Cobras close in on top spot

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A well-deserved 3-1 win for Clipstone at Hemsworth on Saturday now sees the Cobras just one point behind NCEL Division One leaders Pontefract with two games in hand after making it six league wins out of six.

But Hemsworth made Clipstone work hard for the three points on offer until they came from behind with three goals in eight electric minutes.

This was a real end-to-end competitive game, and for the second time this season, the first time was a league cup fixture, Hemsworth took the lead through a defensive mistake.

Goalkeeper Rob White and Brandon Shaw were not on the same wavelength and the ball fell kindly to Hemsworth MW’s Blair Dominique, who slotted the ball into an empty goal from a tight angle on the right after only eight minutes.

Both sides were doing their best to make this a real football game with men going forward at pace.

On 15 minutes Steve Carty burst through from midfield to latch onto Ash Rawson’s wonderful through ball. Carty found himself one-on-one with the keeper, who saved brilliantly to keep the hosts ahead.

Again on 24 minutes Clipstone were once again searching for the all important leveller.

A great ball from Shaw found Matty Ord on the right wing, who ran at the heart of the Hemsworth defenders and laid off for Blake Owen, whose first time shot was again well parried by home keeper Dan Wood, just missing the far post.

Hemsworth had chances of their own. On 34 minutes a thunderbolt free kick just missed the right post, and came close again on a break just before the interval from a Clipstone free kick 30 yards out,

Steve Carty swung the ball into the middle and it was cleared by the home defence who broke in force.

It was four on three at one point in the Clipstone area, but the visitors threw their bodies in the way and the danger was snuffed out.

The second half was counter attack football all the way through, Hemsworth pushing on to try to extend their lead, and Clipstone looking to get back into the game.

Clipstone manager Chris Millington made his first change on 57 minutes, Callum Mawby replacing Gary Armstrong.

Five minutes later he made his second change as Blake Owen, who had run his legs off, was replaced by Josh Gibson.

It did not take Gibson very long to get involved in the game. On 65 minutes he received a ball down the right flank from Tom Carnall.

Gibson hit the goal line and crossed low to the penalty spot where Steve Carty timed his run to perfection and guided his shot into the far corner to level things up.

Suddenly it was raining goals.

On 70 minutes Clipstone won a corner on the left, floated in by Steve Carty, and Josh Gibson rose and placed his header into the near post to put Clipstone into the lead.

Clipstone went on the rampage and just three minutes later were further in front, Ash Rawson releasing Dan Wood who made no mistake from 16 yards out.

Mawby, Ord and Rawson were linking up wonderfully on the left side, Carnall Austin and Carty on the right, Mintoft and Shaw mopping up at the back.

Hemsworth by now were having only long range efforts on several occasions all going high or wide.

Keeper White was also on hand close to the final whistle to keep the two-goal cushion as he got down well at the feet of Dominique.

CLIPSTONE MAN OF THE MATCH: Steve Carty.