Disappointed manager Dave Hooler said Clipstone’s 3-2 defeat at Gedling was “hard to swallow” after the Cobras suffered last-gasp heartbreak.
They led 2-1 in the 88th minute, after two late goals in three minutes by Sheldon McDonald and Josh Pickering had turned the game around.
But then Gedling struck twice to snatch the points.
Hoole said: “The second half was probably the best football we have played this season against a strong side.
“It is hard to swallow — but that’s football. We have got a very young side and football is unforgiving at times.
“We have got to take it on the chin and move on and learn from it.
“We worked hard, ran our socks off and were the better side for probably most of the second half.
“It’s good to see that we are creating chances.”
The Cobras started well and Josh Pickering had three opportunities to open the scoring in the first 20 minutes.
But after keeping it tight at the back and denying Gedling any clear-cut chances, they fell behind in the 38th minute.
The ball was played into the path of Gedling’s Courtney Hastings on the edge of the area and the in-form striker beat Sam Ogden with a curling shot into the corner.
A minute into the second half the Cobras should have equalised when substitute Josh Devereux teed up Curtis Birchall on the edge of the area, but the midfielder put his shot over the bar.
Gedling hit the woodwork twice through Kieran Harrison and Cameron Thurgood, whilst Pickering spurned a half chance for the visitors when he beat the offside trap but put the ball wide.
The Cobras gained more impetus with the introduction of McDonald and the big striker equalised in the 79th minute after fine link-up play by Jason Foster and Pickering.
Pickering chipped home in the 81st minute to complete trhe turnaround, only for Gedling to strike late.
The visitors failed to clear and Aaron Large levelled before Hastings hit his second to win it.