The recent improvement in performances, most notably the 0-0 draw at Staveley and midweek 0-3 reverse against 3rd placed Pontefract Collieries, were forgotten on Saturday as the Cobras were overrun in the first half by 16th placed Thackley.
The display at Pontefract the previous Tuesday had shown much promise. Despite conceding two cheap first half goals the Cobras battled on and match their opponents for long periods of the second half until being killed off by a third goal with 17 minutes left.
Thackley’s visit on paper provided the possibility of a much needed first league victory in 31 attempts. The visitors had only won only once in 2018 and are under new management themselves. However an awful first half performance from Clipstone gifted six goals to the visitors and ensured that the match was over as a contest after only 45 minutes.
The visitors opened the scoring in the 13th minute when a corner wasn’t cleared and the ball fell to Mike Garrod who scored from eight yards. 0-1
After Warren Squires had made a good one-handed save to deny Thackley’s Jordan Hines, the Cobras conceded a second after 22 minutes when they conceded possession cheaply in midfield and the clinical visitors needed three touches of the ball for Luke Robinson to place his shot past Squires. 0-2
Two minutes later a deflected shot from James Rothel spooned up to the past post where static defending enabled Hines to head home from close range. 0-3
The fourth goals saw more poor defending as a hopeful ball into the box was not defended and Robinson tapped home his second. 0-4
A speculative cross come shot from Garrod deceived Squires for the visitors’ fifth in the 33rd minute and Garrod completed his hat-trick from the penalty spot on the stroke of half time after Cobras’ skipper Charlie Taylor was harshly adjudged to have brought down James Ngoe in the area. Taylor picked up an injury whilst making the challenge and was replaced at half time.
Two half time substitutions which saw the introduction of Charlie Hardwick and Rhys Gray saw the home side using the ball better and having more possession in their opponents’ half.
There was only pride to play for in the second period and Ethan Wiesztort had an early chance for Clipstone when he was put through but was unable to bear ‘keeper Luke Wilson with his attempted lob.
At the other end Connor Wright cleared off the line to deny the visitors a seventh and Squires did well to deny Garrod when the latter was through on goal.
Ultimately Clipstone will want to forget this 90 minutes and the next game in four days time cannot come soon enough.
Clipstone now face two away games against Albion Sports on Wednesday 28 February, 7.45pm and then against Parkgate on Saturday 3rd March, 3pm.