As a result of ‘our team’ Lincoln United’s victory at Clipstone on Saturday, we now follow them to Rugby Town in the Second Qualifying Round on Saturday, September 26.
United played their part in an extremely open and entertaining game at Clipstone, a small former mining village near Mansfield in Nottinghamshire, in the First Qualifying Round on September 12.
Clipstone – a step beneath their opponents on the non-league pyramid – had started brightly, with their main threat coming from the Raheem Sterling-like presence of their number 10, Henry Sibenge. But, United took advantage of a slight slope just before half time when Paul Grimes curled in a shot from just outside the area.
That should have been the catalyst for more goals from United, and indeed they dominated much of the second half, with the threat of Clipstone’s number 10 clearly discussed at half time and hence thwarted. However, despite some good football by United, it was Clipstone who stole an equaliser totally against the run of play. A long ball fell into the path of substitute Alec Denton who did brilliantly not only to control the ball but to slot it past United’s keeper, who had had little to do prior to this stage.
After that, the game got interesting. Goal mouth scrambles, missed United chances and some robust challenges made for an exciting finish. And just when we thought a trip to Lincoln was on the cards for the replay, United were awarded a penalty.
All eyes were on Daniel Brooks as he took shape before thumping the ball past the Clipstone keeper.
It proved to be the winner, and so we follow United to Rugby a week on Saturday.
Actually they followed us to the Dog and Duck in King’s Clipstone just down the road, where the club and their fans both celebrated the win with a pint or two before heading off.
Clipstone can be proud of their display, and our brief stop with them was a pleasant one, even if the local wasps plagued us throughout, and made eating our half time hot dog and chips a real challenge.
Their ground is a small, old fashioned non-league ground, exactly what you’d expect from a team that used to be known as Clipstone Welfare. Rugby Town’s new-age Butlin Road ground is very different indeed, and there will be a few more fans in attendance than the 113 that came along on Saturday.
More on Rugby versus Lincoln United next week.