Clipstone got themselves back on track with a well deserved three points away to Lincoln Moorlands Railway in the NCEL Division One last night.
It was a vital win for the Cobras to keep them in the race for promotion after three successive defeats.
Clipstone kept possession really well in the opening minutes, and could have opened their account as early as the fifth minute, but Jake Currie could not keep his effort down enough to trouble the keeper.
But they did not have to wait very long for the opening goal after Dan Wood picked up the ball wide on the right.
He beat Lincoln’s left back all ends up, hit the goal line and clipped a wonderful ball to the far post where Jamie Smith managed to wrap his foot around the ball and smash it beyond the host’s keeper and gain his 17th goal of the campaign on 12 minutes.
Just four minutes later Clipstone were back on the attack once again. Karl Coolley retrieved the ball from Nick Siddons in Clipstone’s goal.
Cooley played a long ball up to Josh Gibson which flicked off a defender’s head and Clipstone won a corner.
Currie whipped in a ball from the left which was half-cleared to Wood over on the right side of the field.
He travelled 30 yards down the line, beating three Lincoln defenders all ends up and delivered a low ball across the face of goal.
But Smith couldn’t get his boot around this one and the ball was hacked clear.
Clipstone were well on top during the first half but could not add to their tally.
On 21 minutes Wood was casing problems for the hosts once again which ended with him being obstructed 25 yards out to the right edge of the area.
Currie played the free kick to the far post with a curling cross which unfortunately evaded everyone and went out for a goal kick.
The game went into a battle of midfield for a good 20 minutes with neither side creating any decent goalscoring opportunities.
On 41 minutes Clipstone tried their luck down the left side as Jake Currie laid the ball off to Matty Ord 30 yards out. He beat his defender twice and delivered a cross to the far post, but once again no one being able to connect and once again a goal kick was awarded.
The last action of the first half came just before the whistle. Ord was obstructed 22 yards out this time on the left edge of the area. Currie tried his luck with a direct hit, unfortunately his direction was way off and the ball sailed high and wide of the target.
The second half began as a cagey affair, both teams cancelling out the other up until the 52nd minute when Railway levelled.
A long ball up to Lincoln’s Luke Shipman enabled him to turn and fire a ball over the head of Clipstone keeper Siddons, who found himself in no man’s land and parity was brought to the game.
Clipstone really picked up the pace at this point, determined to win all three points, Matt Austin, Coolley, Wood and Ord all working their socks off for the cause.
On 56 minutes Gibson struggled to control a high high bouncing ball over on the right, but he did manage to lay the ball to Wood, who forcefully found his way beyond two defenders and fired at the keeper’s near post, which the keeper did well to get his body behind it and keep Lincoln in the game.
Just five minutes later, though, Clipstone did restore their lead. Smith was upended 30 yards out and slightly to right of goal. Currie whipped in a great ball right onto the head of Coolley which left the keeper of no chance of saving.
On 72 minutes Clipstone made their first change of the game, Steve Whitehead replacing Gibson.
Within three minutes of coming on Whitehead was in the thick of the action.
Clipstone won a series of corners, the last of which was taken by Whitehead.
With the defenders expecting the ball being whipped into the middle of the area, he had other ideas and noticed Ord stood free on the edge of the area.
With a firm crisp pass Ord stepped inside the area and dispatched a fierce shot to the bottom far post to increase Clipstone’s lead even further.
On 78 minutes Currie was pushed over down by the right corner flag.
Whitehead again took the set piece and found Smith, who was unlucky not to add to his tally as the keeper just managed to get some part of his body to the ball and watched the ball spinning all over the place and just saving the ball before going out for a corner.
Just before the final whistle Austin, who was superb throughout the whole game, was replaced by Blake Owen as Clipstone ran out winners.
CLIPSTONE MAN OF THE MATCH: Dan Wood.
Elsewhere in Division One last night, Teversal beat Bottesford 2-0 with goals from Barry Stokes and Greg Tobin while AFC Mansfield came away from Winterton Rangers with a 1-1 draw.
Joe Naylor had them 1-0 up at the break, the home side needing a last minute equaliser from Luke Anderson to stop AFC going home with all three points.