Clipstone - Keiren Watson (36), Rob Paling (pen 60), Carl Snowden 83, 86.
Kimberley - Martin Lench (32)
First round tie between NCEL1 outfit Clipstone FC and NSL Senior Division Kimberley MW - step 5 v step 7a. The scoreline slightly flatters the home team, but the introduction of the mercurial Carl Haslam with 10 minutes of the second half played, added that little bit extra to the Clipstone team, and the Welfare defence had no answer to the problems he posed them.
The Hucknall Town connection from last season is massively evident when you look at the Clipstone line-up....
....and the former Town Secretary also made an appearance! Great to see Tony Knowles looking so well after his season horribilis at Watnall Road. Doing a bit of committee work for Matlock Town now - the Gladiators don't know how lucky they are to have secured his services.
Kimberley more than held their own as the first half progressed, and surprised most people in the ground by actually taking the lead on 32.
There appeared to be little danger when Welfare's MARTIN LENCH received the ball 22 yards from goal, but the former Basford United player thought differently and hit a terrific curling effort into the far top corner.
The lead lasted only four minutes though, Clipstone drawing level thanks to a sweetly timed KEIRAN WATSON volley from the corner of the box that gave Welfare keeper Walsh no chance. H-T 1-1
Invited into the Barry Clarke suite for coffee and a chip butty during the break - thanks everyone, much appreciated!
The game changed completely when Haslam entered the fray. His solo raids down the right causing immediate panic in the Kimberley defensive ranks. On the hour mark, Haslam's ball eventually found Stubley in the box, and as the striker made a move towards goal he was tripped, giving Referee Mr. Jordan Bancroft no option other than to award a penalty kick. ROB PALING converted easily enough from the spot to put the home team in front for the first time in the game.
Although they had a couple of reasonable chances as the second half wore on, the visitors were really struggling to contain Haslam, whose pace and skill troubled their defence time and time again.
The third Clipstone goal was simplicity itself - a Haslam run down the right, and an inch perfect cross that gave CARL SNOWDEN the easiest of tap in from inside the six yard box.
Three minutes later, it was that man Haslam again, this time his cross picking out KEIRAN WATSON unmarked at the far post, and the prolific hit-man is never going to waste such a simple chance. F-T 4-1
Fair play to Kimberley, they gave their hosts a good game and seem to have a decent set of players. Referee Mr. Bancroft thought so as well, writing at least four of their names in his book for future reference!
Lench was one of those players booked, and when he made an awful challenge on a Clipstone player in the second half, we were amazed when wasn't given a second yellow, just a talking to. Mr. Bancroft also dismissed a couple of people from the Welfare dug-out towards the end of the game.