In what was a enthralling game Clipstone were victorious for the first time since the F.A. Cup win in early August.
A tremendously characteristic performance from the Cobras saw the visitors progress through to the next round of the F.A. Vase. Although the performance of the game came from “stand-in” goalkeeper Jacob Lowe who pulled of numerous impressive stops as well as a penalty save.
Ian Cotton made four changes after the 2-0 loss to Staveley Miners Welfare with Doncaster, Lowe, Taylor and Williams replacing Kerry, Vickers, Millns & the suspended Tim Gregory.
It wasn’t long before the first chance of the game coming in the fourth minute, when winger Matt Hubbard broke the offside trap to test the Barton goalkeeper Rob Zand who only had a simple save to make in the end.
Barton hit back with a dangerous chance before converting from the resulting corner. Will Waudby curled a dangerous corner in which had goalkeeper Gary Doncaster sprawling before hitting Clipstone right-back Ben Burbanks on the knee and straight into the open goal.
Things seemed to go from bad to worse on 14 minutes when the Cobras keeper Doncaster saw red for a reckless two-footed challenge inside his own box. With no goalkeeper on the bench Jacob Lowe had to wear the number 1 shirt.
His first duty was to save the penalty diving low to his right with Charlie Taylor clearing the follow up away.
Clipstone had to re-shuffle knowing they must play with 10 men for 75 minutes but took momentum from the Lowe penalty save. Good pressure from Ben Burbanks forced centre half Joe Lamplough to scuff his defensive clearance, Hutchinson then found the impressive new signing Matt Brian who saw his shot saved by Zand.
Jacob Lowe was again forced into action with another clever save down to his left, had you been a neutral you wouldn’t have guessed that Lowe isn’t a goalkeeper.
The numbers were then evened up after half an hour when Will Wauldby was sent off for a two-footed challenge on Charlie Taylor, it seemed that Wauldby was frustrated with not receiving a free-kick himself before angrily getting up and reacting to the uncalled decision.
Clipstone ended the first half with the better chances and you could sense something was going to happen for the visitors. Hubbard again giving right-back James Williamson problems using his pace to get in behind the Barton back line. This time instead of cutting in Hubbard went to the by-line, he found Morgan on the penalty spot who saw his shot parried by Zand before his second effort was headed out for a corner.
It was thanks to good hold up play by Matt Brian that Clipstone could have levelled the game before half time after another good goalscoring chance. His clever chest down was seen by the on-rushing Ben Rogers who couldn’t get through the Barton back four but did enough to earn a free kick on the edge of the box. Unfortunately the resulting free kick didn’t test the Swans goalkeeper and hit the wall.
Half time 1-0 Barton.
Clipstone started as they ended the first half when the ever-willing Ben Burbanks pushed forward and crossed to Matt Brian. Brian then took the ball down, Cruyff turned the centre half and hit over the bar with his left foot.
It was again Clipstone with another strong chance on the 56th minute. A clever corner kick saw Barton Town sleeping, Williams dummied the ball to Morgan, his thunderous shot was then tipped over the goal by Zand. The following corner saw Hutchinson change his delivery and went deep to the back post. Charlie Taylor rose above anyone else and saw his header beat Zand and into the Barton goal. Unfortunately, Referee Drew Dutton claimed Taylor had fouled Williamson prior to his header.
The Cobras manager Ian Cotton decided it was time for a change and brought on Fenn Radford for Jack Hutchinson in the 62nd minute. In the 69th it was Radford who scored the equaliser! Good patient play from Clipstone eventually saw the ball passed through to Radford. His first-time strike flew past Rob Zand and straight into the bottom corner. 1-1.
For the next five minutes Barton looked for a goal to put them back into the lead. Some good strong and solid defending from the Clipstone back line prevented any real goal scoring opportunities for Barton and when the ball was put into the area keeper Lowe did enough to deal with them.
On the 76th minute referee Dutton then deemed a good header from Keir Webster as a foul. Right-winger Tom Waudby fancied his chances against the inexperienced keeper Jacob Lowe. He went for a distance shot but Lowe was equal to the challenge parrying over his cross-bar. The Barton corner was cleared and the Clipstone counter attack was on. A speculative pass from Rogers was miss-kicked from the Swan’s goalkeeper. With Zand well out of his area the ball fell kindly for Radford who went for a speculative effort. The ball just didn’t have enough dip and hit the roof of the goal, with Zand no doubt taking a big sigh of relief.
It was the Cobras again applying pressure to the Barton defence. A good delivery from Morgan saw Matt Brian rising the highest to head it into the path of unmarked Brendan Williams. Williams had enough composure to direct the ball on target into the bottom left of the goalkeeper’s goal. All the players came to congratulate the scorer Williams showing the brilliant team spirit the Cobras are all about.
Naturally Clipstone did their best to defend the 2-1 lead with minimal risks being taken. With this strategy, the Cobras limited Barton Town to any clear cut chances until the 91st minute when Dayle Hiutson found himself in space at the back post but couldn’t direct his header goal wards.
The Cobras’ next game is at home against Parkgate on Saturday 30th September, 3PM.