Late winner spares Clay Cross blushes against ten men

Clay Cross striker Ant Lynam is denied a goal by the toe of Bentley's Callum Taylor.
Clay Cross striker Ant Lynam is denied a goal by the toe of Bentley's Callum Taylor.

Supersub Joel Holland grabbed a late winner as Clay Cross Town defied a fightback by ten-man AFC Bentley at the top of the Central Midlands League’s North Division.

Returning to league action for the first time in three weeks, Clay Cross appeared to be heading for a costly draw, which would have cut their lead in the table to just two points over Retford, who have two games in hand.

Fifth-placed Bentley had fought back from 2-0 down, despite being reduced to ten men as early as the 13th minute. But in the 83rd minute, man-of-the-match Brown broke through the home defence and fired in a low shot that was deflected into the net by Holland for a 3-2 win.

The Millers had also netted the opening goal of a tricky trip to Doncaster when striker Ant Lynam turned sharply in the area to fire a low, hard drive through a cluster of defenders in the third minute.

Bentley almost levelled when an effort by Jack Varley rolled on to a post, but then they had Kyle Downing sent off for a two-footed challenge.

Clay Cross took advantage by doubling their lead when Callam Lytham surged forward to slide past advancing ‘keeper James Brookes.

But Lytham gave away a penalty that was converted by Theo Mowatt, who also scored Bentley’s equaliser on the half-hour.