Horrific run of defeats drags on for Clipstone

Another home defeat for bottom-of-the-table Clipstone (pictured here in the stripes). (PHOTO BY: Andy Sumner)
Another home defeat for bottom-of-the-table Clipstone (pictured here in the stripes). (PHOTO BY: Andy Sumner)

One of the worst records in non-league football dragged on for another agonising match as Clipstone suffered their 15th straight defeat at the bottom of the Toolstation Northern Counties East League’s Premier Division.

The 1-0 reverse against Bottesford Town was also pointless Clipstone’s tenth on the spin at home in a match spoiled by a strong wind and inconsistent refereeing.

To rub salt into their wounds, the Cobras had Olly Ashton sent off in the last minute of added time after picking up a second yellow card.

Manager Ian Cotton made seven changes to the team beaten in the FA Vase seven days earlier, with cup-tied duo Gareth Curtis and Eden Homer returning and striker Ben Appleby handed his debut after the departure from the club of Matt Brian.

The pattern of the game was Bottesford dominating possession as Clipstone struggled to keep hold of the ball. But at least the hosts’ back four showed much more organisation and resilience than of late, thanks to the experience of Matt Millns, who also had the Cobras’ best chance of the first half when his powerful downward header hit a post.

However, eight minutes earlier, Bottesford had scored the game’s only goal when a corner fell to the unmarked Wayne Graves, who fired low into the corner.

In the second half, Mansfield Town youngster Kieran Darby looked lively when sent on as a substitute. But the visitors were only denied more goals by a string of excellent saves from man-of-the-match goalkeeper Levi Owen.

CLIPSTONE LINE-UP -- Owen/ Thomas (Hubbard 80), Radford, Millns, Taylor, Homer, Curtis, Williams B., Appleby (Darby 46), Ashton, Gregory. Subs not used: Vickers, Burbanks, Smith S.