Friday, 22 February 2013

Clipstone Miners Welfare 1-2 AFC Emley


A nice localish game today. The two months after Christmas are always a strain on the old purse strings, so it suited us all to take in a local game that wouldn't cost us a huge amount. Our destination was Clipstone Miners Welfare to see a midtable battle against AFC Emley. I have done Clipstone a few times in the past, including two abandoned games against Ollerton Town and a visit on one of the CML groundhops, and its always been a decent day/night out. So i was looking forward to today's match.

Felice drove today and he too had fond memories of Clippo's Lido ground having played in the Notts Intermediate Cup final back in 1979 as he reached the end of his playing career in his late 30's.
After giving him a fair amount of stick on here about his bullshit very valid reasons for missing many, many football matches, it was great to see Lee Houseman back with us and ticking off another ground. He may still be a way off joining the exclusive 100 grounds club but he is getting there. He should make it before he reaches his 40th birthday. However by the time he reaches that landmark his family may be bigger. For as we made our merry way to Clipstone his good lady informed him via a video sent to his phone that she was seriously thinking of purchasing a parrot. You could say his reaction to this news was less than favourable (that's putting it mildly!) Still it gave the rest of us plenty of amusement for the rest of the day. The lad was almost going berserk at the thought of a troublesome bird flapping, squawking, and pooping all over the house.


We arrived in good time and had plenty of time to kill. As we approached the clubhouse we saw the recently appointed Clipstone chairman and Retford United legend Brett Marshall chatting away near the turnstiles. The guy is still quite liked in Retford as we saw last Tuesday night at the Retford v Nostell game we went to. It will be interesting to watch Clippo's progress under his dynamic leadership.

Entrance was the standard £4 with the programme costing a further £1. Since i was last here the club has done a few ground improvements to comply with the promotion they gained last season. The entrance has moved slightly and they have got some second hand seats from Mansfield Town and placed them in them in the covered area behind the goal. They are in decent nick and look as if they have hardly been sat on.

Mention the name of today's visitors to any Lincoln City fan and the odds are they will mention the infamous FA Cup defeat to them in the 1997/98 season. At the time City were flying high on what was then the 3rd division (now League Two) while Emley were in the Unibond league. City scrambled a 3-3 draw at home thanks to a 97th minute equaliser from Terry Flemming which meant a replay. The replay was staged at Huddersfield's ground and with 20 minutes to go, City led 2-0. However the part timers fought back to force extra time. Each side scored in extra time and so a shootout was needed. Needless to say we lost the shootout and Emley went on to play Premiership side West Ham United at Upton Park and lost 2-1. Although that club technically no longer exists due to a split in the club when they moved to Wakefield for ground reasons, this club is seen as its descendent.

Although there isn't a clubhouse at the ground there is a decent little tea room serving up hot food and drinks as well as cans of beer (£2 for a can of Fosters) So we had somewhere to sit whilst we waited for the game to start and discuss parrots etc.

Both sides were firmly locked in midtable and although there was little to play for, both sides really got stuck in. The pitch wasn't the greatest so both sides reverted to the long ball game, and with both sides committing plenty of fouls. The visitors looked slightly the better side though, and on 31 minutes they took the lead with a thumping header from a corner.  However they were pegged back just before halftime; Emley failed to clear their lines, and the ball got a kind deflection off one of the Emley defenders, and fell to a Clipstone player who made no mistake and fired across the keeper to make it 1-1. The away side may have claimed that Clippo got lucky but that's life. And the key to being a good striker is being in the right place at the right time.

The game didn't really get much better in the second half. Clippo had a goal disallowed (looked a decent goal to me) And that swung the game. Emley grabbed the winner via an own goal. A cross was swung in from the right which found the head of a Clipstone defender who in trying to clear the ball only succeeded in looping it over his own goalkeeper. In a way it summed up the game.

Emley held out for the three points but the real footballing story was elsewhere. At halftime Lincoln City led 1-2 away at Hereford United. However the Imps conceded 2 goals in 4 minutes in the second half to lose 3-2. Bugger.


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