Went to this game not really knowing what to expect. End of season games that meant nothing for either team, don't usually produce exciting, flowing football - and it has to be said, this was no exception!
With Kev busy again, I thought I'd be on my own at Green Lane, but I met up with former Kirkby Town Chairman Andy Cruddace and Fred KirkbyTown inside the ground, and spent the first half in their company. For the second half, my time was split between Eastwood Town boss John Ramshaw and Clifton defender Mike Banister's dad, Dave.
This should, on paper at least, have been a home banker, but United knocked seven past Newark last time out so the home team could take nothing for granted.
ANDY RICHARDS grabbed 6 against Newark, and it was the no. 10 who opened the scoring with just 12 minutes of this game played - a speculative 30 yarder that the Clifton keeper appeared to misjudge, allowing the ball to creep just inside the post.
Micky Evans fired just wide for the home team a minute after, but it was his strike partner ALEX HAUGHTON who brought the All Whites level on 18, firing home from 8 yards after he was picked out by Ben Richardson.
United took just seconds to re-take the lead. An air kick by a home defender allowed the ball to travel across goal to RICHARDS, and the big man made no mistake from 6 yards. Clifton were by far the better team in the first half, and were deservedly back on terms on 43, although it was a neat, headed own goal from Evans' cross by United's no. 6 that levelled the scores.
The home team almost went ahead with their next attack, but the ball was cleared off the line. Was it in? The officials said no.
Although they were one short at the back, Clifton went looking for the equaliser, and had a series of corners - though they were all defended well by United.
When an attack broke down with one minute to play, the ball was fired up the pitch and when the ball was crossed, no-one picked up RICHARDS inside the area and the striker completed his personal triple. F-T 2-4Admission £2 inc programme