Clay Cross Town FC Rocket to the Stars

Clay Cross Town had reached the Buildbase FA Vase Second Round and had planned and hoped for a record crowd, instead the torrential rain of the last few weeks caused the game to be postponed and it was subsequently played on Bonfire Night. With the many other family attractions  going on and the fact that the game had only been sanctioned as on just over 3 hours earlier the crowd of 188 was a great achievement for this small but hungry for success club.

Their rise in the competition has been a credit to them and they were the last remaining Step 7 club in the competition.


Reproduced from the match day Program.

Their opponents Sherwood Colliery FC based in Mansfield were one step higher and being only 12 miles away a local Derby. Clay Cross are currently top of the Central Midlands Football League – South Division and are unbeaten as are the second team Sherwood Colliery FC Reserves.

Recent information that is being further investigated suggests that there has been a football team in Clay Cross since 1881 with the current clubs inspiration taken from the team of 1909. It existed on in local football in different guises until in 2012 a new ‘Town’ club was reinvigorated. Disappointment in missing out in recent years on promotion has doubled everyone’s efforts to make this season one to remember.

Similarly Sherwood Colliery were reformed in 2008 in Mansfield Woodhouse and by 2012 they were successfully elected to the Central Midlands League. they too have had some ups and downs but are currently top of the East Midlands League – Premier Division.

Sherwood Colliery FC were put in the spotlight by the BBC website article, 21st August 2019 which although previewing their up an coming first round proper tie with Loughborough Dynamo made much of their Chairmans involvement . As a local lad Gareth Bull has put much of his energy, passion, and some of his lottery winnings into  the club.

The rain had only stopped two hours earlier as the teams took to the field Mid to a fanfare of rockets. Not for them though just local revellers on this cold bonfire night.

The pitch slopes slightly from one goal to the other and is a bit undulating with good grass cover. It all looked very wet but there was no standing water.

Clay Cross Town FC 3 Sherwood Colliery FC 1

Clay Cross chose to play with the slope and took charge of the midfield with No.10 putting in some good creative work. Both sides could have scored in the first 20 minutes but for good saves by the goalkeepers. The deadlock was broken when on 25 minutes when a well worked corner saw the Clay Cross No 8 Josh Scully hit a cross goal ball that evaded everyone but the Sherwood player on the far post who steered it into his own goal. Josh Scully ran to the crowd to claim the goal.

Within 5 minutes Sherwood hit back when from a freekick on the left, the ball fell to Sam Dockwray who made no mistake in drilling home. Level at half time it seemed anyone’s game.

What was impressive was the way that both teams played out of defence rather than the long ball. Despite some chances it looked as if the game was heading for extra time until with 2 minutes left after a bad clearance and some great work from the right the resulting cross found Josh Parfitt unmarked to simply nod in for Clay Cross to lead.

Clay Cross seemed happy to try to play out time but in added time again a strong run from the right, following two corners, found Sam Dockwray to smack the ball home for a 3-1 win to Clay Cross. The whistle blew just after to jubilation from the home team and crowd and a next round game against either South Normanton or Rothwell Corinthians both step 5 teams and two levels above Clay Cross.



The Chips were the best of the season so far, golden, hot, thick, tasty and plenty of them. A high score of 76 for these.

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