Cleethorpes Town 3 Sheffield 1

Cleethorpes Town 3 Sheffield 1

By David Simpson
17 October
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FOUR ON THE BOUNCE FOR CONFIDENT OWLS!


The Owls came flying back from their recent knockout exits to record a comfortable victory over Sheffield in the NPL East on Saturday afternoon. It finished 3-1 at the Myenergi Stadium, with a brace for Scott Vernon and the third coming from Tim Lowe.

Dave Smith made 3 changes from last weekend’s FA Trophy tie. Keeper Tom Jackson returned from injury. Also in were Oli Donald and Brody Robertson. Both Loz McKay and Jack McMenemy featured amongst the substitutes.

The side lined-up as follows in a 3-5-2 formation:

Goal: Tom Jackson
Defence: Jordon Cooke, Paul Walker, Oli Donald
Midfield: Tim Lowe, Luke Lofts, Alex Flett (c), Josh Venney, Sam Topliss
Attack: Scott Vernon, Brody Robertson

Subs: Loz McKay, Jon Oglesby, Josh Batty, Harry Middleton, Jack McMenemy

The fixture got underway in decent conditions and a good-sized crowd was in place, looking forward to the prospect of five home games in the coming weeks.

It was clear from the outset that there would be no hangover from the Shildon defeat. Fluent football was generally the order of the day and Robertson came close to breaking the deadlock as early as the 5th minute.

The faithful did not have long to wait before the scoreboard started ticking over. It was a lovely move as well. A ball in behind the defence located the onrushing Venney. The midfielder, who is still enjoying a rich vein of form, squared for Scott Vernon. The prolific forward coolly slotted into the net.

Sheffield looked like a team short on a bit of confidence but, as always in this division, they were well-organised and committed. However, Clee’s attacking flair threatened to overwhelm them and it was no surprise when the advantage was doubled.

Lofts, who has been lively since his return, weaved into the area where a clumsy challenge impeded his progress. Not an absolute “stonewaller” but, after deliberation, the referee correctly, in the opinion of most people in the Main Stand, pointed to the spot.

Up stepped Scott Vernon. The striker’s firm penalty was very well saved by Hedge. The ball stayed in the danger-zone though and Vernon was alert to bundle the rebound home.

In response, the visitors showed enough steel to conjure a goal to halve their deficit in the shadow of the break. It came somewhat out of the blue but was well worked. A quick free-kick was nodded on by Newie and finished off by Max Rhodes.

HT Cleethorpes Town 2 (Vernon 15, 38) Sheffield 1 (Rhodes 45)

The crowd had barely settled back into their places after the half-time refreshments, when the fourth of the afternoon arrived.

Just 40 seconds had elapsed before Tim Lowe galloped dangerously into the box. The wing-back showed plenty of composure to unleash a shot, which found the target via the inside of the upright.

In truth, this more-or-less killed the encounter off. Clee continued to largely dominate in terms of chances created but did not add further to their tally.

Vernon went close to claiming his hat-trick, being denied by a flying tip-over from Hedge. At the other end, stopper Jackson was alert to palm away a dipping effort.

The Owls managed out the remainder of the time in calm fashion. At the whistle, the players & management could reflect on a job well done. A thoroughly deserved three points were safely pouched, to start an important run of NPL matches.

FT Cleethorpes Town 3 (Vernon 15, 38, Lowe 46) Sheffield 1 (Rhodes 45) Attendance: 378

A good, composed win!

Always seemed in command of proceedings to me and up to 7th in the table (4th in the points per game standings!). Too early in the season to worry about other teams but we could certainly do with a bumper points haul from this run of home games. Yesterday was a great start – well played!

Captain Alex Flett got the Docks Beers’ man-of-the-match award from generous match sponsors Ocean Blue Logistics (see picture).

Next up on Tuesday (19th – 7.45pm), we welcome Stocksbridge Park Steels – see you there.

UP THE OWLS!

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