Clipstone continue their recent good form and kept up their NCEL Division One title chase with Dan Wood bagging a brace in a 2-1 win at home to Selby Town on Saturday.
Clipstone did very well after having to make a late change to their line up and shuffle some players around.
Things did not go all Clipstone’s way, though. Selby started the game very bright and confident and took the lead after just two minutes.
A crossfield pass caught Clipstone’s defence out and Matty Start was at the far post to slide the ball past Lewis Naylor in Clipstone’s goal.
It was a tough midfield battle for both sets of players with the ice cold wind taking the breath away from some of them.
Clipstone did start making inroads into the Selby half after the first 10 minutes and won two corners in quick succession, Steve Whitehead with both set pieces, the second falling just behind Jamie Smith, whose attempted backheel volley was a yard over the bar.
On 16 minutes Whitehead again floated the ball into a crowded area which was half-cleared to just outside the penalty box where Steve Carty, under pressure, could not keep his shot down.
On 19 minutes Matty Ord found the ball at his feet on the far left. His squared pass found Wood who couldn’t quite get the connection he would have liked, and the ball trickled to the grateful Reid in the Selby goal.
A midfield battle ensued with some tough tackling from both sides, but for the next 10 minutes neither team could break down the other’s defence.
However, on 32 minutes Jamie Brown and Ord combined well on the left. A crossfield pass bounced just in front of Smith, who flicked on first time for Wood to run onto, and his quick thinking saw him clip the ball over the diving keeper and Clipstone were level.
Just three minutes later Brown was in the thick of the action once again on the left side of play and was tripped up just outside the area.
Whitehead clipped the ball high to the far post and Selby’s keeper punched out for a corner. Again Whitehead floated the ball into the mix and Smith managed to get the ball through a crowded six yard box and into the goal.
Unfortunately for him referee Mr Tyres had spotted a handball infringement and disallowed the goal.
Wood chased back into his own half three minutes from the break. He won the ball back for Clipstone and played a one-two with Ord, but sliced his shot wide of the upright for a goal kick.
Brown found the ball more at his feet in the second half and on 50 minutes he was just inside the opposition’s half and ran at pace, beating his defender all ends up.
But his low cross to the middle of goal was deflected out for a corner, and this time the floated ball in was cleared at the second attempt.
Selby pushed further upfield and won two successive corners themselves, Naylor comfortably holding onto the second.
On 65 minutes Clipstone were forced into a substitution as captain Carty tweaked a hamstring and made way for Josh Gibson.
This proved a pivotal point in the contest.
Gibson got himself into the game immediately as he received the ball on the far right. He found Wood, who cut inside two defenders and beat the keeper at his near post with a terrific strike.
Selby were putting in the tackles with the referee seeing them as a little over-zealous as they picked up four cautions in the process.
On 77 minutes Matt Austin intercepted a attempted through ball in the right back position.
He played a lofted pass up the wing to Wood. Again it was deflected out for yet another corner.
If Clipstone could have made these corners count then the scoreline may have been more emphatic.
On 82 minutes Brown was unlucky not to add to his impressive scoring form.
He beat two defenders to the left side of the box, cut inside and, with his back to goal, swept his effort low towards the left post, Selby keeper Reid fortunate to hang onto the ball at the second attempt just before it sneaked over the line.
Selby did pile on the pressure in the final few minutes and even sent their keeper up for a corner in the dying moments, Naylor again doing extremely well in Clipstone’s goal to keep the scoreline at 2-1.