Clipstone recover from controversial early red card to win classic FA Cup battle

Jamie McAllister celebrates Clipstone's third goal
Jamie McAllister celebrates Clipstone's third goal

Clipstone battled through to the first qualifying round of the FA Cup, despite playing for 80 minutes with 10 men on Saturday, after a controversial red card.

Forward Alex Denton was sent off in the 10th minute, after being brought down on the edge of the area, and pushing a St Andrews’ player, Jake Wain, who had appeared to strike the Cobras’ forward.

Referee, Simon Brown, and one of his assistants apparently only saw the retaliation and Denton got his marching orders.

Clipstone took their own justice however, Michael Trench firing a powerful free-kick through the wall and past Shane Antcliffe for a 1-0 lead.

The visitors’ doubled their lead on 18 minutes when Sam Finlaw played a defence splitting pass that Alex Nightingale ran onto and the former Rotherham United trainee produced a class finish.

St Andrews hit back and Steve Hernandez was called into action, producing a flying save to palm a 25-yard screamer from Dan Kitching over the crossbar.

A superb through ball by Alex Nightingale gave Jahmal Smith a great chance to open his goalscoring account for the season, but he seemed to take his shot too early and he blasted the ball well over.

The home side grabbed a goal back within five minutes of the restart when Andy Fell turned Damien Magee on the edge of the area and rifled the ball past Hernandez.

But the Cobras restored their two goal advantage on 55 minutes when James Ashmore’s corner found the unmarked Jamie McAllister who side-footed home.

The momentum swung back in favour of the hosts when Fell found himself unmarked in the area and had time to beat Hernandez from close range.

Clipstone’s 10 men held firm as St Andrew’s went in search of an equaliser that never came.

After the game Cobras’ manager Jas Colliver said his players showed excellent character.

Clipstone are back in NCEL Premier league action this week, hosting Brigg Town on Tuesday night, and Barton Town Old Boys on Saturday at 3pm.