Clipstone chuck away the points in injury time

A Great second half save by Clipstone's Jamie Bailey to keep teh team in the game v Athersley
A Great second half save by Clipstone's Jamie Bailey to keep teh team in the game v Athersley

Clipstone conceded a costly late goal for the second week running as visitors Athersley Recreation grabbed a point in the fifth minute of added time.

Once again it was a tale of missed chances for the Cobras who should have been out of sight as the game reached its conclusion.

The Cobras made most of the openings in the first period and Jamie Bailey did not have a save of note to make.

There was however a scare on 17 minutes when Brad Johnston had a chance for the visitors when well-placed, but Cobras’ captain Richard Patterson was on hand to challenge and ensure the shot was wide of the target.

At the other end, Cobras’ top scorer Josh Nodder showed a good piece of skill to get the ball under control and his first time shot from 22 yards found the side netting.

With Andrew Fox enjoying his best game for some time, the Cobras’ midfield were using the ball well and put the Athersley defence under sustained pressure.

One such move created a chance for Forbes on 40 minutes and his powerful shot from the edge of the box drew a fine save out of Ellis Halpine in the visitors’ goal.

The second period was a competitive half between two well-matched sides with both teams having scoring chances shortly after the restart.

A shot from Nodder forced another save from Halpine but the ‘keeper could only parry the ball into the air and he then did well when Forbes headed the loose ball goalwards.

At the other end a long ball from Lee Garside allowed Athersley’s top scorer Kai Hancock to demonstrate his pace but he was off balance when he shot and the ball went harmlessly wide.

The visitors were right back in the game now and they almost took the lead on 71 minutes when Hancock again broke forward quickly and found Dane Hodgson whose shot from the edge of the box beat Bailey but hit the bar.

The home side took the lead six minutes later when a perfect Nodder cross from the left found the head of substitute Oli Ryan who skilfully guided the ball past Halpine and into the corner of the goal.

The visitors responded strongly but it looked like the home defence, supported in particular by skipper Patterson, was strong enough to withstand the onslaught.

Bailey produced a wonderful flying save with four minutes left to keep out a header from eight yards out that was heading for the corner and he then did just enough when he came out and smothered an effort from Hancock and the ball tricked wide of the post.

Just as the home supporters began to feel that the three points had been won, the sucker punch came as in the last attack of the game a ball through the centre found Danny Cawley in space and he produced an excellent finish that Bailey could not keep out.