Cleethorpes Town 3 Lincoln United 3 (8-7 on penalties)
OWLS MAKE FINAL IN THRILLER
The Owls welcomed Lincoln United to New Linden in the Lincolnshire Senior Cup semi-final. This latest slice of pre-season action would see the winners progress to the showpiece against Stamford.
Clee selected the following starting line-up - David Birch, Tim Lowe, Tom Davie, Jack Richardson, Mark Gray, Matt Bloomer, Lewis Collins, Alex Flett (captain), Andy Taylor, Scott Vernon and Jon Oglesby respectively. Oli Donald, Liam Dickens, Laurence McKay, Brody Robertson, Paul Walker, Danny North and Josh Batty were on the bench and all would see action during the 90 minutes.
Lincoln got off to a flyer and raced into a 2-goal lead in the opening 12 minutes. Sean Wright and Kallum Smith doing the damage for the Whites before a reply from Andy Taylor offered the Owls hope.
In a largely disappointing opening period for the home team, new signing Scott Vernon missed a chance to equalise from the penalty spot. This was punished on the stroke of half-time when Jack Wilkinson doubled the advantage for the visitors.
HT Cleethorpes Town 1 (Taylor 18) Lincoln United 3 (Wright 5, Smith 12, Wilkinson 45)
The second 45 was a completely different story with the Owls largely dominant, as they fought to find a way back into the tie.
This was accomplished with a brace from recent signing Josh Batty. He struck in the 53rd and 69th minutes to cap an excellent display after coming on as a substitute.
Chances came and went for both sides, with Clee looking the more likely. However, the winner would not come and the 90 minutes ended in a draw.
FT Cleethorpes Town 3 (Taylor 18, Batty 53, 69) Lincoln United 3 (Wright 5, Smith 12, Wilkinson 45) Attendance: 158
Straight to penalties in this competition, and to say the shoot-out was eventful would be an understatement!
After each player had taken a kick, and following numerous saves and misses, the sides were tied at 7-7.
The 12th kicks were decisive though. Keeper David Birch was the hero as he saved Lincoln's effort before Danny North slotted into the corner to see the Owls home.
After penalties, Cleethorpes Town win 8-7
As you may have gathered I was not at the game! I have pieced this brief report together from Portugal with the help of Gary Carlton's excellent "WhatsApp" coverage. The penalties were something else... great stuff!
Sources indicate that Josh Batty played very well and the defence had a first-half to forget. Nice to get to a final before the season proper starts...
The match against Stamford will take place in the Autumn at a venue to be determined by the Lincs FA.
Tomorrow (Saturday 28th - 3pm), we travel to Barton Town. Hopefully a good few Owls will make the trip, as the countdown to August 18th continues.
UP THE OWLS!