In what was a enthralling game Clipstone were victorious for the first time under new manager Ian Cotton in dramatic fashion.
A tremendously characteristic performance from the Cobras saw the visitors take all 3 points with goals from Curtis, Rogers, Walker & Ward. Although the performance of the game came from goalkeeper Gary Doncaster who pulled of numerous world class stops as well as a penalty save.
Ian Cotton made three changes after the 2-2 draw to Bottesford Town with Ben Burbanks, Brendan Williams & Keaton Ward replacing Rob Paling, Keenan Leeds & Tim Gregory.
It wasn’t long before the first chance of the game coming in the first minute through Luke Walker. He seemed to have broke the offside trap and found himself through one and one with the Albion goalkeeper Kyle Tenery. Walker tried to dink the ball over him but Tenery was aware of the situation and gathered well.
Albion hit back with a couple of chances in quick succession, Doncaster parried a well driven free kick from Karl Hall straight into the direction of winger Joe Barden who’s shot was blocked and cleared by defender Thomas.
It didn’t take long before Clipstone opened the deadlock. Who else but Gareth Curtis picked the ball up on the left wing, carried the ball forward and cut inside to delicately place his shot into the bottom corner of the Albion Sports goal. 0-1
Taking confidence from the goal the Cobras were on the attack again. Strong tackles from Walker & Ward finally saw the ball bounce into the direction of Williams who struck from distance. His awkward shot was however picked up calmly by the Albion keeper.
The early pace was carried on but this time it was Albion Sports who were creating the chances, the ever dangerous Danny Facey took matters into his own hands to try and drive his team forward. The top scorer used his strength to turn Thomas and direct his shot on goal but only to find Luke Randle blocking it away for a corner.
It took until the 28th minute for Albion to level the proceedings when Habeed saw his shot hit into the back of the untendered Clipstone goal with only Charlie Taylor on the line. 1-1
Albion Sports then took momentum and had chances to take the lead after Clipstone struggled to clear the ball. Danny Facey and Joe Barden both found goalkeeper Doncaster in terrific form and couldn’t put their side in the lead.
As half time approached, Williams was involved in Clipstones second goal, his dangerous delivery was only cleared to the edge of the box where Rogers was waiting to hammer back the ball drifting away from the goalkeeper into the top corner. 1-2
Half time 1-2.
Clipstone started as they ended the first half when Hawley seemed to take on the whole Albion team before pulling his shot well wide. Had it been on target it would have surely put Clipstone with a strong advantage.
It wasn’t long until they did make it 3-1. A punt down the wing saw Luke Walker beat the Albion goalkeeper to the ball, knock it around him and put it into the empty goal.
You could sense that Albion Sports were getting frustrated and started pushing more players further upfield to reduce the lead. They seemed to be getting most of their success through the 6 foot 4 commanding striker Karl Hall. His height was struggling the Cobras defence and goalkeeper but couldn’t put his headers into the back of the net.
For the next five minutes it turned into end to end action. Firstly it was Daniel Facey breaking through on goal, it was Luke Randle again with a important block. Facey the resulted to putting the ball deep into the box. Omar Habeed seemed to have all the time he needed to compose himself and shoot but Doncaster rushed out and managed to palm it away.
From that very clearance it was Clipstone who broke through with Luke Walker. Again one on one with Tenery. As Walker tried to take the ball around him again, Tenery dived at Walker’s feet and held onto the ball.
His throw reached the half way line and after a clever pass from Jenkinson saw Facey put the ball into the net only to be disallowed for offside.
On the 64th minute Albion Sports finally pulled one goal back Facey’s delivery found Karl Hall who beat the challenge of Doncaster and Thomas to head the ball into the open goal. 3-2
Clipstone had to dig deep to keep Albion at bay. A bombardment of Albion crosses all seemed to find Hall, each of his headers on target. Forcing numerous great saves from Doncaster and goal-line clearances from Hawley & Randle.
As the match pushed into the last 15 minutes Clipstone gave away a penalty. Asip Hussain stepped up to level the game and surely put Albion Sports in a commanding place.
The magnificent Doncaster again made some vital punches and spectacular high flying saves to keep the score at 3-3.
On the 85th minute the referee deemed Charlie Taylor took one too many chances trying to win the ball back from Facey and gave Albion Sports yet another penalty. This one seemed extremely harsh against Clipstone. Again Asip Hussain stepped up but from tribulation to jubilation as Doncaster guessed right and parried the penalty wide.
It went for good to incredible as Clipstone pushed upfield and won a corner in the 88th minute. Curtis played the ball hard and low towards the penalty spot, Williams quickly looked over his shoulder and saw the run of Keaton Ward. With the defence trying to get to Williams he cleverly let the ball run through his legs and left Ward with a open shot on goal. Ward composed himself and smashed the ball into the top corner of the goal! The players, management and supporters went wild with delight.
The Cobras had 2 minutes plus extra time to hold onto their lead. The character the players had shown managed to hold on for what seemed an eternity before the referee blew his whistle for full time. 4-3