Stockton Town 2 Cleethorpes Town 3

Stockton Town 2 Cleethorpes Town 3

By David Simpson
12 September
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The Owls continued their recent good form with a 3-2 victory in a full-bloodied clash at Stockton Town in the Northern Premier League on Saturday afternoon. Two penalties from Jack McMenemy plus a strike from Brody Robertson was enough to take a vital 3 points back to North East Lincolnshire.

There was one change from the triumph over Hednesford Town in midweek. Tim Lowe came in to replace Harry Middleton.

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, Sam Topliss, Alex Flett (c), Josh Venney, Loz McKay
Attack: Brody Robertson, Josh Batty

Subs: Alfie Boswell, Lennon Stead, Harry Middleton, Jack McMenemy, Matt Bloomer

Clee arrived in buoyant mood after the Cup victory. However, backed by a large vociferous support, the Anchors were certain to provide a stern test of the Owls’ promotion credentials.

Both sides had opportunities in the early stages. Central defender Cooke was twice very alert to clear off the line as Stockton pressed and Batty went just wide at the other end of the field.

Batty was again involved in the 27th minute, when forcing keeper Roberts into a flying tip-over. Strike partner Robertson also wasted a good opportunity, firing over when well placed.

In-between these chances, Clee were made to pay the price for their profligacy. A corner from the right was headed on by Steel, and it cannoned into the net beyond Jackson off an unfortunate defender.

The Owls continued to press. Flett went closest in the shadow of half-time, but the ball flew a yard too high to complete a frustrating 45 for the visitors.

HT Stockton Town 1 (Own goal 36) Cleethorpes Town 0

The main talking point amongst the travelling fans during the interval was when recent signing McMenemy would be unleashed. The answer was 5 minutes after the restart. It was a decision that paved the way for a thrilling comeback, as within 120 seconds of the substitution Clee equalised.

McMenemy showed good strength to hold the ball up before sliding a square ball to Brody Robertson, who splendidly cracked a 20-yarder into the top corner. Delight all round for the Owls, who then began to get fully into the ascendency.

Donald went close to snatching the initiative. However, Stockton were also dangerous in patches and, having hit the inside of the upright early in the half, Hayes flashed a shot inches over.

With around a quarter-of-an-hour left on the watch, the third goal arrived. Walker galloped forward from his defensive duties and, turning inside near the apex of the box, was tripped. A clear penalty and Jack McMenemy coolly rolled Clee into the lead.

The excitement of moving ahead was relatively short-lived though. Mikey Roberts arrived at the far post with 80 gone to slide in a low cross.

There was still plenty of time for a winner! Thankfully, this went the way of the Owls in the 88th minute.

A shot appeared to be handled by Anchors’ captain Adam Nicholson. The official agreed and pointed to the spot, before brandishing a red card as well.

Long protests followed but, to the naked eye from the press seating, Mr Parnaby had made the correct call. Having waited patiently, Jack McMenemy was ice cool, slamming the award into the roof of the net.

The remaining time was played out mainly in Stockton’s territory. At the whistle, the Owls could be well pleased with their overall performance and swooping to an important road win.

FT Stockton Town 2 (Own goal 36, Roberts 80) Cleethorpes Town 3 (Robertson 52, McMenemy 74 pen, 88 pen) Attendance: 640

A match not for the faint-hearted!

It was a pretty hostile atmosphere to be fair. However, the Owls showed great courage to stand up and launch a fine comeback. Jack McMenemy is bound to grab the headlines, moving his total to 4 goals in 3 games. Nevertheless, it was the collective team spirit that was so pleasing to see.

A word to for Brody Robertson. A fine strike to end a frustrating run for the forward – well played!

Up to 7th in the table and we can take a fortnight’s pause from our NPL campaign. Next weekend is a big one – Alfreton Town visit in the FA Cup 2nd Round Qualifying. Get through that tie and we can really start to dream… see you there!


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