Clipstone continue their impressive unbeaten streak and maintained their challenge on the top five in NCEL Division One with a 2-1 win over visiting Grimsby Borough on Saturday.
They have now suffered only one league defeat in 11 games, with nine wins and a draw, and they are undefeated in 13 of their last 15 games in all competitions.
In extremely blustery conditions Brett Marshall’s men defended resolutely, and worked hard throughout the team.
The first half was mostly Clipstone possession. From the first minute they won a corner on the right side of play, taken by Steve Carty to the far post where Carl Snowden controlled and hit a half volley with his right boot.
It beat the keeper but not the last defender who was on hand to clear off the line. The clearance fell to Rob Austin, with his effort rising just over the bar.
Ten minutes into the game Kieran Watson was bundled over just outside the penalty area.
He took the free kick himself from 19 yards out, aiming for the far corner and the ball bounced just in front of the keeper which took all the pace off the ball, still forcing Grimby keeper Brad Beattie to dive full stretch and turn the ball out for a corner.
On 33 minutes Liam Pride pulled up with a hamstring injury and was replaced by Karl Slack.
On 39 minutes Grimby had their first and only chance of the first half. Gary Armstrong was adjudged to have tripped John Waugh, and a free kick just outside the area was taken by the lively Josh Fuller, only for home keeper Ed Eley to watch the ball go harmlessly wide of the near post.
The conditions did not ease up any during the half-time interval.
This time Borough had the benefit of the wind behind them, and had a better period of play where they were in possession but only given long range shooting opportunities.
Clipstone’s back four of Armstrong, Shaw, Austin and Paling, were dealing with everything Grimsby could throw at them, ably assisted by midfielders Edwards Carty, Wisdom and Snowden.
Paling was proving a handful up front and on 71 minutes it he had the best opportunity of the second half to open the scoring. Great work on the left by Watson saw him beat off the challenges and lay the ball back for Slack. His flick on to Paling saw him try a curler into the top corner when a low drive would have probably been the better option.
However, just two minutes later Clipstone took the lead. This time a driving run on the left by Steve Carty saw him hit the goal line and send in a low driven cross and Mark Courtley sliced his attempted clearance past his own keeper and into his own net.
On 75 minutes more great team play from the Clipstone boys saw Watson running at the Grimsby defence, beating one and finding himself one on one with the keeper.
Watson’s feet were too quick for Beattie who brought him down just three yards out.
Incredibly the referee only showed the keeper a yellow card, but Rob Paling hammered home the penalty to increase Clipstone’s lead.
Grimsby did pull one back three minutes into added time. They won a corner on the right which was swung into the area towards the far post where Clipstone’s Pete Stubley was the unfortunate player to stick a leg out at the wrong time, diverting the ball into his own goal.
Clipstone: Eley, Armstrong, Paling, Shaw, R. Austin, Carty, Pride (Slack), Edwards, Wisdom (Stubley), Watson, Snowden. Subs not used Allan, Camm, Haslam.