A great performance by Pontefract goalkeeper Liam Corbett, which included a penalty save in the last minute, sent Clipstone crashing to a 1-0 defeat.
Billy Fox made three changes from the side beaten 6-0 at Handsworth Parramore the previous Thursday with Josh Dacre and Luke Randle returning to the starting eleven and Martin Brissett made his Clipstone debut as the sole striker.
Neither side came into the game in any sort of form. The home side had won only one of their last eight games, whilst the faltering Cobras had not won in seven and hadn’t scored in their last four games.
The match was played on a poor surface that made good passing football almost impossible with the first half containing no clear cut chances for either side. The home team had a half chance on 18 minutes when a long throw found leading scorer Aaron Moxon near the area, but his first time volley was wide of the upright.
Most of Clipstone’s moves were coming down the left hand side with Luke Randle seeing plenty of the ball.
On 34 minutes Randle played a ball inside to Royles and the full-back moved into the area, but crucially delayed his shot which enable a covering defender to get a tackle in and concede a corner.
With two minutes of the half remaining, Pontefract’s Aaron Joseph the saw his shot from the edge of the box go narrowly wide.
The visitors created the first real chance in the second period when their man-of-the-match Ellis Wall got down the right hand and his cross from the dead ball line found Andrew Fox, but his header was straight at Corbett.
At the other end, Steve Hernandez pulled off a good save to tip over a free kick from Josh Corbett.
Wall then played a perfect ball over the top of the defence for Martin Brissett to run onto. Seeing Corbett off his line, Brissett attempted to chip the ‘keeper who used needed to use his full height to catch the ball, much to the striker’s frustration.
A cross from Liam Royles then found Wall in space in the area, but he couldn’t beat Corbett with his header.
Wall then came close on the hour mark when his shot forced a finger tip save from Liam Corbett who was enjoying a fine game.
Despite all these chances Clipstone had been unable to grab that vital first goal and they were made to pay on 63 minutes when a long free kick by Pontefract found Philip Lindley eight yards out and poor defending enabled him to head home without being challenged.
Pontefract had a chance to extend their lead on 75 minutes when Chris Kamara found himself one on one with Steve Hernandez, but the Cobras’ stopper made himself a big target and was able to block the shot.
With three minutes remaining a long ball from Josh Dacre was helped on by substitute Matt Langley and Michael Trench, who had been pushed forward from full back for the last ten minutes, ran into the area and his shot looked goal bound until Corbett produced a great save at full stretch.
As the game moved into added time, Clipstone were awarded a penalty when Andrew Fox was brought down in the penalty area.
The Cobras have missed their last two penalties and so Liam Royles assumed the responsibility but his well-directed kick was saved by Corbett low to his right. As a result it is now 500 minutes since Clipstone last scored.