08:00AM, Saturday 11 November 2017
SUNDAY night, and most of Monday was ruined for Adrian Clifton by Maidenhead United’s failure to progress past Coventry City in the FA Cup and in particular, his failure to take a crucial chance that fell his way in the second half.
The makeshift midfielder-cum-striker would have backed himself to score when James Comley’s perfect pass fell to him with only the keeper to beat, but Clifton scooped the ball over the crossbar.
At the time Maidenhead were trailing 2-0, to Jordan Ponticelli’s first half brace on his home debut, and had he scored United would have been right back in contention.
As it was they struggled to break down Mark Robins’ Sky Blues after that, despite seeing plenty of the ball.
“I’ve watched it back so many times,” he said. “I felt that I did everything right. I took my time, was patient and picked my spot but somehow I’ve got under the ball.
“I didn’t lash at it so couldn’t believe it when it didn’t go in. It ruined my Sunday and Monday to be honest. If that goes in it’s a different game because we had the momentum at that stage. Hydey (Jake Hyde) came on and gave us a bit more going forward and James Comley was bossing the midfield.
“It looked like we could score every time we got the ball forward. But unfortunately we couldn’t get the ball over that white line.
“It’s fine margins.”
The disappointment of their cup defeat may still be lingering, but Clifton hopes the hangover has lifted in time for Saturday’s visit of Gateshead to York Road. He’s determined to use Sunday’s defeat, and his failure to score, as a tool to gear him up for the game.
He said: “The disappointment is still there. I want to take that into the next game and use it to get us up for the game. We want to bounce back. The players don’t like losing. No matter who it is to.
“We’ll take the disappointment we’re feeling into the Gateshead game and use it as a tool.
“I don’t think Sunday was a game where you could see the teams were in different leagues. I thought they got the rub of the green.”
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