Shirebrook dominate to put five past Clay Cross
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The form of the two sides going into the game couldn’t have been more opposite, as Shirebrook had lost their opening two games of the season while newly-promoted Clay Cross had had a dream start to life at step six, winning their opening two games.
But it was Shirebrook who started the game the better of the teams with Carlton Carty finding Gav Allott who headed just over the bar.
Shirebrook’s bright start was rewarded in the tenth minute when Carty again broke down the right hand side and his cross found Kiyani Clayton whose header looped into the net.
Shirebrook didn’t let off and kept pushing forward with Aaron Sennett-Neilson forcing the Clay Cross keeper into a save, and from the resulting corner Carty was again denied by another save from the Clay Cross keeper.
But as the half was coming to a close all those missed chances came back to haunt Shirebrook as Clay Cross equalised in the 43rd minute as a free kick from the left hand side found Gracjan Klimczak at the back post who levelled the score.
Only four minutes into the second half Shirebrook retook the lead with Carty getting away down the right hand side and his cross found Allott who headed down into the path of Nathan Watson and the midfielder smashed the ball into the goal.
Allott was then denied by the Clay Cross keeper before being replaced by Liam Hardy and the sub was soon involved in the action as Shirebrook added a third goal in the 65th minute when Watson saw his shot blocked on the line and Hardy was in the right place at the right time to net the rebound.
Carty, Clayton, Hardy and Aaron Sennett-Neilson all had chances go astray but Hardy soon got the fourth from the spot and then late on, Clayton’s cross found Sam Geeves at the back post who guided the ball into the net to round off an afternoon Shirebrook had dominated from start to finish.
Shirebrook go to Retford FC on Saturday.
*AFC Mansfield will have to do it all again in the FA Cup extra preliminary round.
They drew 0-0 at Skegness Town on Saturday, meaning a replay will be required in Mansfield on Wednesday night (9th).