Football: Tough and rough for Clough

FA Cup first round: Son finds no joy in competition that brought his famous father only heartache

Kingstonian 1

Holligan 65

Burton Albion 0

Attendance: 1,505

IN ALL his years in the game, Brian Clough's impressive managerial roll of honour lacked the one trophy he craved: the FA Cup.

Yesterday, on a hard, bumpy pitch in suburban Surrey, there was no cup romance either for the son of "Old Big 'Ead", who had his first taste of defeat as a manager in the competition.

Sadly for the 1,505 crowd, Nigel Clough considered he was not fit enough to play for Burton Albion but, in classic manager-speak after less than a month in charge, said he was proud of his Dr Martens League team and that they deserved at least a draw against higher-ranked opponents.

The fact that Kingstonian played only marginally better despite vastly more possession could not hide Clough's disappointment after 90 minutes in which he rarely emerged from the small, rectangular dug-out at the Kingsmeadow ground.

Perhaps Clough Jnr should have known this was a thankless task. His opposite number, Geoff Chapple, had the best FA Cup record of any non-league side when he was at Woking and will no doubt relish a second-round home tie against Leyton Orient.

Clough, whose team has lost only twice in eight games since his arrival, was left to contemplate better times ahead. "I'm not sure you could tell which team was in the higher league," he said. "But I was only half-fit and in those conditions it was better not to play."

Clough said his team were not overawed by all the hype surrounding his presence in the cup, or by their Conference opponents. "I've only been at the club three weeks and the second half today was the best we've played," he said.

Had the Staffordshire side shown the same attacking adventure throughout the game that they displayed in the last 20 minutes, the result might have been different. Instead, they paid the penalty after 65 minutes for apparently just trying not to lose.

Just when a disjointed game was crying out for a goal, Gary Pitcher's corner for Kingstonian was headed against the underside of the bar by captain Matt Crossley and 18-year-old Gavin Holligan forced home the rebound from two yards for his 11th goal of the season.

Holligan is on the verge of signing for West Ham for a fee in excess of pounds 100,000. Scouts from every Premiership club bar Manchester United and Derby were there to watch him yesterday. As it happens, he had a quiet game apart from his goal. Apparently Chapple has found another jewel in the depths of non-league football.

The teams emerged without any immediate sign of Burton's former England international. Clough was last out, dressed in immaculate dark suit and striped tie. A smile, a wave to the six coach loads of Burton fans, a couple of autographs for supporters standing along the perimeter fencing. Then it was straight to the dug-out.

"What division are you in," sang the Kingstonian faithful as they mocked their opponents from one league below. But, as Clough said, there was not that much to choose between the two teams as the ball spent a considerable time in the air.

A clanger by visiting goalkeeper Nick Goodwin, who dropped a simple cross through early nerves, had the home fans in stitches but he redeemed himself in the rest of the game with impressive handling.

Clough, who had the luxury of high-tech training facilities as a player with Forest, Liverpool and Manchester City, admitted he was still getting used to the job. "You only get the lads Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturday afternoons. I know how I want them to perform but I can only do it on two nights and a Saturday rather than five days a week," he said. "But in some ways, they are more committed than professionals."

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
Angelina Jolie with her father Jon Voight
people
News
Bill Kerr has died aged 92
people
Life and Style
A picture taken on January 12, 2011 shows sex shops at the Paris district of Pigalle.
news
Sport
footballPremiership preview: All the talking points ahead of this weekend's matches
News
Keira Knightley poses topless for a special September The Photographer's issue of Interview Magazine, out now
people
Voices
The Ukip leader has consistently refused to be drawn on where he would mount an attempt to secure a parliamentary seat
voicesNigel Farage: Those who predicted we would lose momentum heading into the 2015 election are going to have to think again
Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Java Developer - 1 year contract

£350 - £400 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client based in Cent...

Junior Analyst - Graduate - 6 Month fixed term contract

£17000 - £20000 Per Annum Bonus, Life Insurance + Other Benefits: Clearwater P...

SAS Business Analyst - Credit Risk - Retail Banking

£450 - £500 per day: Orgtel: SAS Business Analyst, London, Banking, Credit Ris...

Project Manager - Pensions

£32000 - £38000 Per Annum Bonus, Life Insurance + Other Benefits: Clearwater P...

Day In a Page

Ukraine crisis: The phoney war is over as Russian troops and armour pour across the border

The phoney war is over

Russian troops and armour pour into Ukraine
Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

The world’s entire food system is under attack - and Britain is most at risk, according to a new study
Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Seoul's plastic surgery industry is booming thanks to the popularity of the K-Pop look
From Mozart to Orson Welles: Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

After the death of Sandy Wilson, 90, who wrote his only hit musical in his twenties, John Walsh wonders what it's like to peak too soon and go on to live a life more ordinary
Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Fears are mounting that Vladimir Putin has instructed hackers to target banks like JP Morgan
Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years

Salomé: A head for seduction

Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years. Now audiences can meet the Biblical femme fatale in two new stage and screen projects
From Bram Stoker to Stanley Kubrick, the British Library's latest exhibition celebrates all things Gothic

British Library celebrates all things Gothic

Forthcoming exhibition Terror and Wonder: The Gothic Imagination will be the UK's largest ever celebration of Gothic literature
The Hard Rock Café's owners are embroiled in a bitter legal dispute - but is the restaurant chain worth fighting for?

Is the Hard Rock Café worth fighting for?

The restaurant chain's owners are currently embroiled in a bitter legal dispute
Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival

In search of Caribbean soul food

Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival
11 best face powders

11 best face powders

Sweep away shiny skin with our pick of the best pressed and loose powder bases
England vs Norway: Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Lack of Englishmen at leading Premier League clubs leaves manager hamstrung
Angel Di Maria and Cristiano Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

Di Maria and Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

They both inherited the iconic shirt at Old Trafford, but the £59.7m new boy is joining a club in a very different state
Israel-Gaza conflict: No victory for Israel despite weeks of death and devastation

Robert Fisk: No victory for Israel despite weeks of devastation

Palestinians have won: they are still in Gaza, and Hamas is still there
Mary Beard writes character reference for Twitter troll who called her a 'slut'

Unlikely friends: Mary Beard and the troll who called her a ‘filthy old slut’

The Cambridge University classicist even wrote the student a character reference
America’s new apartheid: Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone

America’s new apartheid

Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone