10th straight home defeat for the Cobras

10th straight home defeat for the Cobras

Clipstone fell to their 10th straight home defeat in a tight match that was spoilt by both a strong wind and inconsistent refereeing.

Manager Ian Cotton made seven changes from the team beaten in the FA Vase seven days earlier with both Gareth Curtis and Eden Homer returning after being cup-tied. There was also a debut for forward Ben Appleby following the departure of Matt Brian.

The pattern of the game from the beginning was that Bottesford dominated possession as Clipstone struggled to keep hold of the ball.

However the Cobras’ back four showed much more organisation and resilience that of late due to the experience of Matt Millns in the centre of defence. Additionally Millns had the home side’s best chance of the first period when in the 42nd minute he got on the end of a long free-kick from ‘keeper Levi Owen only to see his powerful downward header hit the post.

Wayne Graves put an early chance wide for the visitors before Olly Ashton set up Tim Gregory who shot straight at Bottesford ‘keeper Jordan Douglas in the 8th minute.

Declan Bacon then broke quickly for the visitors and he found Graves in space but the latter’s cross shot was wide of Owen’s goal. Bacon then got the better of Charlie Taylor but his shot was straight at Owen.

Clipstone had a half-chance when Ashton won possession in midfield and then found Curtis whose 25-yard shot was just wide of the post.

The visitors took the lead in the 34th minute when a corner on their left-hand side fell straight to the unmarked Graves who fired a low shot into the corner of the goal from 12 yards.

Half time 0-1

At half time Mansfield Town’s Kieran Darby replaced Appleby for the home side and Darby was involved in a move four minutes into the half that created an opportunity for Curtis that was put wide.

The visitors made good use of the wind behind them and a long clearance caused confusion in the Clipstone defence and when a two on one situation opened up, a goal was only avoided when the two Bottesford players involved collided with each other.

At the other end the Cobras were awarded a free kick in a dangerous position in the 53rd minute which Taylor headed goalward and Darby was just unable to get on the end of it.

Cobras’ man of the match Owen then made the first of four excellent second half saves when he used his feet to deny Bacon just after the hour mark.

After Owen did well to tip over a 30-yard shot that caught the wind, Curtis missed a great chance to equalise for Clipstone in the 70th minute when he broke the offside trap but he was forced wide and Bottesford ‘keeper Jordan Douglas did well to narrow the angle and block the forward’s shot with his body.

Bacon then missed another chance to increase the visitors’ lead when his powerful drive was blocked by Owen with his feet. As the game neared its conclusion, Owen produced his fourth save when he denied Jack Cross following a corner.

To rub salt into the Cobras’ wounds, Ashton was sent off in the last minute of added time for a second yellow yard.

Final score 0-1

Clipstone’s next home is against Handsworth Parramore on Saturday 11th November, 3pm.

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