For the club’s first Saturday fixture of the new month, Humber return to the Fairfax Plant Hire Stadium, hosting Clipstone FC in the Toolstation NCEL 1st Division, Kick-off 3pm. Wednesday’s trip to Armthorpe Welfare saw Humber succumb to their sixth defeat of the season after last Saturday’s heavy defeat at the hands of Hallam FC with an 8-0 defeat on the road, thanks to goals from Jack Mawson, Alex Varley, Noel Burdett and Adam Baskerville. The loss saw Humber remain in eighteenth place in the table.
After winning their opening fixture of the league season in emphatic style with a 4-1 home victory over Teversal FC, Clipstone have lost five of their following six matches in all competitions, including a 7-3 defeat at the hands of Brigg Town FC CIC. They have shown, however, they are capable of finding the back of the net after only failing to score in one of their opening seven fixtures.
With a new month beginning, the opportune moment has returned for FC Humber to learn from the Hallam FC defeat and continue to move forward. Quoting snippets from the official Armthorpe Welfare website, FC Humber extend an opportunity to all, in viewing a brief history of the team they face on Saturday:
Clipstone FC began life under the name of Clipstone Combine, they then became Clipstone Welfare in 1955. In 1955/56 they won the treble of Spartan League Champions, League Cup Winners and Notts County F.A. Intermediate Cup winners and promotion to Notts Alliance League. With promotion they left their ground at Baulker Lane and moved to a new ground which has remained their home to the present day…“The Lido Ground”.
Clipstone had great success throughout the 1970s, but particularly the early 70’s. They claimed their league’s top spot three times in a row in 1972/73, 1973/74 and 1974/75. They also went onto win the Notts Alliance Cup in those same seasons. They began entering the FA Vase in 1974, reaching the second round in their first season. The success of the early 1970s ended and the next trophy Clipstone won was a rather famous one… The Nottinghamshire FA Senior Cup in 1985/86.
They again won back-to-back league titles in 1992/93 and 1993/94, before moving up to the Central Midlands League. In 1994/95 they won the league’s Premier Division and after winning it for a second time in 1996/97, were promoted to the Supreme Division. In 2009/10 they won the league’s Floodlit Cup competition.
The League was re-organised at the start of the 2011/12 season and Clipstone was placed in the South Division. That season, Clipstone applied to be elevated to the Northern Counties League and got that promotion despite finishing in fourth place. The club dropped the “Welfare” part of its name in summer 2013 to become simply Clipstone FC. By this time they were also known by the nickname of “The Cobras”.
In May 2013 the club announced a new multi-season sponsorship deal with local painting and decorating contractors Riley & Co (Mansfield) Ltd, with them becoming not only the main club sponsor but home and away shirt sponsors as well for the duration of the sponsorship.
The start of the 2013/14 season Mansfield Town announced that their under 19 team and development teams would play their home games at Clipstone’s ground, now known as the “Worksop Van Hire Stadium”. Barry Clarke’s 40 years service at the club was marked with the new hospitality suite being named in his honour.
The 2014/15 season saw Chris Millington appointed as First Team Manager. It was a very successful season with the team winning the NCEL league One title and gaining promotion to the NCEL Premier Division. The Cobras also competed in the FA Cup for the first time in their history reaching the First Qualifying round where they lost to Grantham Town. They also reached the final of the Nottinghamshire FA Senior Cup for the first time since winning it in 1985/86 but lost 3-5 to Basford United in an entertaining game at Mansfield Town FC.
Chris Millington and all but one of the players left in the summer of 2015 and Jas Colliver and Ryan France were appointed as the new management team for the club’s first season in the NCEL Premier Division. They quickly brought a squad of players together and raised a few eyebrows as the team performed well in the league and again reached the FA Cup First Qualifying round where they were unlucky to lose out by the odd goal to Evo-Stik outfit Lincoln United. However Ryan then stepped down for personal reasons in early 2016 and in February 2016 Jas accepted an offer to manage Sheffield FC.
Billy Fox was appointed as the new manager in March 2016. A mix of existing players and some new faces were used as the club finished mid-table in its first season in the NCEL Premier. They also reached the Nottinghamshire FA Senior Cup final for a second consecutive season but lost to Basford United (again) in a classic cup final in which the Cobras were leading 1-0 until the third minute of injury time. The game finished 2-2 after extra time and Basford won the penalty shoot out.
Billy tendered his resignation in January 2017 and Clipstone-born Ian Cotton was appointed as manager. Ian has played for the club and managed the Reserve side for one season, winning the league. Ian has assembled a squad of mainly local players as the Cobras look to the future.
Into the 2017/8 season and, despite initial progress in the FA Cup and Vase, the Cobras lost their first 23 league games. Ian tendered his resignation in January 2018 and former player Jamie Hardwick was appointed as first team manager. Jamie resigned after 2 months due to work commitments with Scunthorpe United and Alan Widdowson took over for the remainder of the season that ended in relegation from the NCEL Premier with only 2 points from 42 games.
Micky Taylor took over for the 2018/19 with a new squad of players. A promising start included a memorable 4-3 victory at Barton Town in the FA Cup Extra-Preliminary Round after the Cobras had found themselves 3-0 down in the first half. However early momentum wasn’t maintained and Taylor resigned in December 2018 with Dean Short taking over for the remainder of a disappointing season with the club finishing in 18th place.
For the 2019/20 season new manager and former Chesterfield FC professional Dave Hoole supported by Dale Spragg and Malc Siddall brought new optimism and a squad of talented young players with a few older heads. They were just beginning to find their feet at step 6 level and were in 15th place before the season was cancelled in March 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The nucleus of the squad stayed for the curtailed 2020/21 season and stability has now returned to the club which has re-joined the NCEL Division One for the 2021/22 season.
The Cobras are also looking to the future and are looking to produce a pathway towards first team football for junior players. The Colts section now consists of an impressive 17 teams ranging from Under 7s to Under 18s and the Club also runs an Under 19 team under manager Scott Rogers and his backroom coaching staff. Bringing all of the Clipstone Teams together at one venue under the “One Vision” program is well under way now and the changes at the club are starting to become evident throughout every department.
Tale of the Tape
When it comes to FC Humber United against Clipstone FC in competitive action, the two have never previously met. Therefore, the stakes are set for both in taking an early step in the tale of the tape between Clipstone FC and FC Humber United. A huge game it will be, both Humber and Clipstone are very much in need of points on the board after perhaps a lacklustre start for the two.
The Saturday fixture could well be the stepping stone Humber requires to get back on track, however, the same could probably be said of Clipstone. Only time will tell as we look forward to welcoming all to the Fairfax Plant Hire Stadium.
Tom Devereux | Media Executive | FC Humber United