Clipstone marched on in the Northern Counties East League Cup after a 2-0 fourth round victory at Pontefract Collieries last night.
Two goals in five second half minutes from Corey Vickers and Matty Ord sealed an away trip to Premier Division outfit Cleethorpes Town in the next round.
This was a high tempo affair and Clipstone started in lively fashion with Rob Paling making good ground on the far right in the opening minute. He cut inside at the edge of the area, with Pontefract keeper Iwen Heeler holding onto the ball well.
It was an exciting tie with end-to-end passages of play, without any real clear cut chances until the 16th minute when Blake Owen carried the ball well for 35 yards. He, too, cut inside and fired at goal from 20 yards out. This time his shot was deflected out for a corner.
Pontefract had a great chance on 23 minutes as Dan White pulled back Pontefract’s Liam Radford 20 yards out from goal, Josh Corbitt shooting direct at goal, which kept rising just over the bar.
One minute later Paling was chasing down a ball inside the hosts’ half with a defender in his wake. He seemed to have been unfairly challenged, with the referee giving no decision.
Just a few seconds later a similar incident involving Clipstone’s Josh Gibson saw the referee give a foul against the Cobras, which did not seem as harsh a challenge.
Paling asked a question of the referee’s decision, and duly received the game’s first caution.
On 36 minutes Dan White was again ruled against for pulling back from a similar position as before. Another direct free kick was given, this time hit direct at Nick Siddons’ chest and the rebound was hit over the bar from seven yards out.
Clipstone were forced into an early substitution on 41 minutes as Lewis Colley was unable to carry on with an ankle injury and was replaced by Ord.
The second half started with the same high tempo as the first half. Again it was Rob Paling with a 20 yard run, Just as he was pulling the trigger a home defender got in his way, and the danger was cleared.
On 48 minutes Blake Owen was pulled down 25 yards out from goal. Stephen Whitehead took the direct kick but got a little too underneath the ball, and it went two yards high and wide.
Again the fast pace of the game saw end to end possession without clear cut chances. The longer it went on, though, it looked like it was going to be a stalemate and extra-time looked a certainty.
That was until the 73rd minute when Clipstone won a corner over on the left after good work from Josh Gibson.
Whitehead swung the set piece to the back post area where debutant Vickers was left unmarked and headed the ball into the back of the net to break the deadlock.
Five minutes later that lead was doubled. Brandan Shaw crossed to Ord, who hit a low volley beyond the despairing dive of Pontefract keeper Heeler.
The hosts pushed on to try to get back into the game, Siddons saving well on with his feet on 82 minutes when a Pontefract striker looked a certain winner to the ball.
Vickers was replaced by Dan Wood on 83 minutes, and he had a great chance after just two minutes of being on the pitch. He ran past two defenders and aimed at goal from 20 yards out, getting too much purchase on the ball and rising just over the ball.
COBRAS MAN OF THE MATCH: Rob Paling.