Both sides were reduced to ten men as Clipstone suffered their 28th defesat of 29 matches at the foot of the Northern Counties East Lseague’s Premier Division.
Referee Gareth Myers sent off Clipstone’s Luke Morgan and Athersley Recreation’s Ben Walker after an off-the-ball clash in the 31st minute, although the Cobras man was unlucky to go as he was grabbed by the throat.
The home side were already a goal up and went on to triumph 3-0 on a gluepot of a pitch, leaving Jamie Hardwick’s young Clipstone side with few complaints after lacking the physical presence of their hosts.
“We were naive in our distribution, gave away too many cheap balls and didn’t pick up the second ball often enough,” said Hardwick. “I’m disappointed because I thought this might be the game to get us our first three points of the season.”
At least the Cobras boss was pleased with the performance of his latest recruit, 20-year-old striker Blessing Adeleye, who held the ball up well and has the strength and power to succeed at this level.
But after an even start, Clipstone were behind from the 16th minute when Kai Hancock found time and space in the area to fire low past ‘keeper Warren Squires.
After the double dismissal, the Cobras struggled to regain their shape and conceded a second to the Barnsley side on 39 when Jimmy Eyles drilled high into the net. Eyles struck again with a 72nd minute penalty when he had been fouled by Jaydan Thorne.