A depleted Clipstone side were second best against in-form Staveley on Saturday and can have no complaints about the final scoreline as they were beaten 3-0.
Billy Fox suffered several late withdrawals from his squad and was forced to play a makeshift back four with midfielder Jordan Edridge slotting in at left-back.
Indeed the Cobras’ problems were compounded after 30 minutes when Regan Edridge suffered an ankle injury and was replaced by Adam Shepherd.
The Cobras had the better of the opening exchanges and Sam Forster had a couple of early efforts which Lewis Naylor in the Staveley goal saved with relative ease.
Nathan Forbes also had early chances and demonstrated quick feet on the edge of the area and his first time shot forced Naylor to tip the ball round the post.
Forbes then found himself through on goal after ten minutes but a combination of a bad bobble and a weak shot meant that Naylor wasn’t unduly worried by the goal attempt.
Staveley took hold of the midfield as the half progressed and enjoyed greater possession as a result, with Ashley Rawson prominent for the visitors.
Staveley’s forward pairing of Adam Lee and Kurtis Morley were seeing plenty of the ball and Chris Fawcus in particular, playing in central defence, made several last minute interceptions and clearances.
On 23 minutes the visitors broke quickly and Morley played in Callum Mawbey who saw his shot go wide of the post. However, Staveley then took the lead four minutes later when a clever ball from Morley enabled Adam Lee to move into the area and produce a great finish past Jamie Bailey.
Bailey then produced a fine save from Morley, the score remaining unchanged going into the break.
The second period continued where the first left off with both sides competitive in midfield but the visitors creating more goal attempts, Lee firing wide after an Ellis Wall miskick presented him with an opportunity.
There was then another opportunity for Forbes after he slipped his marker but Staveley skipper Ricky Hanson showed good awareness to deny the Cobras’ forward a shooting opportunity.
There was an element of controversy about the visitors’ second goal on 54 minutes as it came after a throw in was wrongly awarded to them in their own half. The ball was quickly moved to the other side of the pitch and after Fawcus mistimed his interception, Shaun Nesbitt beat Bailey with an angled drive.
The Cobras made a number of half chances in the final third of the game, the best being a shot on the turn from Richard Patterson that was headed off the line after a corner.
The third goal eventually came in the final minute when Lee ran through the middle of the Cobras’ defence and beat Bailey with a neat chip shot.