Bedworth United 2 Cleethorpes Town 1
OWLS STUMPED AT THE OVAL
After the excellent result at Buxton last week, Clee made the journey to Warwickshire in good spirits looking to consolidate second place in the Evostik South against Bedworth United.
The Owls had gone four games without a win in the league whilst the hosts sat in mid-table but with a good home record of only one defeat in 7 games.
A rainy morning had given way to a bright but cold afternoon and the Clee team saw 3 changes from last Saturday. New signings Adam Drury and Paul Beesley were handed their debuts replacing Luke Mascall and Liam Dickens respectively. Loz McKay returned at right-back to deputise for the unavailable Tim Lowe.
It was the hosts who started the game better as Clee tried to adapt to a difficult looking artificial surface. In the 5th minute a ball over the top held up on the pitch and Matt Bloomer needed to be alert to clear the danger. A couple of moments later Bedworth forced a corner and a goal bound header from Jamie McAteer was volleyed off the line by McKay.
More good play from the Greenbacks on the quarter hour mark as Luke Rowe set up a shooting opportunity for Luke Keen, who fired wide of Richard Walton’s goal.
The Owls replied with a spell of pressure after 20 minutes. Firstly, a through ball found winger Jon Oglesby in space but he could not get the ball under control and it ran through to the home keeper. Then debutant Beesley found space in the inside left channel and forced a good save from Daniel Crane.
Just past the half hour Clee once again threatened to find the opening goal. A dangerous cross from Oglesby was cleared and then a ball from Beesley found Marc Cooper who could not get his effort on target. This good passage of play ended with Peter Winn shooting over the bar from 30 yards.
The visitors were forced into a substitution on 41 minutes when Liam Davis made a welcome return to the team replacing the unfortunate Cooper, who had suffered an injury.
An even half ended with Clee forcing a couple of corners and a Bedworth attack from midfield which was broken up Oli Donald.
HT Bedworth United 0 Cleethorpes Town 0
The Owls upped the pace after the break with the returning Davis looking very lively. This period of good play was rewarded in the 54th minute when excellent work on the left from Oglesby found Drury in a lot of space. He took his time before finishing well into the corner of the net to the delight of the travelling fans.
More good play four minutes later ended with Bloomer shooting at the keeper. Shortly afterwards the centre-half needed to be alert at the other end as he cleared a home attack for a corner.
Just after the midway point of the half, the Owls were awarded a free kick 30 yards out following a handball. The influential Alex Flett played a ball in which found Donald. However he could not keep his spectacular overhead kick down.
Bedworth levelled on 70 minutes through the dangerous Khaellen Bailey-Nicholls who was on the end of a quick break. His powerful low finish gave Walton no chance. This was somewhat against the run of play as Clee had looked comfortable in the second period.
The visitors made their final 2 substitutions inside the final ten minutes. Beesley, who had made a decent debut, was replaced by Luke Aldrich and Lee McFarland came on for the hard-working Oglesby.
Just when the game seemed to be drifting towards a draw, it sparked into life in the 87th minute when captain Flett was shown a red card. His challenge in midfield appeared to be mistimed rather than malicious and probably merited no more than a caution. However, the referee saw it differently and opted for a red.
The Owls were now hanging on to try to preserve a hard won point. Firstly a cross from the right was fired against the base of the post. In the next attack and just as the clock ticked past 90 minutes, Bedworth found the winner via Bailey-Nicholls, who had been a thorn in Clee’s side all afternoon. Another cross found him six yards out and he made no mistake to earn the hosts all 3 points.
FT Bedworth United 2 (Bailey-Nicholls 70, 90) Cleethorpes Town 1 (Drury 54) Attendance: 193
A deflating end to the game! Clee had battled hard all match without being at their fluent best but were unlucky to leave the Oval with no reward. It shows how far the Owls have come by the wild celebrations from the home team. We are now obviously seen as a big scalp.
A third of the way through the league campaign and Clee are still averaging 2 points per game – a fine achievement! However, this reverse coupled with Alvechurch’s win mean we drop to third spot in the EvoStik South.
The Owls now have two cup matches before returning to league action in a fortnight at Corby Town (Saturday 18th November – 3pm).
Firstly, Winterton Rangers are the visitors to Bradley on Wednesday evening (8th – 745pm) when Clee begin the defence of the Lincolnshire Senior Trophy at the quarter-final stage.
Then another trip to the Midlands next Saturday (11th – 3pm) in the FA Trophy 2nd Qualifying Round to face Evostik Premier Hednesford Town at Keys Park. An intriguing tie in prospect and the club are kindly providing subsidised transport to this fixture. It is free for members of the Supporters Club and a bargain £5 for non-members.
There are a number of ways to become a “Clee Ultra” and join the ever expanding fanbase. Either contact the Linden Club or make enquiries at a home fixture. Alternatively contact the Owls via social media:
Twitter: @CleeTownFC or @UltrasClee
Facebook: Cleethorpes Town (Official) or Clee Town Fans
UP THE OWLS!