It was a tough day at the office for Clipstone FC on Monday with a 3-0 Toolsport Northern Counties East League Division One home loss to Shaw Lane Aqua Force who looked fitter and stronger throughout the whole game.
The alarm bells started to ring after only 30 seconds of the first half when Shaw Lane’s Danny Frost found the ball at his feet 18 yards out and he dipped a shot just over the bar.
Within minutes Clipstone were defending a corner on the right of the pitch, the ball eventually went to Chris Coy, with a blazing shot inches over the bar.
On 11 minutes there was an hold-up in play to allow treatment for Shaw Lane’s Grant Darley, who fell awkwardly and twisted his knee, eventually being replaced by Lee Swift.
A few minutes later the away side very nearly took the lead when Danny Frost once again found the ball at his feet, tried curling the ball around the keeper, only to see his effort hit the bottom of the upright, spin back across the face of goal, and out for a goal kick.
The first yellow card of the afternoon went to Clipstone’s Brandon Shaw on 25 minutes for a late challenge on the opposing winger.
The deadlock was eventually broken on 29 minutes when again Frost found himself all alone 20 yards out from goal, took one touch and curled in a shot beyond the despairing dive of Jonathan Parker into the top corner.
Chris Coy maybe should have doubled the lead on 31 minutes when one-on-one with Parker, only for the keeper to make a fine save.
Clipstone were also forced into an early substitution when debutant Ricky Chambers had earlier fell awkwardly on his ankle and couldn’t carry on, Matt Austin replacing him.
On 41 minutes Clipstone did find themselves 2-0 down from another corner on the right which was floated to the back post, where Luke Danville rose highest to nod in from two yards out.
The second half started much the same as the first one, both sides pressing, but Clipstone failing to find that killer pass, which they paid for on 50 minutes as Danny Frost capitalised on a defensive mix up between the home keeper and one of his defenders to make it 3-0.
Clipstone stared to look tired after this point, and tired legs gave away cheap free kicks to the away side, Dave Bramwell receiving a yellow card on 68 minutes.
A few minutes later Clipstone had their best spell of the game which won them a free kick on the right, 25 yards out.
Taken by Rob Paling, the ball found its way to midfielder Liam Pride to hit a volley inches over the bar. With both teams doing their best to keep the ball, some strong challenges were made by both sets of players, which the referee did very well to keep control of.
On Saturday, Clipstone had taken all three points with a single goal home win over Appleby Frodingham.
With Appleby scoring eight goals in the last two games Clipstone knew they needed an excellent defensive display to get back to winning ways after the midweek loss to local rivals Teversal.
But it did not take the home side very long to get into the swing of things, in fact just three minutes and 25 seconds to be precise.
Some quick-moving one-touch football saw Dave Bramwell out on the right flank with a first time cross for Pete Stubley to take one touch and blast the ball home from 12 yards.
Clipstone did not take their foot off the pedal for the next 15 minutes, piling pressure on the away side, and if it were not for Rob Paling pulling his shot wide of the goal with only the keeper to beat, they would have doubled their lead .
Appleby had a few good chances of their own from set pieces, but to no avail.
The second half was a slightly closer affair, with both sets of players searching and quite often finding scoring opportunities.
Liam Pride, who was playing in more of a midfield role, found himself passing two defenders on the edge of the area, but saw his well hit shot fly inches over the bar.
On 63 minutes Rob Paling was in a similar position, and he also passed several players on the right side of the box and his left foot curling shot looked destined to for the bottom corner until the away keeper pulled off a really good save to deny the Cobras a second goal whitch would have surely killed off the game.
Clipstone had two good shouts for a penalty turned down by the referee, who in the second half had more touches of the ball than some of Appleby’s midfield.
Towards the end Jon Parker, the Clipstone keeper, found himself a spectator, but when he was required he looked more than capable.
Eccleshill United left it late to keep their place at the top of the Toolsport Northern Counties East League Division One on Monday, Adam McCabe scoring the only goal of the game at Teversal in injury time.
Aaron Moxam struck four of Shirebrook Town’s tally in their 6-0 victory at Louth Town to climb into fifth, Steve Wankiewicz and a Jonathon Walton own goal completing the rout.
On Saturday, Teversal dropped to sixth as they were beaten 3-1 at home by Hall Road Rangers, who got their first points of the season thanks to a Chris Adams double, added to by Owen Mountain, whilst Callum Pursglove got on the scoresheet for the hosts.
Bottesford Town scored twice in the last five minutes through Terry Barwick and Junior Okojie to beat nine-man visitors Shirebrook Town 2-1.
In midweek a crowd of 138 were entertained by a thrilling local derby that could have gone either way as Teversal beat Clipstone 2-1.
Carl Haslem had put Clipstone ahead on 28 minutes only to see Oli Wood turn the game on its head by half-time as he headed a 33rd minute equaliser before lobbing the winner from 20 yards on 42 minutes.