Smith hat-trick as Clipstone hit Armthorpe for six

Jahmal Smith.
Jahmal Smith.

Jahmal Smith scored a hat-trick and assisted in two other goals as Clipstone went goal crazy against Armthorpe, winning 6-1 to move into second place in the NCEL Premier Division last night.

Smith took just 23 seconds to get on the scoresheet as Clipstone continued their impressive 100 per cent form away from home.

His first was set up by a through ball from Jordan Hodder and the first Armthorpe player to touch the ball was keeper Leigh Overton as he picked the ball out of the net.

Smith then turned provider when his great through ball between the two central defenders played in Alec Denton who produced a decisive right foot finish to beat Overton.

The home side nearly grabbed a goal back after 26 minutes when they won a corner from which Tom McLaughlin headed goal wards but Steve Hernandez kept the ball out with his feet.

The rebound fell to McLaughlin, but this time his shot was headed to safety by Jordan Hodder.

Clipstone full back Brad Jones then produced one of his incisive runs down the right wing and, after beating two players, got into the box and his shot was just wide of the post.

The Cobras then scored the best goal of the night after 31 minutes when a 30-yard pass from Liam Nelthorpe picked out Smith, and his first time cross found Denton at the far post who applied the finishing touch.

Clipstone then switched off and conceded an unnecessary penalty that was converted by Stuart Preston who sent Steve Hernandez the wrong way to make it 3-1.

Hernandez then did well to save from McLaughlin and the ball rebounded to Preston who saw his fierce shot hit the crossbar.

As half-time approached, Cobras’ man of the match Smith set up Alex Nightingale, whose shot was saved by Overton.

A major talking point from the first half action were the number of fouls committed by the home side that went unpunished by referee Adam Burgess, who did not produce a single card all night.

Clipstone started where they left off and almost scored in the first minute of the second half when Denton’s cross was spilled by the home keeper, but he did just enough to prevent Alex Nightingale getting to the ball.

They increased their lead on 48 minutes when, after a corner was partially cleared, Jack Hall found Smith who scored from the edge of the box.

Smith completed a well deserved hat-trick on 57 minutes when a pass from Nelthorpe found him unmarked in the penalty area and the striker calmly slotted the ball past the stranded keeper to make it 5-1.

Denton had a chance to complete his hat-trick on the hour when he picked up a long ball but this time he placed his shot wide of the target.

Recent signing and substitute Henry Sibenge then replaced Smith and was immediately into the action when he showed a great change of pace to win a corner.

Armthorpe had a couple of chances of their own through ex-Grimsby Town striker Darren Mansaram and Stuart Preston, but in general Hernandez was the quieter of the two keepers in the second period.

Mansaram was particularly well-marshalled by Clipstone club captain Damian Magee who took home a few bruises for his troubles. Magee was replaced on 73 minutes by Jamie McAllister and the young defender helped keep the back door shut as the match moved into the final period.

Henry Sibenge then set up Denton who forced another save from Leigh Overton, this time with his feet.

The final goal of the night came on 87 minutes when a peach of a cross from Jones found Nelthorpe and the hard-working midfielder capped off a fine night’s work by heading home from six yards out.

Clipstone are now at home to Cleethorpes Town in the FA Cup on Saturday (3pm).

They are then at home to leaders Tadcaster Albion in the league on Saturday, September 5 (3pm).