Cleethorpes Town 3 Winterton Rangers 2
OWLS EASE INTO LAST FOUR
The Owls began their defence of the Lincs Senior Trophy, which was won 1-0 against Deeping Rangers at Sincil Bank back in April, on a cold evening at Bradley. It was a repeat of last year’s quarter-final against local rivals Winterton Rangers, when Clee triumphed away at West Street by a score of 7-2.
Rangers currently sit in 9th place in the Northern Counties East League Division 1, which is two steps lower than the home team.
No doubt with one eye on Saturday, Marcus Newell shuffled the pack and made five changes to the starting eleven from Bedworth. Tim Lowe, Lee McFarland, Luke Mascall, Danny North and Liam Davis came in for Jack Richardson, Matt Bloomer, Oli Donald, Adam Drury and Marc Cooper.
If the Owls were expecting an easy ride against their lower league opponents, Winterton had other ideas. They threatened twice in the early stages through Luke Anderson. Both efforts required the attention of Richard Walton, who earlier in the day had extended his loan spell from Lincoln City into the New Year.
Clee’s first effort was through a long range shot from Jon Oglesby, which went wide of the keeper’s right hand post. However, on the 17th minute the home team took the lead. A free kick was awarded on the halfway line and Lowe’s long flighted ball was met by North, who produced a really good header which looped into the far corner of the net.
Midway through the first period and the Owls were beginning to dominate possession. First Mascall shot at the keeper and then Oglesby’s effort flew over the bar.
To their credit, Rangers continued to press Clee and they equalised on the 34th minute. A mix-up in the home defence allowed Anderson time to run through on goal and finish past Walton.
For the rest of the half the cup holders tried to re-establish their advantage. The best moment came a couple of minutes before the break when Paul Beesley, who was making his home debut, almost burst clear of the visiting defence but his run was eventually blocked.
HT Cleethorpes Town 1 (North 17) Winterton Rangers 1 (Anderson 34)
The Owls came out of the blocks quickly after the break and took the lead again on 50 minutes via a brilliant strike from Oglesby, who is currently enjoying a rich vein of form. A corner on the right was cleared as far as the winger, who produced a fantastic first time finish to volley home from over 20 yards out.
Clee now enjoyed their best period of the game and were looking for a third goal to give them a cushion. However, the visitors continued to press the hosts and were making a real game of it in the cold conditions.
Midway through the half Oglesby forced a good save following a shot from the left edge of the box and on the 71st minute a third goal arrived for the Owls.
A cross from the right wing by Lowe found North, who cut inside past a defender and produced a quality finish. A second goal of the night for the returning striker and this appeared to make the game safe.
Newell made a couple of subs in the final 15 minutes. Richardson and Reece Newell came on for the final phase of the game.
The Owls looked to put further gloss on the score line though the hard-working Beesley. He headed over and then a dangerous cross from Davis was met by McFarland, who could not direct his effort on target.
However it was Rangers who scored again in the 90th minute. A through ball was pounced upon by Anderson, who lobbed the ball over Walton to register his second of the evening. This proved to be no more than a consolation as Clee saw out injury time in the Winterton half.
FT Cleethorpes Town 3 (North 17 & 71, Oglesby 50) Winterton Rangers 2 (Anderson 34 & 90) Attendance: 119
A very good workout for the Owls against game opponents. Particularly pleasing was Danny North’s brace and the 100% commitment from the team, who treated their defence of the Lincs Senior Trophy with due respect.
Joining Clee in the semi-final draw are Grimsby Borough or Bottesford Town, Bourne Town and Holbeach United.
Attention now turns to Saturday’s big FA Trophy clash away at Hednesford Town (3 pm), where a large turnout of Owls is expected. For those travelling by car, the postcode of Keys Park is WS12 2DZ.
UP THE OWLS!