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Cobras on the march after fine month

Posted onPosted on 27th Mar

Clipstone FC’s programme in March was a tough challenge with all fixtures against sides in the top half of United Counties League Division One, report Jim McIntosh and Owen Hardwick.

But Ian Cotton’s men rose to the challenge well with three wins out of four — and have started to show that, on their day, they can match any side in the division.

The results left the Cobras seventh with 60 points from 35 games as the final month of the season approached.

March started with the Cobras hosting second-placed Bourne Town. Two goals from skipper Tim Gregory, plus a Ryan Ingram strike, ensured an emphatic 3-0 victory.

Whilst snow caused fixtures scheduled for the second Saturday in March to be postponed, manager Cotton remained busy by recruiting the experienced Lewis Bingham and Sam Stretton from Ollerton Town.

Bingham and Stretton were in the squad as the Cobras grabbed a deserved 2-1 victory at seventh-placed Blackstones FC. Clipstone dominated a goalless first half, but took just two minutes into the second half to take the lead when Will Heather headed home Kieran Coupe’s cross.

Blackstones levelled when Sam Fielding was left unmarked in the box to head past Josh Turton in the 55th minute. However, the Cobras regained the advantage just over 10 minutes later through an Ingram volley, which took his tally to 17 goals so far this season.

Minutes later Blackstones’ captain Kieran Duffy-Weekes received a second card for a late challenge on Tim Gregory and was sent off.

The rearranged home fixture against Dunkirk FC was tight, settled by a superb solo effort from Bingham in the first half as he latched on to a ball over the top and beat the keeper from 22 yards. Luke Walker later missed a penalty.

The toughest challenge came at the end of the month when the Cobras travelled to leaders Aylestone Park, who won 4-1 at the Lido Ground earlier in the season.

The Cobras pushed their hosts all the way, despite conceding in the fifth minute to Louis Samuels. Aaron Nuttall doubled the home side’s advantage just before the break, but the second half was a different story and the Cobras grabbed a goal back through Gregory when he met Lewis Weaver’s cross at the far post. Gregory then missed a fine chance to level in the 71st minute in a 2-1 defeat.