A defiant Clipstone took their chances well in a tough 2-0 victory against visiting Dronfield in NCEL Division One action last night.
In the early stages Clipstone were made to work hard defensively as Dronfield had the first real chance on seven minutes when Ash Rawson smashed a shot high and wide.
Clisptone won a corner on 10 minutes on the right taken by Lewis Jackson. He swung in his cross with some pace, which made it awkward for the visitors’ defence to deal with, eventually being cleared just before Kieran Watson could get anything on the ball.
Just two minutes later Clipstone were unlucky not to open the scoring when a poor backpass was chased down by Carty and Wisdom.
The Dronfield keeper’s rushed clearance only hit Carty with the ball beating the keeper and heading towards goal. The spin of the ball hit the post and went across the face of goal, only for a defender to clear off the line.
This was a fast and furious game, with neither side having much time to settle on the ball.
On 27 minutes Luke Weaver conceded a free kick wide on the right for a push. Taken by Steve Whitehead, it was hit against the wall and deflected out for a corner, which was well collected by Jason Fisher in the Clipstone goal.
Fisher was called upon again on 40 minutes. Another corner came over from the right and Dronfield’s Richard Mintoft sent a bullet header to the top corner only for Fisher to pull off a truly wonderful save and keep the score 0-0.
The best move of the first half was saved for added time as James Leggit cleared from the left back position into the middle of the Clipstone half.
Flicked on by Lewis Jackson, Steve Carty ran onto it and, under pressure, delivered a powerful cross which bounced just in front of the keeper who could only punch the ball out to the edge of the area where Adam Wisdom drove the ball home to take Clipstone into a 1-0 interval lead.
The start of the second half was a duplicate of the first, played at a frantic pace.
It was only a matter of time before a substitution was going to be made.
On 55 minutes James Leggitt was replaced by Gary Armstrong, Rob Paling moving to left back and Armstrong to right back. This enabled Paling to make a difference on the left.
Clipstone started to make more positive attacking plays and Watson was unlucky on a few occasions to be flagged offside.
Hillier, Wisdom, Carty and Watson were all linking up well and Austin and Paling in defence were also on top form.
But it must be said goalkeeper Jason Fisher was making classy saves and it did not look like he was going to let one by him.
On 68 minutes Nathan Millington replaced Lewis Jackson.
On 74 minutes Fisher was again on top form with yet another tremendous save denying the Dronfield attack for the upteenth time.
Then on 77 minutes came the best move of the whole game and goal number two. A goal kick from Fisher found Watson, who in turn laid off to Wisdom, and he flicked on for Watson to hit the left wing.
Another under-pressure cross caught the keeper out of position and a tremendous header from Steve Carty doubled the lead.
Clipstone had chances to further increase their advantage, and if Watson had fed in Paling instead of cutting back inside, they probably would have done.
Dronfield made Clipstone work really hard all evening for the three points on offer, but Clipstone deserved their victory.
CLIPSTONE: Fisher, Paling, Leggitt (Armstrong 55), Weaver (Shaw 74), Austin, Camm, Hillier, Carty, Wisdom, Watson, Jackson (Millington 68). Subs not used: Edwards, Gordon.
CLIPSTONE MAN OF THE MATCH: Jason Fisher.