Bottom-of-the-table Clipstone produced a terrific battling performance before going down 3-2 to leaders Handsworth Parramore — and former manager Jas Colliver.
The Northern Counties East League Premier Division table-toppers also included two former Clipstone players — James Ashmore and Pat Lindley.
But it was the Cobras, still chasing their first league point of the season, who twice took the lead and looked like they might find that first win against the most unlikely opponents.
Tim Gregory gave the home side the lead before Jonathan Froggatt was allowed too much space and took advantage to level.
Both sides wasted further chances in an entertaining first period to go in level at the break.
Clipstone restored their advantage through Gareth Curtis with a clever finish as the bottom club continued to dominare into the second half.
Joseph Thornton levelled, however, before Alex Rippon broke Clipstone’s hearts with an 82nd-minute winner to keep the Amber Parras top.
Last night Clipstone were due to travel to third-from-bottom Barton Town. On Saturday they are at second-bottom Harrogate Railway Athletic.