Clipstone slumped to another heavy home defeat as they were unable to follow up on their recent improved performances. Ian Cotton’s men had started a mini-revival that saw them win against Barton Town in the FA Vase last Saturday and then lose narrowly away at Thackley in the NCEL Premier four days later.
The Cobras are without a point in 12 league games and their only two victories in the 2017/8 season have come in national cup competitions.
It was an all too familiar story as the home side’s defensive frailties were once again cruelly exposed with Parkgate centre forward Brad Kerr scoring a hat-trick.
Kerr opened his account in the 6th minute when a straightforward ball into the box wasn’t dealt with and when it came back off the bar, the Parkgate forward was on hand to head home from close range. 0-1
The Cobras did create openings themselves and Matt Brian went close when he turned his marker before firing a shot into the side netting. Brendan Williams then got on the end of a cross from Tim Gregory only to see the ball go narrowly wide.
Gregory then spurned the first of three excellent chances that came his way during the game when Brian set him up on the 36th minute but Parkgate ‘keeper Sam Jepson was came smartly off his line to block the initial attempt and Gregory put the rebound over the bar.
The Cobras forced three successive corners at the end of the half and from the last one Parkgate broke quickly and Kerr showed good skill to turn his marker and fire a shot past Steve Smith in the Clipstone goal. 0-2
Half time 0-2
The game was effectively over as a contest three minutes into the second half as Kerr completed his hat-trick when a series of defensive errors gifted him an easy goal. 0-3
The Cobras then had a 20-minute period where they dominated possession although the final ball was often missing.
Cobras’ defender Charlie Taylor, who was the pick of the home players, was first to a corner on 58 minutes but his header was wide of the target.
On 78 minutes a Parkgate move down the left caught out the Cobras’ defence and when the ball was cut back into the box, substitute Adam Clayton was the first to react and completed the move with a close-range shot. 0-4
There was still time for the Cobras to create and miss chances. Two minutes after the goal, Cobras’ substitute Olly Ashton won possession and his incisive pass found Gregory who delayed a second too long and a covering defender blocked his shot.
Gregory’s third chance came in the 83rd minute when after a corner was not properly cleared, substitute Matt Hubbard played the ball back into the danger area and his cross found Gregory who had a clear sight of goal but blasted his shot wide.
Clipstone need to improve quickly before their next home game against local rivals AFC Mansfield on Saturday 14 October.
Final score 0-4