The Owls had an afternoon to forget at New Linden, as Tadcaster Albion romped to a 5-1 victory to send the hosts to the foot of the Evostik East table.
Tim Lowe failed a late fitness test and was replaced by the returning from suspension Oli Donald. That was the only change from Tuesday and, therefore, the team selected by Marcus Newell and Dave Smith lined-up as follows:
Goal: Dylan Parkin
Defence: Sam Topliss, Oli Donald, Matt Bloomer, Loz McKay
Midfield: Lewis Collins, Jack Richardson, Alex Flett (captain), Jon Oglesby
Attack: Scott Vernon, Brody Robertson
Subs: Luke Mascall, Danny North, Craig Disley, Paul Walker, Josh Batty
Tadcaster started the game well and went ahead in the 6th minute. Savory’s run and cross from the left eventually fell to Billy Whitehouse, who forced the ball home from close range at the second attempt.
Not the start wanted by the vast majority of another excellent crowd and there was almost an instant equaliser. However, Robertson, who had fully recovered from being hit in the face by a clearance inside the first 60 seconds, directed his effort just the wrong side of the upright.
As the half wore on, it was Albion who enjoyed the best of the chances and should probably have doubled their lead. After 21 minutes, a fast-paced team move engineered a good opportunity for Stewart but he blazed over the bar with only Parkin to beat.
After weathering the early storm, the Owls gradually began to settle down. Richardson bulldozed through the inside left channel and, upon reaching the by-line, fizzed in a dangerous low cross, which a defender cleared for a corner.
On the half-hour mark though, the equaliser arrived. Robertson did superbly to hold the ball up and slide a clever reverse pass into the path of Scott Vernon, who side-footed into the corner of Ingham’s net.
This goal changed the course of the opening half completely and it was now the Owls’ turn to dominate. The strike pairing of Vernon and Robertson were both causing the Brewers problems. Firstly, the former’s shot was pushed away by Ingham and, on the stroke of the interval, the experienced stopper saved his side again by blocking Robertson’s strike.
HT Cleethorpes Town 1 (Vernon 30) Tadcaster Albion 1 (Whitehouse 6)
With the Owls finishing the first period strongly, there was a mood of cautious optimism around the ground upon the restart. Unfortunately, this was quickly extinguished by a 4-goal second half salvo from Albion that left the home faithful in a state of shock.
On 47 minutes, a corner from the left was powerfully headed home by central defender Harry Coates. Robertson had an excellent chance to equalise after his run beat the offside trap but the ball bobbled at the crucial moment and the chance was gone.
In the 57th minute, there was a nasty moment for keeper Parker. The Boston United loanee tried to shield the ball out of play but Savory nipped in and the evergreen Bloomer was required to bravely block.
At the halfway point of the second 45, the Brewers served up the killer blow. Casey Stewart turned beautifully inside the box and crashed his shot into the roof of the net.
All three subs were made by the Clee management in quick succession, as they attempted to freshen up their troops. Paul Walker, Danny North and Craig Disley were introduced for Loz McKay, Sam Topliss and Alex Flett respectively.
However, matters went from bad to worse, as Tadcaster were now brimming with confidence and added two more goals before the final whistle.
With 10 to play, a long clearance over the top looked ready to be mopped up by Parkin. Whether distracted by the low sun or the presence of big striker Lamin Colley, the stopper went through an experience that every goalkeeper will suffer in their career. The youngster completely missed the ball, which allowed the Albion substitute to run the ball into the unguarded net.
Four minutes later, the familiar figure of prolific divisional score Joe Lumsden added a fifth. The returning from injury sub showed his quality by creating space for a shot. He made no mistake as he found the far corner. With the final kick of the afternoon, the same player rattled the upright.
FT Cleethorpes Town 1 (Vernon 30) Tadcaster Albion 5 (Whitehouse 6, Coates 47, Stewart 68, Colley 80, Lumsden 84) Attendance: 283
Not the outcome that anyone associated with the Owls would have wanted is a bit of an understatement!! It is not my intention to apportion “blame” though. Suffice to say that everyone is capable of much better…
We have all shared in the successes of recent times and must do the same through this difficult period. It is part and parcel of football that lean times will inevitably be experienced. Not to say that the supporters were anything but superb yesterday – offering encouragement right to the end. Clee “ultras”… I salute you!
To finish on a positive note, we are less than a quarter of a way through our league fixtures and there are many points to play for. We are also still involved in the FA Trophy plus the Lincs Senior Cup Final against Stamford is just over a fortnight away.
Before our knock-out tie at home to Marske United next Saturday, we are on the road on Tuesday (7.45pm) to Wisbech Town for a vital Evostik East match. A win in Cambridgeshire would see us jump three places in the table – all support most welcome!
Tuesday 23rd October – 7.45pm
Elgoods Fenland Stadium, Lynn Road, Wisbech, PE14 7AL
Adults - £9, Concessions - £6, 12-16 year olds - £3, Under 12s – Free
UP THE OWLS!