Clay Cross strengthen hold at the top ahead of key clash

Clay Cross v Easington. Pictured is Ryan Ordidge.

Clay Cross v Easington. Pictured is Ryan Ordidge.

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Clay Cross Town remain three points clear at the top of the CMFL North after a 3-0 win over Easington United.

The Millers missed out on the chance to strengthen their hold on top spot in midweek when they suffered a home defeat to title contenders Bilsthorpe FC.

But it was a return to winning ways for Clay Cross on Saturday at Mill Lane that keeps clear distance between themselves and the chasing pack.

Will Harcourt headed the Millers into the lead on ten minutes before Callum Lytham doubled the home side’s advantage midway through the first half.

A Ryan Ordidge penalty settled the contest and gave Clay Cross the perfect response ahead of the visit of second-place Newark Town on Wednesday night (March 18).

Elsewhere in the division, a battling Glapwell were agonisingly beaten 1-0 by title challengers Westella VIP after Chris Short struck a 90th minute winner.

Chances were at a premium throughout although Glapwell, who went in to the game with a depleted squad, did have a couple of good ones with Callum Dovison denied by the home keeper after going clear.

Westella had a big chance to take a first half lead when they were awarded a penalty, but Ryan Hopkins brilliantly denied Chris Spinks’ well struck spot-kick.

The home side had a couple of further chances with a header from a corner and a shot from the left flashing just across goal but remain in mid-table.

In the CMFL South, Pinxton came from behind to record a 3-1 win over Southwell and claim three points that moved them up to second - seven points behind leaders Mickleover Royals.

Southwell took the lead when a break down the hosts’ left saw the winger show Pinxton’s defence a clean pair of heels before delivering an inch-perfect cross for Chris Bowles to tap home.

It was nothing more than the home side had deserved from an opening 45 minutes but they were unable to sustain the same level of effort in the second and Pinxton patiently waited for their moment.

The visitors pressed and a move to go more direct in their style of play paid off. The equaliser came from a corner when Nathan Hollingworth’s delivery was met by a powerful header from Jake Allen.

And it was from another corner that saw Pinxton take the lead when, with ten minutes to go, a Joel Smith flag kick was met by Josh Madin, who saw his header cleared off the line.

The ball bounced back to the defender and his shot hot the post but the danger wasn’t cleared and when the ball fell kindly for Jake Vernon he tucked it away to put the away side ahead.

The goal took the wind out of the hosts’ sails and, sensing another would put the result beyond doubt, Pinxton flooded forward. They would get the reward their efforts deserved.

Ryan Bates fed Ryan Watter and he in turn found Pete Stubley. There was an element of fortune about the experienced striker’s finish, as the ball hit his shin and thigh before rolling over the line.