At 11.55 am I bought a £5 Zigzag, Trent/Barton ticket on the number one bus into Nottingham Victoria from near the old Commodore on Nuthall Road. Used the ticket to get to Mansfield on the number 3 at 12.25 hrs. From Mansfield Bus Station at 13.40 hrs I had to pay on a Stagecoach East Midlands bus number 16 to Clipstone and ask for the stop after 6th Avenue. From this stop I walked back in the direction the bus had just come and a couple of minutes down Clipstone Road East to the ground. Return fare was £4.10 and the bus back to Mansfield leaves from the 6th Avenue stop at 17.05.
£3 entrance, £1.50 OAP/Children - Programme £1, lots of adverts
Tea/Coffee 60p in a mug, Hot Pastie £1, Burgers £2
The club has four floodlight pylons either side of the pitch. There is hard standing along three sides of the pitch along with metal fencing. There is no access behind the far goal at the 7th Avenue end of the ground because the housing is too close to the pitch. There is a small covered stand at the clubhouse end of the ground behind the goal. To the left side of the pitch is the small main stand where 100 seats are positioned either side of the halfway line. Running back to the corner flag is another covered standing area.
Before the game I was told that Clipstone had applied to both the Northern Counties East League and the East Midland Counties League for membership next season. They will certainly have to be better organised with their programme production. I was told by a club official It was unlikely there would be a programme for todays fixture because there was a problem with the ladies printer who does the match day programme. Five minutes before the game began I was talking to the young lady taking the entrance money when a small brown parcel arrived containing just six programmes. I managed to buy One but another One was quickly taken away by a club official who told me they needed to send one programme to the league to avoid a fine.
Clipstone kicked off in their black and white stripe shirts attacking the 7th Avenue end of the ground. In the second minute of the game the home side were awarded a free kick just outside Bentley’s penalty area for an innocuous challenge. The freekick took a deflection off a defenders head and clipped the top of the bar before going out for a corner. The corner came to nothing but Bentley marched upfield where the left back and left winger combined to get a shooting opportunity and force the Clipstone keeper into making a decent save. A minute later the Bentley left winger had the home keeper smother the ball at his feet as he raced into the area. Not long after, Bentley’s centre forward was thwarted when again the Clipstone keeper pulled off a superb save.
In the first thirty minutes of the game Bentley were creating the better chances but after this period Clipstone took the initiative. Both the Clipstone forwards were causing problems with their movement and on 35 minutes the Bentley keeper had to come to his sides rescue with two wonderful saves after the offside trap was beaten. The Clipstone pressure paid off a minute before halftime when from a break a Clipstone player was brought down off the ball. The freekick was played into the Bentley box and Lee Bowler stabbed the ball home. HT 1-0.
The second half began in near darkness as Clipstone were late putting the floodlights on. All of Bentley’s hard work in the first half seemed to count for nothing when after four minutes of the restart Clipstones substitute Michael Lyle was played through, and he cooly rounded the keeper and slotted the ball home for 2-0. The home side were in total command in the second half reducing their opponents into a couple of long range efforts. Mark Carter was having a good game for Clipstone and he scored their third on 70 minutes. Clipstone were able to keep the ball for long periods and in the end won the game at a stroll. FT 3-0.