Clipstone last night returned to action after 10 days without a game but were beaten 2-1 by visiting NCEL Division One side Grimsby Borough in a hard fought NCEL League Cup third round tie.
Grimsby came into the match on a run of four games unbeaten and, having recently recruited a number of new players, they are playing well above their current league position.
The Cobras were missing nine players due to injury, illness and work commitments.
Manager Jas Colliver therefore handed starts to two new faces, Luke Randle and Brad Holmes, who are with Chesterfield FC on work experience and have been loaned to the Cobras.
Both did extremely well and Holmes in particular look assured on the ball and took the man of the match award.
The visitors had the better start and centre forward Jamie Coulson forced a superb early save from Steve Hernandez when, from six yards out, he deflected a shot from the edge of the box that brought a instant reaction save from the Cobras’ stopper.
However, Coulson did score from the resulting corner when an attempted clearance was blocked and the rebound fell to Coulson who scored from close range.
The home side responded and a great chip from Rob Paling found Alec Denton in the box. The Cobras forward did well to bring the ball down but was unable to get his shot in and the danger was cleared.
Ellis Wall then tested Scott Drury in the Grimsby goal with a shot from the edge of the box on 22 minutes. Wall was then set up by Liam Royles on 35 minutes, but this time his shot flew wide of the post.
Wall then turned provider when he intercepted a loose ball 30 yards from goal on the stroke of half-time.
He played a neat one-two with Alec Denton and was only prevented from getting a shot in when Scott Drury raced off his line to block and concede a corner.
Grimsby failed to clear the corner and it was crossed back in by Denton to Adam Somes who headed the ball home from close range to level by the break.
Half Time 1-1
The home side came close to taking the lead on 48 minutes when Somes brought the ball down well and attempted to play in partner Denton, but keeper Drury beat Denton to the ball.
Hernandez then produced another high quality save when a long throw was headed on to the far post and Grimsby substitute Luke Fanthorpe was denied as the keeper got down smartly to prevent the ball going in at the post.
Ellis Wall created another chance for Somes, but this time the big striker blasted the ball over the bar when well-placed.
Clipstone were made to pay for the missed chances when Carl Martin scored what proved to be the winner for Grimsby on 70 minutes when he converted a cross from Luke Noel.
The home side made all of their substitutions and went in search of an equaliser that would have meant extra-time.
The best chance came on 74 minutes when Somes turned and beat his marker before getting in a curling shot that was goal bound until Drury made an excellent save with one hand at full stretch.
The Cobras also had a decent appeal for a penalty turned down when Drury appeared to take out Denton as the two players raced to be first to a loose ball in the area.
After the game boss Colliver admitted that, despite missing a number of players, he felt that they had enough quality players to get a result and so was disappointed to lose the game and go out of the league cup. He picked out the performances of Luke Randle and Brad Holmes at the back while he felt that it was vital forSomes to get 90 minutes under his belt after a long period out through injury.
“Somesy got into his stride and took his goal well and was a constant threat with his presence and work rate,” he said.
Clipstone’s next match is at home to Armthorpe Welfare in the NCEL Premier on Saturday (3pm).
CLIPSTONE: Hernandez, Paling (Jones 56), Randle, Lindley, Holmes, Magee, Royles (France 71), Wall, Somes, Nightingale (Colliver 88), Denton. Subs not used: Ashmore, Francis.
CLIPSTONE MAN OF THE MATCH: Brad Holmes.