Promoted Clipstone’s NCEL Premier Division campaign began with a 0-0 draw against visiting Liversedge on a hot August afternoon with the temperature of 25 degrees being more suited to a game of cricket.
Indeed the crowd of 102 was boosted by a number of people who had been at Trent Bridge in the morning to see England win back The Ashes less than an hour into the third day.
This was a game of few clear cut chances and the clear priority for both sides was not to be beaten. The visitors were forced to make an early change when Devan McIntosh was substituted with a back injury and Liversedge generally were better in the opening 20 minutes.
However, the Clipstone back four looked solid and generally dealt well with the aerial threat from centre forward Andrew Wood, with Craig Fisher getting a number of knocks from Wood for his troubles.
The home side created a chance of sorts on 24 minutes when Rob Paling found Michael Trench near the edge of the box.
The latter then skipped past three players but could not get enough power behind his shot to trouble Christian Thewlis in the Liversedge goal.
A lovely ball from Liam Nelthorpe found Jordan Hodder on the right and side and the latter won a corner, which came to nothing.
Clipstone’s next chance of the half came after 40 minutes when a move involving Trench, Jahmal Smith and Nelthorpe resulted in a chance for the latter in the area.
He had time but unfortunately his shot was well wide of the target. At the other end there was then a half chance for Liversedge’s Andrew Wood but Craig Fisher and Jamie McAllister worked well together to snuff out the danger and Steve Hernandez was able to easily collect the loose ball.
Liversedge again had the better of the opening period of the second half but created no real chances. New Clipstone boss Jas Colliver then made changes to try and find a way of troubling Liversedge’s big central defensive pairing and the introduction of Adam Somes certainly achieved this.
Alec Denton was also introduced as the home side reshuffled their back with Rob Paling moving to right back and Michael Trench slotting in at left back.
Liversedge had a period of pressure around the 70 minute marker as they forced two corners in quick succession.
Clipstone’s man of the match Jamie McAllister showed good positional sense to be in the right place to deny Andrew Wood a shooting opportunity. McAllister was then on hand to block a goal bound shot from Wood.
The home side had their best possession of the match and created several chances in the final 20 minutes, with Somes involved in most of the moves.
The best came on 77 minutes when after clearing a corner, Clipstone broke quickly with Somes running with the ball for 20 yards and then playing a great ball for Denton to run onto.
Denton ran in on goal and showed great skill and pace to go round the advancing goalkeeper who forced him wide and Denton dragged his shot wide from a tight angle.
Denton had another chance in injury time when a through ball from James Ashmore played him in but a covering defender got across in time to concede a corner.
Boss Colliver said he was pleased with the clean sheet but that his side were not good enough when they had possession of the ball during the game.
However they nearly won it with those couple of chances for Alec Denton near the end.
Clipstone now look forward to a big week with a league game away at Worksop Town on Wednesday followed by a trip to Leicestershire to face St. Andrews in the FA Cup.
CLIPSTONE: Steve Hernandez, Jordan Hodder (Alec Denton 63), Rob Paling, Liam Nelthorpe, Jamie McAllister, Craig Fisher, Alex Nightingale (Liam Royles 74), Sam Finlaw, Jahmal Smith (Adam Somes 60), James Ashmore, Michael Trench. Subs not used: Brad Jones, James Colliver
LIVERSEDGE: Christian Thewlis, Benjamen Scargill, James Rothel, Tom Jackson , Joseph Walton, Tom Brook, Devan McIntosh (Jack Hardacre 11), Vaughan Redford, Andrew Wood, Kieran Corley (David Precious 87), Brook Newton (Codey Cromack 81). Sub not used: Josh Hope.
CLIPSTONE MAN OF THE MATCH: Jamie McAllister.