Topliss shines as Clipstone get back to winning ways.

Topliss shines as Clipstone get back to winning ways.

Assistant manager Steve Smith paid tribute to the gritty qualities of his Clipstone side after they pulled off an eyecatching 1-0 win away to high-riding Ingles in the East Midlands Counties League’s Premier Division.

A quality free-kick from man-of-the-match Julian Topliss just before half-time was enough to earn the Cobras all three points against the Shepshed side and lift them to sixth in the table.

Smith, who took charge of the team for the day, felt the “key difference” between the two teams was the way Clipstone battled. He said: “We knew it was going to be difficult. The condititions made it hard and the pitch was not great to play football on.

“But we dug in and I’m proud of the lads for the way they played.” Smith also lavished praise on Topliss, who fired the ball around Ingles’ defensive wall and into the top corner from the edge of the area for the winning goal. He said: “Julian took his goal excellently. His workrate was outstanding. He ran himself into the ground and really put a shift in.” In the second half, Clipstone had lots of defending to do, and goalkeeper Dale Sheppard pulled off a superb save to divert a goalbound effort round a post. But they held on and now look forward to visiting Borrowash Victoria on Saturday.

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