On a warm September afternoon Clifton Robinson’s made their eagerly anticipated return to the Men’s National League. In front of a packed Stade De Clifton College the game started at a frenetic pace with Ashmoor applying early pressure, Clifton looking slightly nervy with many new faces making their club debuts. That trend continued into the 2nd quarter, with Ashmoor creating numerous D penetrations and a resulting short corner narrowly missing the target. Clifton showed flickers of light with some sharp counter attacks but Ashmoor’s pressure was soon told after a goal mouth scramble resulted in an Ashmoor forward tucking the ball home to make it 0-1.
With some stern words at half time, the 3rd quarter was a complete turn around. Early Clifton pressure lead to Clifton’s first short corner of the game. Step up, the Giant of a man Rory Thorburn. His heavily disguised drag flick left the crowd and the keeper confused, as it rolled into the goal. 1-1, game on. As the 3rd quarter entered it’s final 5 minutes, Ashmoor continued to look dangerous but it was Clifton who struck next. A great turnover in Midfield, Nick Robilliard passed the ball onto silky Ollie King, who darted inside and a smashed in bullet reverse stick from top D making it 2-1.
The 4th quarter was a very cagey affair. Clifton continued to drop deep as they fought hard to hold onto the lead. With a combination of great team defence, a solid MOM performance from Tom Appleby and a drop kick clearance from the ever dependable GK Andy Hughes, Clifton managed the final few minutes of the game. The final whistle went to elation from the home fans, 2-1 to Clifton Robinsons. The sweetest of victories on the return to National League. Although, great credit has to Ashmoor who performed fantastically well and played the game in great spirit.