Malty Main v Clipstone match report
Two late goals take the shine off an improved performance.
Toolstation Northern Counties East – Premier Division
Saturday 4th February 2017
At Muglet Lane, Maltby
Maltby Main (3) 5
Carroll 17 25 90 Patterson 45 Smith 87
Clipstone FC (1) 2
Rogers 12 Curtis 54
Cobras’ Man of the Match: Ben Rogers
Report by Jim McIntosh (@Realalerunner)
Clipstone lost again on their travels although the scoreline flattered the home side and indeed the Cobras were in the game until two late goals killed them off.
Mistakes due to inexperience have seen the Cobras concede 17 goals in the four games since Ian Cotton took charge. However the team spirit and worth ethic has been good and signs of improvement have been evident in every game.
Cotton made three changes from the side beaten at Hemsworth seven days earlier with Gary Doncaster taking over in goal from the injured Andy Francis whilst Ben Burbanks and Tim Gregory both returned to the starting eleven.
An experienced Maltby side included former Cobra Joe Austin who was fortunate to stay on the pitch in the sixth minute when he lashed out at Tim Gregory but was only cautioned by referee Mr Smith.
The early stages belonged to the home side and after an early header from Maltby’s Nicky Darker went over the bar Oliver Lawrence saw his attempt on goal go wide of the target.
The visitors then took the lead against the run of play in the 12th minute when Keenan Leeds found Tim Gregory who then played a great through ball for captain Ben Rogers to run onto. Rogers held off a defender and managed to force the ball under ‘keeper Daniel Rusling and over the line from 12 yards out. 0-1
Maltby responded immediately and when they won their third corner of the game, Ryan Carroll out-jumped everybody in the six yard box and headed home. 1-1
Gary Doncaster then produced an excellent fingertip save to keep out a header from Carroll and push it past the post.
The hosts took the lead after 25 minutes when a great cross from the left from Cameron Rigby skimmed off a Clipstone player’s head to the feet of Carroll whose first time volley from the edge of the area gave Doncaster no chance. 2-1
The Cobras responded to this set back and a quick throw by Keaton Ward found Leeds in space in the box but the angle was tight and he was unable to get his shot on target.
The home side then forced a number of corners although these were defended well and no clear cut chances resulted.
On the stroke of half time Maltby grabbed a killer third goal when a long throw by Nicky Darker was only half-cleared as far as Danny Patterson in the box. Doncaster looked to have the shot covered until a deflection sent the ball past him.
Half Time 3-1
The Cobras responded well in the second half and took the fight to their opponents. They were rewarded in the 54th minute when a free kick by Leeds from 20 yards was diverted past Rusling by Gareth Curtis. 3-2
As the game became end to end, the Cobras created some decent chances to equalise. On 66 minutes Ben Rogers found space in the area and was only denied by a great tackle by Austin. The resulting corner created a chance for Leeds whose shot was blocked. Rogers picked up the rebound but his shot was straight at Rusling.
Tim Gregory then beat two players on the edge of the box and created a shooting opportunity for himself but his effort was again straight at Rusling.
Good work from substitute Harry Bircumshaw created a further chance for Gregory and this time his shot went across the face of the goal.
Maltby came close with ten minutes remaining when Steven Hopewell saw his shot come back off the bar and Doncaster did well to deny Carroll who was first to the rebound.
The Cobras still looked to have a chance of grabbing a point until the 87th minute when Carroll crossed from the right for Dean Smith to head home from close range. 4-2
Carroll then completed his hat-trick in added time when he ran into the area and his powerful shot eluded Cobras’ keeper Gary Doncaster who got both hands to it but couldn’t keep it out.
Full Time 5-2
Clipstone remain in 15th placed with 38 points from 31 matches. As a result of other results going in the Cobras’ favour they are 22 points ahead of the third bottom team and with 11 games left, almost assured of avoiding relegation.
The Cobras’ next game is at home to league leaders Cleethorpes Town on Saturday 11 February, 3pm.