Clipstone were pegged back in painfully familiar fashion but can still reflect on a point gained to stop the losing run against Bottesford Town.
The ever improving Clipstone side took a two goal lead through Gareth Curtis & Luke Walker before the visitors responded with one through Oliver Donald just before half time and the other just after the break through Mike Thompson.
Ian Cotton made two changes after the 3-1 loss to Pickering Town with Rob Paling & Charlie Taylor replacing Jacob Lowe & Brendan Williams.
The hosts made the better start after just 3 minutes when the new strike partnership of Luke Walker & Ryan Hawley combined to put Tim Gregory through on goal. His miss hit shot however trickled wide and didn’t test experienced Bottesford goalkeeper Jody Barford.
The Cobras then forced the save from Barford 2 minutes later when inform Gareth Curtis found himself in space but couldn’t find a way past.
The visitors first chance came on the 7th minute when Wayne Graves was put through by Josh Nichol again not troubling Doncaster in goal.
Clipstone pressure was building and Bottesford Town’s back four didn’t look like they had settled into the game yet. Curtis again was troubling right back Gibbons keeping the ball well before his cross come shot nearly caught the goalkeeper of guard, Barford parried the ball for a corner close to his near post. A cleverly worked set piece saw the ball lofted into the pathway of Keenan Leeds on the edge of the box for him to volley straight at the goalkeeper.
Finally Clipstone broke the deadlock on 14 minutes when Curtis seemed to have done too much cleverly turned back onto the edge of the box before his shot deflected off centre half Tom Johnson into the top corner of the goal. It was Curtis’ 4th goal in 4 games. 1-0
Bottesford had a chance 16 minutes into the game after a strange decision was given as a foul by Rob Paling on the by-line near the box. The delivery was good and found a unmarked Oliver Donald heading over the bar.
It didn’t take long for Clipstone to re-group and test a unsteady Bottesford defence. This time Luke Walker seemed to have the freedom of Clipstone to take the ball from the halfway line unchallenged into the Bottesford box before his shot was saved and put out for a corner. Bottesford goalkeeper Jody Barford must have been asking questions of his defence and midfield.
The delivery was brilliant and Keenan Leeds’ hard & low header was parried by Barford only into the path of Luke Walker who had a simple finish into the unguarded net to score his first goal for Clipstone. 2-0
Now Bottesford were really frustrated their mood was not about to improve when Broughton sent a strong cross flying across the Cobras goal, begging for a touch that never came.
On the 41st minute a dangerous Bottesford corner found its way to Tom Johnson who held onto the ball really well, struggling to get his shot away his looked up to find his central defensive partner Donald who acrobatically volleyed home to make it 2-1.
Half time 2-1.
The second half was always likely to be a different proposition. The first talking point arrived when Paling was booked for seemingly reacting to yet another late challenge by Striker Boulton. Bottesford had the better of the possession in the first five minutes and when Tim Gregory was booked for a foul on the 51st minute. The resulting free kick was taken by winger Wayne Graves, his ball into the box caused trouble and found Mike Thompson only tipping the ball into the back of the goal to make it 2-2.
It went from bad to worse for Clipstone as Captain Ben Rogers reacted to a fourth late tackle by Danny Boulton and saw red. Amazingly Boulton again went unpunished and there was a sense of injustice circulating around the Worksop Van Hire Stadium.
Clipstone had to re-shape and changed to a 4-4-1 formation and took striker Hawley off and added some midfield protection in Brendan Williams.
The Cobras however rallied together and had the best chances to go on and win the game. A ball over the top saw Gareth Curtis break through 1 on 1 with the goalkeeper this time the Jody Barford won the battle. Lady luck didn’t seem to be on Clipstones side as minutes later Gregory’s tricky run caused Gibbons trouble and seemingly looked to have brought Gregory down inside the penalty box. Amazingly the referee didn’t react and play carried on.
Clipstone limited Bottesford to any real goal scoring opportunities. Twice striker Josh Nicol tried his luck in a bid to complete the comeback – twice denied by goalkeeper Gary Doncaster to stand firm and claim a point after six minutes of injury time being played.
Full time 2-2.