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."

Voices
The Sumatran tiger, endemic to the Indonesian island of Sumatra, is an endangered species
voicesJonathon Porritt: The wild tiger population is thought to have dropped by 97 per cent since 1900
Arts and Entertainment
Beast would strip to his underpants and take to the stage with a slogan scrawled on his bare chest whilst fans shouted “you fat bastard” at him
musicIndie music promoter was was a feature at Carter gigs
News
news
Arts and Entertainment
Story line: Susanoo slays the Yamata no Orochi serpent in the Japanese version of a myth dating back 40,000 years
arts + entsApplying the theory of evolution to the world's many mythologies
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
Performers dressed as Tunnocks chocolate teacakes, a renowned Scottish confectionary, perform during the opening ceremony of the 2014 Commonwealth Games at Celtic Park in Glasgow on July 23, 2014.
news
Life and Style
Popular plonk: Lambrusco is selling strong
Food + drinkNaff Seventies corner-shop staple is this year's Aperol Spritz
News
Gardai wait for the naked man, who had gone for a skinny dip in Belfast Lough
newsTwo skinny dippers threatened with inclusion on sex offenders’ register as naturists criminalised
News
Shake down: Michelle and Barack Obama bump knuckles before an election night rally in Minnesota in 2008, the 'Washington Post' called it 'the fist bump heard round the world'
newsThe pound, a.k.a. the dap, greatly improves hygiene
Arts and Entertainment
La Roux
music
Arts and Entertainment
Graham Fellows as John Shuttleworth
comedySean O'Grady joins Graham Fellows down his local Spar
News
people
News
Ross Burden pictured in 2002
people
News
Elisabeth Murdoch: The 44-year-old said she felt a responsibility to 'stand up and be counted’'
media... says Rupert Murdoch
Arts and Entertainment
tv
Extras
indybest
Sport
Arsenal signing Calum Chambers
sportGunners complete £16m transfer of Southampton youngster
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

Junior / Graduate Application Support Engineer

£26000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A highly successful international media organ...

QA Manager - North Manchester - Nuclear & MOD - £40k+

£35000 - £41000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: QA Manager -...

Property Finance Partner

Very Competitive Salary: Austen Lloyd: LONDON - BANKING / PROPERTY FINANCE - ...

Agile Tester

£28000 - £30000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: An ambitious...

Day In a Page

The children were playing in the street with toy guns. The air strikes were tragically real

The air strikes were tragically real

The children were playing in the street with toy guns
Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite – The British, as others see us

Britain as others see us

Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite
Countries that don’t survey their tigers risk losing them altogether

Countries that don’t survey their tigers risk losing them

Jonathon Porritt sounds the alarm
How did our legends really begin?

How did our legends really begin?

Applying the theory of evolution to the world's many mythologies
Watch out: Lambrusco is back on the menu

Lambrusco is back on the menu

Naff Seventies corner-shop staple is this year's Aperol Spritz
A new Russian revolution: Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc

A new Russian revolution

Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc
Eugene de Kock: Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

The debate rages in South Africa over whether Eugene de Kock should ever be released from jail
Standing my ground: If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?

Standing my ground

If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?
Commonwealth Games 2014: Dai Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Welsh hurdler was World, European and Commonwealth champion, but then the injuries crept in
Israel-Gaza conflict: Secret report helps Israelis to hide facts

Patrick Cockburn: Secret report helps Israel to hide facts

The slickness of Israel's spokesmen is rooted in directions set down by pollster Frank Luntz
The man who dared to go on holiday

The man who dared to go on holiday

New York's mayor has taken a vacation - in a nation that has still to enforce paid leave, it caused quite a stir, reports Rupert Cornwell
Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business, from Sarah Millican to Marcus Brigstocke

Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business

For all those wanting to know how stand-ups keep standing, here are some of the best moments
The Guest List 2014: Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks

The Guest List 2014

Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks
Jokes on Hollywood: 'With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on'

Jokes on Hollywood

With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on