Clipstone knocked out of the F.A. Vase

Clipstone knocked out of the F.A. Vase

Clipstone went out of the FA Vase at the first-round stage with a disappointing performance against hosts Racing Club Warwick from the Midland Football League Division One.

After conceding an early goal, the Cobras made things even harder for themselves when captain Ben Rogers received a straight red card in the 26th minute for a badly timed challenge.

Manager Ian Cotton was forced into making a number of changes to the team beaten by AFC Mansfield with four players cup-tied or unavailable.

Both sides had to cope with a strong wind, which was behind the home side in the first half. After a nervy opening, RC Warwick scored with their first real attack when Tim Gregory was dispossessed and the ball was played through to Liam Naven-Jones who produced a fine finish with a low shot into the corner that beat Levi Owen in the Clipstone goal. 1-0

The visitors responded and after good work by Matt Hubbard, a cross from Matt Brian nearly found Gregory in the area but was headed clear by defender Michael Ellis at full stretch.

Ben Rogers then had an opportunity in the 19th minute after Hubbard and Brian combined but he sliced his effort wide. It was the Cobras’ skipper last influence on the game and he was dismissed seven minutes later.

Two minutes after Rogers’ dismissal, Gregory had an excellent opportunity to equalise for the Cobras after being set up by Olly Ashton. However the winger was unable to control his shot which missed the target.

A quick break by the home side then produced an opportunity for Naven-Jones but this time he put his shot wide of the target.

As half-time approached, Owen did well to deny Sean Kavanagh as he used his leg to block the RC Warwick player’s shot.

HT 1-0

Expectations that Clipstone would dominate the second half with the wind behind them never materialised.

The Cobras had an early corner that led to a half-hearted appeal for a penalty and when the home side broke quickly, Naven-Jones spurned another opportunity to increase the lead.

There was a flashpoint on the hour mark when RC Warwick’s Joseph Carter was cautioned for a high challenge on Ben Burbanks when other referees would have produced a red card. The resulting free kick on the edge of the home side’s penalty area from Gregory was deflected narrowly wide of the post.

Shortly after Owen had made another good low save, the home side doubled their advantage in the 65th minute when a penetrating move down their right resulted in a cross to the far post that eluded the ‘keeper and found Carter unmarked at the far post who put the ball into the empty net. 2-0

The Cobras made changes as they attempted to get a foothold in the game and Kieran Darby and Karl Bullock, both on work experience from Mansfield Town, replaced Matt Hubbard and Luke Morgan respectively.

Darby had a great chance to open his account in the 67th minute when a great ball from Olly Ashton found Gregory who quickly moved it onto Darby who had found space inside the penalty area. With the goal at his mercy, the young striker snatched at the chance and his shot went over the bar.

Cobras’ man of the match Levi Owen produced two good saves late on to deny Naven-Jones and substitute Robert Stephens.

However Clipstone failed to take full advantage of the wind at their backs in the second period and can have no complaints about the final result.

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