Two first half goals from Nicky Walker gave the Cobras a surprise victory over NCEL Premier leaders Tadcaster Albion.
Nick Black grabbed a goal back for the hosts in the second half but the Cobras’ back five, well marshalled by Chris Fawcus, held firm for the remainder of the game.
The victory was all the more surprising as manager Billy Fox had a number of players unavailable and went into the game with the bare bones of a squad.
The Cobras had to defend for much of the match but Steve Hernandez was once again in fine form. Liam Royles also deserves a mention for the fantastic shift he put in down the right hand side.
At the other end of the pitch, the partnership between Nicky Walker and George Milner continues to bear fruit with the two players are on exactly the same wave-length. Milner worked tirelessly all night and was involved in both goals.
There were early indications that the Walker/Milner partnership was going to cause problems for the host and Milner saw a powerful shot from the edge of the box pushed round the post by home ‘keeper Leon Wrigglesworth after 19 minutes.
Then on 22 minutes a long clearance from Hernandez went over the static Tadcaster defence allowing Walker to run in and force another save from Wrigglesworth.
The Cobras opened the scoring in the 25th minute when George Milner played a through ball for Walker to run onto and as the Tadcaster defence backed off Walker placed a neat left-footed drive into the bottom right hand corner from 20 yards. 0-1
The home side struggled to break down the Clipstone rear guard where Liam Kay was making his debut alongside Luke Stevens with Chris Fawcus acting as a sweeper behind the two.
The home side created two good chances around the half hour mark. Firstly Andy Milne got on the end of a Josh Greening free kick but his header brought a good save from Steve Hernandez. A cross from Greening was then diverted by Liam Kay onto the woodwork and Adam Baker then put the rebound well wide of the target.
As half time approached the home side had another good chance when a Jonathan Greening cross found Nick Thompson who got up well but headed wide.
In the 45th minute Clipstone found themselves defending another corner but as it was cleared they were able to break quickly. George Milner took the ball down the left hand side before releasing Nicky Walker who beat the offside trap, rounded Wrigglesworth and rolled the ball into the empty net.
Half time 0-2
The second period was mainly one way traffic as Tadcaster mounted attack after attack. The home side had claims of a penalty waived away by the referee after Chris Fawcus tackled Josh Greening on the edge of the box and brother Jonathan Greening then shot narrowly wide of the post on the hour mark.
With thirteen minutes remaining the home side grabbed a goal back after Steve Hernandez could only get a left hand to Josh Greening’s powerful free kick from the edge of the box. The ball looped up invitingly and Nick Black was the first to react and head home from one yard out. 1-2
The expectation at that stage was that Tadcaster would grab a second and maybe a third as Clipstone legs tired. However the Cobras showed immense character as they kept working and closing down space.
Indeed the visitors had a chance of their own when Liam Royles found Ellis Wall on the edge of the box and as defenders backed off the midfielder had time to shoot but could not hit the target.
At the other end a fierce strike from Nick Black was well parried by Hernandez and fortunately Michael Trench was on hand to hook the loose ball clear.
As the game moved into added time Tadcaster created two further chances but first Carl Stewart headed a free kick over when well placed and then Nick Black headed a corner over when two yards from goal. And so the Cobras got the result that their spirit and endeavour deserved and took home all three points.
Full Time 1-2.
Clipstone man of the match : Nicky Walker
Clipstone climb one place to 9th with 53 points from 33 games.
Clipstone’s next game two games are both away and they travel to Garforth on Saturday 19 March, 3pm and Retford on Tuesday 22 March. They are next at home on Saturday 26th March, 3pm when the face Maltby Main.
Clipstone: Hernandez (c), Royles, Trench, Fawcus, Kay, Stevens, Truscott (Francis 53), Hodgkinson, Milner, Walker, Wall.
Bookings: Trench, Walker, Stevens, Milner.