AFC Emley succumbed to a 2-1 defeat at home to Clipstone FC in a top of the table clash in the Northern Counties East League’s Division One.

Emley put the visitors on the back foot early on, Kurtis Noble cutting in from the right and firing a left footed shot over the bar, while Alex Hallam also managed to get a shot away from outside the area, but saw it deflected wide.

At the other end, Adam Lawlor was in action when Matty Ord fired a shot at goal, however, the Emley stopper was equal to the effort.

Ash Flynn then got into the Clipstone area, but as he was about to unleash a strike, a Clipstone foot managed to steal the ball away.

The visitors then started to get a foothold in the game, Jamie Brown squaring a ball across the face of goal, but Josh Ingham was alert and cleared the ball to safety.

Clipstone then had the best chance of the half so far, Dan Wood caught Lawlor out on the edge of the area, but sent his effort wide of the back post.

Flynn had the chance to give Emley the lead from a free kick after he was dragged down on the edge of the area, but the subsequent strike hit the wall and the rebounded effort was cleared to safety.

It was the visitors who broke the deadlock against the run of play when Dan Wood was not stopped down the right and when the winger reached the area got a shot away, which was deflected past Lawlor and into the back of the net.

Shortly afterwards Steven Kenworthy came close to putting Emley back on level terms after he weaved his way into the opposition box, but he fired his shot into the side netting.

Josh Ingham in action for AFC Emley at home to Clipstone
 

Emley were then awarded the chance to level the game from the penalty spot after Flynn was tripped inside the area, the striker dusted himself down to take the kick and, after seeing the goalkeeper make the first move, delicately chipped the ball into the back of the net.

The visitors began the second half in the ascendancy with Brown being denied a shot on goal by the boot of Sam Jerome, before Paul Sykes cleared the ball to safety.

The second period was a scrappy affair, with both sides failing to test the keepers as much as they would have liked.

The visitors did however manage to get themselves back in front. Jamie Smith was on hand to tap home after Ord squared the ball into the strikers path at the near post.

Smith then had the chance to double the visitors advantage in a very similar situation to when he scored. This time Wood squared the ball into Smith’s path, but the striker scuffed his effort wide of the goal.

Emley then had a succession of attempts in the dying stages of the game. First a Michael Tunnacliffe free kick was cleared, before the rebounded attempt was blocked. Then Danny Claridge stung the palms of Nick Siddons with a long range effort, before Flynn saw a strike deflected and cleared by the Clipstone defence as the visitors held on for the three points.

The defeat means Emley reamain a point clear at the top of Division One, but Clipstone are now just three points behind with four games in hand.