Clipstone made Basford work hard for their late 3-2 win in the quarter-final of the Notts FA Senior Cup last night.
Having to make two very early substitutions did not help their cause.
On eight minutes Liam Pride hobbled off with a ankle injury and was replaced by Rob Paling, and just five minutes later Gary Armstrong went down with a thigh injury and was replaced by Ian Hillier.
Basford from the premier league of NCEL showed Division One side Clipstone respect by bringing a strong squad with them.
It was Clipstone’s determination and grit that forced the pace of this game, not letting the visitors take control.
On 15 minutes a free kick on the halfway line, given for a foul on Steve Carty, was taken by Rob Paling high into the middle of the penalty area, the half clearance falling to Carty who let fly on the full volley which certainly woke the Basford keeper, who was pleased to see the ball sail just high and wide.
On 23 minutes great chasing down from Carl Snowden and Kieran Watson saw the lose ball end up at the feet of Ian Hillier, who had no hesitation in looping a shot under the crossbar to beat the keeper on his line with great vision.
You had to have been there to see the fight in Clipstone, and sometimes over zealous challenges from Basford, Sam Craven seeing the first yellow card on 36 minutes.
Clipstone were more than holding their own with the midfield of Jason Edwards, Carl Haslam, Ian Hillier and Steve Carty growing more in confidence as the first half progressed.
It seemed the Cobras were going into a half-time lead until on 24 minutes a rare break on the right saw Mark Brooks get in a deflected cross, the loop of the ball bypassing everyone and dipping just under the cross bar to equalise.
Everything that Basford threw at Clipstone was being dealt with by the back four, Brandan and Jobe Shaw along with captain Rob Austin and Rob Paling all giving good accounts of themselves.
On 65 minutes Basford appealed for a free kick just yards away from the left side of the penalty area, the referee only giving a corner. Taken by Brooks, it found the head of Nightingale, who nodded past Ed Eley in the Clipstone goal to make it 2-1.
Then on 72 mins Basford left back Dan Fletcher was given a straight red card for bringing down Kieran Watson 30 yards out from goal and being the last defender, Jason Edwards slightly dragging his shot wide of the left post.
Just 3 minutes after that Clipstone won a corner on the far left after good work by Haslam.
Whipped into a packed box, he referee spotted a push by Carruthers on Shaw and pointed to the penalty spot, Haslam stepping up to blast the home and square the game again.
Clipstone put sweat and tears into this game, giving everything for the cause, Rob Austin picking up a yellow card for a slightly late challenge midway in the Basford half.
But they were rocked by a late winner. On 82 minutes Basford won another corner on the left, and this time it found Martin Carruthers, whose weak header somehow found the bottom corner of the goal to break the hearts of the Clipstone faithful.