The lads dominated at Brisbane Road but were thwarted by a combination of indifferent finishing and the goalkeeping of Artur Krysiak until Andy Barcham latched onto Kevin-Prince Boateng's pass and finished in style in the 81st minute.
Michael Dawson continued his comeback from injury with a 65-minute stint but was rarely tested as shots rained in at the other end. In one period of the the first half Krysiak saved well three times in three minutes as Adel Taarabt and Kieran McKenna took turns to shoot from between 20-30 yards, all to no avail.
It looked like it might be one of those dreaded nights until Boateng delivered the pass of the night for Barcham to race through on Krysiak and firmly place his shot into the bottom corner.
"Patience was vitally important and we spoke about that at half-time," said Clive. "We had lots of attempts at goal, poor finishing on a number of times but still created a lot of chances and we had to have the belief that we were going to go on and win the game.
"In spells we played very well but in other spells we just over-complicated it.
"The only thing missing was creating clear-cut chances. In possession we controlled it, we worked the ball well into the final third and we just needed to make that dominance count.
"I'm pleased with the result, we deserved to win the game but I felt overall we could have made it a lot easier than it turned out to be."
There was praise for matchwinner Barcham. "He showed composure and there were a couple of occasions at Derby last week where he snatched at his finish but this time he steadied himself and took it very well," added Clive.
"The pleasing thing was the build-up to that goal - one touch football, it was played behind from Kevin into the space and once Barchy was away, he was through one on one and finished well. It was a well-crafted goal well taken."
Clive Allen felt patience was the key as our reserves struck late to beat Birmingham City at Leyton Orient on Monday night.