Uphill struggle as Clipstone win at historic Sandygate

Clipstone pulled off a deserved 2-1 NCEL win against Hallam at Sandygate, one of the steepest slopes in football and the oldest football ground in the world.

The first 10 minutes of this game were all about which midfield could string a few passes together and start to dominate the game.

On 12 minutes the answer was Clipstone. They won the first corner of the game, taken by Kieran Watson to the far post where Liam Pride rose highest to nod towards goal. He would have scored if it were not for the quick feet of home keeper Sheridan Boyd, who claimed the ball well on his goal line.

This set the turning of the game in Clipstone’s favour, and just a few minutes later they were ahead.

Carl Haslam’s pass to Jason Edwards on the left edge of the Hallam penalty area saw him get past two challenges and his shot beat the keeper at the near post.

Clipstone were enjoying most of the possession at this point and it was only a matter of time before they created their next scoring opportunity.

This came on 20 minutes,again Haslam found the ball at his feet on the left side of the area. This time he ran for goal himself, beating one and was brought down by the second. The referee pointed to the penalty spot straight away and Rob Paling stepped up to take it and blasted to the right side of goal sending the keeper the wrong way.

A coming together of two players on the far side of the pitch brought several players together in a ‘handbags at five paces’ clash.

The referee, with the help of his assistant on the far side, held a discussion and two players from either side were brandished with the yellow card.

On 30 minutes Haslam could and probably should have put the scoreline beyond reach before half-time with only the keeper to beat from 25 yards out deciding to lob which the keeper saved easily.

It was a much tighter affair in the second half, Clipstone still having the better passages of play, but struggling to cope with the long haul uphill.

Even so, with cooler heads in front of goal, Liam Pride, Jason Edwards and Matt Austin were being guilty of rushing their shots and shooting well wide.

Hallam did pull back a consolation goal on 85 minutes when their No.9 Liam Morris drove the ball through a crowded penalty area, leaving Clipstone keeper Ed Eley completely unsighted.

CLIPSTONE: Eley, Armstrong, Paling, B. Shaw, Webster, M. Austin, Pride, Edwards, Watson (Camm), Haslam, Millington. Subs not used: Hillier, R. Austin, J. Shaw.