Clipstone crashed out of the FA Cup as they failed to recover from conceding two goals and being reduced to ten men in the first 20 minutes against Leicestershire side Anstey Nomads.
The Cobras came into the game on the back of three straight victories, the last being a 2-1 success over Arnold Town the previous Tuesday thanks to late goals from Tom Moult and Dean Rick.
However the Cobras made the worst possible start in the cup tie played in front of a crowd of 252 as they conceded in the 15th minute when a cross from the left found Anstey’s Tendai Chitiza at the near post and his glancing header went across Gavin Saxby and into the far corner.
James Munson had an immediate chance to level the game but was unable to get his header on target from four yards out following a fine cross from Tim Gregory.
Charlie Taylor, who had received a debatable yellow card after only eight minutes, then brought down an Anstey player in the area. Referee Joseph Larkin pointed to the penalty spot and gave Taylor a second yellow and sent him off with only 18 minutes gone. Ash Day scored the resulting penalty kick to put the home side 2-0 up.
Anstey scored a decisive third goal in the 42nd minute although in all honesty it should not have stood. Referee Larkin awarded a free kick to the home side near the Clipstone area and signalled for a Cobras’ player to come to him for a discussion regarding the foul. Whilst this was going on the home side took a quick free kick and Day put the ball in the net for his second. The referee failed to recognise that he should have not allowed to kick to be taken until he was ready for play to restart and let the goal to stand.
Cobras’ boss Micky Taylor made a tactical change at half time and reinforced the midfield by bringing on Danny Naylor to replace Munson.
The Cobras’ then grabbed a goal back in the 50th minute when Dean Rick scored from the penalty spot after Anstey’s Liam Canavan handled in the area.
The ten men held their own and indeed nearly scored again when their man of the match Steve Sowter did well down the left-hand side before his cross found Tim Gregory whose acrobatic shot was unfortunately straight at Anstey ‘keeper Joseph Smith.
However Ash Smith grabbed his third and second penalty for the home side in the 72nd minute after Cobras’s skipper Jason Gregory was adjudged to have brought down Chitiza as the two players tussled for the ball in the area. Referee Larkin then rubbed salt into the Cobras’ wounds when he booked Gregory for the foul. As Gregory had already been booked earlier in the half for a foul, the Cobras played the remaining 18 minutes with nine men.