis Wall play a great ball towards Jahmal Smith in the box.

However the striker’s normally assured touch deserted him and the opportunity was lost.

Action from Clipstone v Pontefrace Collieries (Pic: Andy Sumner)

Action from Clipstone v Pontefrace Collieries (Pic: Andy Sumner)

Moxam remained a threat for Pontefract and found himself in space in the box twice in quick succession.

On both occasions substitute Jack Hall was quick to spot the danger and made timely interventions to deny a shooting opportunity.

The Cobras got a lifeline on 82 minutes when a long throw from Rob Paling on the left hand side was headed on by Salt in the area to Smith at the far post who turned and drilled the ball home from close range.

The game came to life at this point and both sides had further chances to score.

Pontefract’s Kane Reece hit the bar with a 20-yard shot on 89 minutes and play immediately went up to the other end.

Ryan did well to hold up the ball and turn on the edge of the box, he was challenged and the loose ball fell into space but as Pat Lindley raced in to apply a finishing touch, visiting keeper Ellis Halpine came smartly off his line and smothered the ball.

Clipstone, for whom Ashmore took Man of the Match, remain in fourth position with 35 points from 19 games.

After the game Cobras boss Jas Colliver admitted that he was naturally disappointed to lose at home again.

He said: “We have been so solid up until recent weeks.

“I don’t know what it is, whether it is mental, but we seem to be conceding earlier in the game and giving ourselves a mountain to climb at half-time.

“We asked for a reaction in the second half and I felt we got that but nothing compared to our normal standards.”

Clipstone are next in action when they travel to league leaders Tadcaster Albion on Saturday 28th November at 3pm.

However the game will only go ahead if Tadcaster’s FA Vase tie against Worksop Town goes ahead on Tuesday 24th November and produces a positive result.

The Cobras’ next home game is a League Cup tie against Grimsby Borough on Tuesday 1st December, at 7.45pm.

Clipstone: Hernandez (c), France (Hall 70), Paling (Colliver 84), Lindley, Salt, Magee, Smith, Wall, Nightingale, Ashmore, Denton (Ryan 13). Unused substitutes: Francis (GK).

Goalscorer: Smith.

Attendance: 76.