Clipstone shared the points at Retford in this North Nottinghamshire derby as midfielder Josh Nodder scored for the fourth consecutive game in a 1-1 draw.
Whilst the Cobras made numerous chances, particularly in the first half, they also had ‘keeper Jamie Bailey to thank for some vital saves.
The visitors started the game brightly and Nodder, wearing the captain’s armband as regular skipper Richard Patterson began a three match suspension, fired a free-kick straight at the ‘keeper in the first minute.
Nodder was again in the action when he was fouled soon after and the resulting free-kick found Martin Brissett at the far post. The striker headed the ball back towards Brandon Cardwell whose own header forced a good one-handed save from Adam Balante in the Retford goal.
Bailey was then forced into action at the other end when he produced a good reaction save to deny Sam Dear.
A long through ball then allowed George Milner to run into the space behind the Retford back four but he hesitated as he saw Balante come off his line. However, the ball was only cleared as far as Brissett who moved the ball quickly onto Nodder, but the latter was unable to find the target with his shot.
On the stroke of half-time Nodder took advantage of defenders backing off and moved forward 15 yards as the space opened up in front of him. His powerful shot beat Balante but crashed back off the post.
The visitors started the second-half poorly which allowed Retford to get a foothold in the game.
Some static defending after 56 minutes presented a chance to Dear on the far post but his shot lacked both power and direction, then Bailey saved well from Luke Booker.
Milner and Wall were then replaced by Ryan Smyth and Nathan Forbes in a double substitution for the Cobras on 66 minutes and they then took the lead three minutes later.
Brissett did well down the right and whilst his cross was intercepted by a defender on the corner of the box, Nodder quickly won back possession, moved into a more central position and placed his shot wide of Balante’s despairing dive.
Forbes shot wide following a corner but Clipstone were made to pay for a lack of cutting edge as Retford levelled on 82 minutes when a cross found captain Ben Wyld who steered his header past Bailey.
Bailey then produced a brilliant save to tip over a header from Daniel Murray that seemed to have ‘goal’ written all over it, while at the other end Nodder saw a late effort well stopped by Balante and the points were deservedly shared.