Cleethorpes Town 4 Grimsby Town 3
HOMECOMING OWLS SINK MARINERS!
The 2018/19 season got underway in a carnival atmosphere at the New Linden. A capacity crowd of 1800 was packed in for the early kick-off at the sun-drenched arena. The return home was the culmination of six years hard work and everyone associated with the Owls felt a sense of pride as the players made their way onto the pitch.
Plenty of new faces on show for both sides and Grimsby struck first in the 5th minute. The referee pointed to the spot after Mitch Rose went down under a challenge and the midfielder planted the ball beyond David Birch.
After having a volleyed effort ruled out for offside, the visitors doubled their advantage on the half hour mark. JJ Hooper burst clear and blasted home, giving Birch no chance in the home net.
At this stage it looked like being a comfortable afternoon for the League Two outfit but, after 37 minutes, the Owls got the lifeline that their first half display had merited. Debutant Lewis Collins won the ball 30 yards out and, after an exchange of passes, his effort appeared to be heading wide of the upright but deflected in to the goal off Tom Jamieson.
HT Cleethorpes Town 1 (Jamieson og 37) Grimsby Town 2 (Rose pen 5, Hooper 30)
All change for the visitors at the break and they were stunned within 60 seconds of the re-start. New boy Paul Walker did really well down the right flank and his hard cross was slammed in at the far post by Josh Batty, who was also making his first appearance for the Owls.
Parity did not last long though and George Waring lobbed the Mariners back ahead via the post from the edge of the penalty area.
It was ebb and flow now as both sides were serving up a lunchtime goal feast for the entertained spectators. Unbelievably it was another own goal that drew Clee level on 63 minutes. Captain Alex Flett (nominated as man-of-the-match by our generous sponsors East Trans Limited) surged from midfield and his cross cannoned in off the unfortunate Alex Whitmore.
As the game reached its conclusion, a cracking goal from Collins ensured a first-ever win for the Owls against the Mariners. The midfielder, who had looked dangerous all afternoon, cut in from the left before finding the corner of the net with a low right foot shot.
HT Cleethorpes Town 4 (Jamieson og 37, Batty 46, Whitmore og 63, Collins 86) Grimsby Town 3 (Rose pen 5, Hooper 30, Waring 55) Attendance: 1800
A great day! I thought that our squad for the new campaign looks to be shaping up nicely and, even though it was a friendly, it is still very pleasing to record a victory.
Superb effort from everybody to get the ground looking so nice and the whole afternoon was well organised. It really was a treat to be a part of it all!
We next play on Tuesday (10th – 7.30pm) in the Lincs Senior Cup at home to Scunthorpe United. The winners of this tie will entertain Grimsby Town in the last eight. A quick reminder that, due to Lincs FA rules, it is “all pay” for this fixture (£5 / £3).
UP THE OWLS!