Clipstone stayed on track for the NCEL Division One title with their best performance in weeks in beating a strong Rossington Main outfit 3-0 on Saturday.
With leaders Pontefract Collieries not in action, the win drew Clipstone to within two points of top spot with a game in hand.
Clipstone started the game as they meant to carry on. Straight from the kick off they were inside the Rossington area with Jamie Smith unlucky to just run the ball out after some great build-up play.
Stu Hill collected the ball on the edge of his own penalty area and carried it forward past three Rossington players before laying off to Luke Thomas, who with a sudden burst of pace headed for goal, making visiting keeper Simon Dye dive well to his left and parry the ball away.
The ball ran loose to Smith on the edge of the area, but he had to stretch to get his shot away and the ball trickled back to the keeper.
On 15 minutes Clipstone keeper Nick Siddons’ goalkick found the head of Smith, who flicked on for Luke Thomas, who made his way to the right corner. His cross with pace was straight to Matty Ord, who caught it with a first time volley and blasted the ball beyond the keeper to put the Cobras one nil to the good.
Clipstone were certainly making their visitors know about their intentions, attacking at pace with every opportunity.
On 20 minutes, after some quick passing, the ball came over to Jamie Smith just outside the Rossington area. With a half volley,he fired a shot to the low left hand corner of goal, but once again Dye dived and saved well to tip the ball onto the post and out for a corner.
On 25 minutes Ord was making his way just left of goal and was tripped just 19 yards out. Matt Austin played the set piece short, back to Ord, who scuffed his shot and the visitors cleared their lines.
Clipstone were amassing enormous amounts of possession and on 30 minutes Thomas won a corner when his cross was deflected out of play. Austin clipped the ball to the penalty spot where Hill climbed and got his header away just over the bar.
Rossington struggled to get any sort of attacking play going, but on 36 minutes they did win a corner as Austin deflected Jordan Hatton’s cross, Siddons securely claiming the ball as it came into the area.
Clipstone were back on the attack on 42 minutes as Ash Rawson found himself in the right wing position. He fired in a pacey cross for Smith, who thundered a header towards goal which came back off the bar.
Smith did get his reward a few minutes later, though. Brandan Shaw carried the ball some distance and played into Smith’s feet. With his back to goal and a defender in his back he turned and fired to the left post area, this time deceiving the keeper and doubling Clipstone’s lead.
The scoreline very nearly increased in the opening minutes of the second period.
Clipstone won a corner over on the right. Austin again clipped the ball into the mix with Rossington defenders only half-clearing to Rawson, who fired in a half volley to the right post.
Fortunately for Rossington they had kept a defender on the post who managed to poke a toe at the ball, which rolled across the face of goal and out for another corner.
Siddons was called into action with two very smart saves on 59 minutes.
On 68 minutes Clipstone win their upteenth corner of the game, after Ord ran at the visiting defenders and found himself just to left of goal, the keeper saving well to turn the ball out behind.
Matt Austin again fired in the set piece to the far post where captain Rich Mintoft was on hand to stab the ball towards goal and squeeze the ball beyond the defender stood on the line.
On 77 minutes probably the best move of the game involved six players and eventually Jamie Brown received the ball in the right wing, and fired in a cross. However, it was too good a cross and outwitted everyone, the ball bounding out for a goal kick.
On 80 minutes Brown was unlucky not to add to the scoring himself after a terrific strike from 20 yards out just curled over the crossbar.
Substitute Callum Mawby did force Dye into one more fine save to deny Clipstone a late fourth goal.