After another long midweek trip to Lincolnshire, Clipstone maintained their 100 per cent NCEL and came away from Park Avenue with all three points in a 4-1 win, but hosts Louth Town did make a fight of it last night.
It was Clipstone who had the first real chance of opening the scoring in the second minute.
Steve Carty played in a ball for Jamie Smith to chase. Just as he placed the ball beyond the Louth keeper Scott Drury and into the goal off the right post, the referee took everyone’s attention to the assistant’s flag raised for a debatable offside decision.
On five minutes and at the other end of the field, Tom Carnall was penalised for bringing down Greg Andrews 16 yards out on the left side of the area.
The free kick was half cleared to Jordan Smith, who could not quite keep his shot down and the ball flew just high and wide.
Louth’s best chance of the opening exchanges came on 12 minutes. The won a corner on the left, taken by Jordan Smith and swung the ball into the crowded penalty area, where Jamie Caulson made a good connection but a great reflex save from Clipstone keeper Nick Siddons saved the Clipstone blushes.
The opening goal was not far away, and there were no surprises to who was on the end of it.
Jamie Smith received an awkward ball 25 yards out from goal, controlled well, made space for himself by cutting inside two Louth defenders. and fired towards the far post.
The despairing dive from Drury in the Louth goal stood no chance of getting a hand on the ball and Clipstone were 1-0 to the good.
The Louth defence were in disarray for the next few minutes.
Drury received a back pass from Lill and made a right mess of his clearance, with the ball going straight to Jake Currie.
His quickfire shot from 30 yards out was saved by the keeper, just managing to get a hand to the ball with a dive to his right, but Matty Ord was on hand to pick up the ball calmly, beat two defenders and hit the ball beyond the keeper to double Clipstone’s lead.
For the next 10 minutes or so Louth did try and play pretty football, but Clipstone’s midfield and defenders were coping relatively well with what was in front of them.
On 27 minutes Ash Rawson cut out a misplaced pass from Louth’s Callum Hyland. He played in Dan Wood who in turn found Jake Currie, who managed to get his shot away and for the third time beat the Louth keeper.
Louth had another chance to open their account for the evening on 29 minutes. Clipstone captain Rich Mintoft was adjudged to have held back Daniel Kilmore 23 yards out and central to goal, but the resulting free kick was too high and not very handsome,
Clipstone’s Matty Ord received the first caution of the game on 32 minutes after trying to hold off a Louth midfielder, who rolled on the floor as if he had been shot.
Their was not much more goal action until right on the stroke of half-time. This time it came from Louth.
Daniel Kilmore, who was released down the left flank, fired in a low cross to the penalty spot where Jordan Smith was running onto and he fired Louth back into the game at 3-1..
The beggining of the second half was quite nondescript. In fact the first event of the second period was a caution on 53 minutes for Louth captain Carl Martin, who took one for the team as Matty Ord was about to run down the left wing from the halfway line, until he was tripped by Martin.
On 56 Jamie Smith very nearly doubled his evening’s tally. It came from a corner on the left taken by Steve Carty, placed towards the penalty spot.
After a bit of a scramble only saw it half-cleared, Smith picked up the ball on the edge of the area and tried a delicate curling effort to the far post, only to be denied by a wonderful save from Drury and the danger was cleared.
Matty Ord did not recover from the knock to his ankle, so manager Chris Millington was forced into his first substitution on 59 minutes as Ord was replaced by Rob Paling.
Paling moved to the left back position which enabled Callum Mawby to move forward to left wing.
Louth did get hold of the ball and kept it for the next 10 minutes, playing some nice football. Unfortunately for them the final ball was missing, and they let Clipstone off the hook.
Dan Wood had run himself into the ground and on 78 minutes was replaced by Matt Austin.
On 82 minutes Ash Rawson felt the aerial challenge from Greg Andrews with an arm in the back of his neck and Andrews received a yellow card for his efforts.
From the resulting free kick hit into the area by Steve Carty, it found the unmarked Jamie Smith who got his head to the ball before the Louth keeper and fired into an empty net.
Smith was then replaced by Blake Owen giving him a well deserved rest.
Teversal were also in action last night, beaten 3-1 at Hall Road Rangers.