Ollerton were a penalty shootout away from upsetting the odds and dumping Clipstone FC out of the Notts Senior Cup on Tuesday night as they came back from 2-0 down at half time to finish 4-4 after extra time. It was an heroic effort by the Ollerton players and besides a period near the end of the first forty-five where they grabbed their two goals, Clipstone never looked two leagues higher than Ollerton.
It was four years last week since Ollerton and Clipstone last met and this encounter not only offered a fantastic local derby but also a terrific cup tie which will have greatly entertained the bumper crowd who braved the cold to attend the game.
The opening stages of the game saw some solid pressure from Ollerton who looked to get in behind their opponents and they nearly took the lead within the first few seconds. A pass was played back to Francis and he dallied, allowing Kyle Ludlow to get a tackle in which sent the ball just wide of the upright.
Adam Somes would end the night with three goals to his name but he failed to find the back of the net early on, instead shooting straight at the grateful hands of Simon Smith in the Ollerton goal.
With around five minutes left of the first half, Clipstone took the lead. Ryan found space on the edge of the Ollerton area and he had the ability to curl the ball past Smith and into the corner of the net.
Two minutes later, Clipstone had a second. A corner from the right wasn’t properly dealt with and Somes was on hand to nod the ball into the back of the net.
With Ollerton 2-0 down at the break and seemingly going out of the competition, not many would have predicted the second half that was to follow. Ollerton got a goal back ten minutes into it. Kyle Clarkson delivered a freekick in from the left and after he misjudged the flight of the ball, Francis could only watch as the ball sailed over his head and into the back of the net.
Ollerton were pressing for an equaliser but appeared to suffer a killer blow in the 71st minute when Clipstone scored again. A ball was delivered in from the right and after Smith was equal to his initial effort, Somes was on hand to turn in his second goal of the game.
The game immediately sprung back to life however as within two minutes, Ollerton had made it 3-2. The tireless Kyle Ludlow closed down a back pass to Francis and this time, his challenge sent the ball into the net to give Ollerton hope once more.
Ollerton had brought on three strikers during the second half and it was one of those- Sam Bailey - who scored Ollerton’s third with five minutes to go to send the game to extra time. A corner in to the box wasn’t properly dealt with and after Eddie Bishop headed the ball back towards goal, Bailey was on hand to volley past Francis and spark wild celebrations from the Ollerton faithful.
Despite Bailey’s late goal, the game nearly didn’t reach extra time as in the last attack of the ninety, Wall blasted over a great chance from inside the box which would have gave Clipstone the win.
Just as they had done in the first half of normal time, Clipstone scored late in the first half of extra time. After Ollerton failed to clear a Clipstone corner, Smith made two great saves but was unable to stop Somes securing his hat-trick from close range.
Ollerton were starting to grow tired as the clock ran down and with Clipstone now back ahead, it was going to take one big final push to rescue something from the game.
Thankfully, Ollerton delivered. Sam Bailey nearly got his second of the game but his shot unfortunately found the side netting after he had rounded Francis following a Pilmore pass.
However, Ollerton didn’t rue that chance for too long as in the 113th minute they levelled proceedings once again. Ludlow did brilliantly to head the ball through for Bailey and instead of shooting, he slid the ball across to Clarkson who calmly found the roof of the net to take the game to penalties.
From the spot Bailey, Sam Stretton and Clarkson were all successful for the Town but unfortunately a Pilmore miss gave Clipstone the win but Ollerton will take a lot of positives from their performance as they look to continue their solid run of form over the Christmas period.