Whatever was said in the pre-match team talk, the Clipstone starting 11 were not fully listening as they went crashing out of the FA Vase 3-1 to Leicester-based St Andrews.
Clipstone actually looked the brighter side in the opening exchanges.
With just three minutes on the clock Ricky Chambers picked up the ball on 22 yards out, burst into the area and make the keeper make a very fine save.
But just three minutes later there was a defensive mixup after the referee failed to blow for a foul and St Andrews’s number eight Bradey Hickey picked up the ball and rounded ‘keeper Mark Hales. He then fired into the empty goal to put the home side ahead.
Now don’t be thinking this was a one way affair as the cobra’s had their chances with both Liam Pride and and Ricky Chambers both hitting the woodwork in the first half.
On 30 minutes Clipstone were made to pay for their missed opportunities when St Andrews were awarded a corner.
Bradley Hickey’s cross left the Clipstone’s defence stood still and watching on as Joe Latham sent his half volley past the keeper to make it 2-0.
The second half was a much brighter affair for Clipstone, who had a real go at getting back in this game.
On 48 minutes they did just that as Ian Hillier picked up the ball on the far right just inside his own half, looked up for options and saw left back Brandan Shaw in space making toward the home side’s half.
Hillier picked him out with an exquisite 35 yard cross field pass, leaving Shaw to do the hard work of beating two defenders to the ball before bursting into the area and blasting past the home keeper to half the deficit.
Clipstone had the better passages of play in the second half, and even the home side bench could not believe the cobra’s were not rewarded with what looked like a cast iron penalty on 70 minutes.
Liam Pride picked up the ball 40 yards out played a quick one-two with Rob Paling,who clipped the ball to the right side of the 18 yard box.
Pete Stubley picked the ball up and flicked it around the defender,and was immediately brought down, except that the referee was still struggling with his reflective lenses, which he was wearing due to the bright sunshine, lenses,and the linesman gave him no support.
If it wasn’t such an important decision it would have been laughable.
And that decision was even more important in the context of the game when several minutes later Bradey Hickey found himself with and empty net for the second time in the game, to put the Home side 3-1 up.
Again both sides had chances to add to the scoring but to no availas Clipstone were left to ponder what might have been.