Clay Cross shade Staveley in a tight local derby

Man-of-the-match Joel Holland surges past Staveley's Ashley Bartle to set up another Clay Cross attack.
Man-of-the-match Joel Holland surges past Staveley's Ashley Bartle to set up another Clay Cross attack.

Local-derby bragging rights were bagged by in-form Clay Cross Town thanks to a 2-1 victory over Staveley Miners Welfare Reserves.

In their first game for a month because of the wintry weather, Clay Cross came from behind to shade Staveley and move to within two points of them in the top six of the Central Midlands League’s North Division.

The Millers also have six games in hand over both their derby rivals and leaders Harworth Colliery, whom they trail by 21 points.

Staveley struck first blood when a poorly judged clearance allowed Peter Roberts the opportunity to fire past goalkeeper Charlie Clayton.

But Clay Cross were level on 24 when Lee Clay struck his 30th goal of the season, and on the stroke of half-time, they were in front as Grant Mitchell screwed a shot past ‘keeper Rio Alberry.

There was little to choose betweeen the teams in the second half, although the hosts squandered two gilt-edged chances to settle the nerves. First, Alberry tipped over am acrobatic scissor-kick from George Slack for the save of the game, and with minutes remaining, a low cross by man-of-the-match Joel Holland was somehow put wide from only three yards by Jordan Hendley.

The defeat was only Staveley’s sixth of the league season, but Clay Cross are now on a winning sequence of eight and hope to maintain their late charge for the title in a double-header over Easter, away to second-placed Collingham on Saturday and at home to Thorne Colliery on Monday.