Clay Cross Town are out of the FA Vase after they were narrowly beaten 2-1 away at Hucknall Town.
Saturday’s first qualifying round tie at Watnall Road saw both teams enter the fixture with 100 per cent records in their Central Midlands campaigns.
Three wins from three and plenty of goals scored by each team meant it was going to be a closely ran encounter - and so it proved.
It was Clay Cross who started the brighter of the two and opened the scoring on 17 minutes when player-manager, Ant Lynam fired in an unstoppable free-kick from 20 yards past Michael Randall.
Lee Clay and Joel Holland could have added to this tally but Clay’s header went marginally over the bar and Holland’s solo run ending with his fierce shot was parried to safety by an outstretched Randall.
In the second half Hucknall upped their game and came close to scoring on several occasions amid a spell of extreme pressure that the Millers found difficult to restrain.
Each effort was either squandered by the Yellows’ strikers or saved by the lively Hartshorn in the Clay Cross goal. It was Lynam again that looked to have added to the score on the hour when another of his dangerous free-kicks rested in the side netting.
The next goal, however, came with just 15 minutes remaining when Hucknall’s Shaun Smith picked up a long through ball and fired over the stranded Hartshorn.
Clearly inspired by this it was Smith again who scored the winning goal five-minutes later when he lobbed the ball over Hartshorn and into an empty net.
This Saturday the Millers are back in CMFL North Division action and host Collingham at Mill Lane (3pm kick off).
This is followed by a much anticipated friendly fixture at Mill Lane on Tuesday 19 September when Clay Cross entertain a Chesterfield FC X1 (7.15pm kick off). It will be the first time the two clubs have met in a football fixture since October 1920.