A 90th minute looping header from Ross Hardaker snatched a point for Ossett United, after a first half strike from Brody Robertson had looked to have been enough to gain a narrow win for the Owls.
Dave Smith made just one change to the starting XI and it was enforced. With Dylan Parkin suffering a broken metatarsal in the excellent victory at Morpeth, new signing Theo Richardson was in goal. The team lined up as follows:
Goal: Theo Richardson
Defence: Tim Lowe, Oli Donald, Paul Walker, Sam Topliss
Midfield: Jack Richardson, Liam Dickens, Alex Flett (captain), Jon Oglesby
Attack: Scott Vernon, Brody Robertson
Subs: Craig Disley, Danny North, Lewis Collins, Luke Mascall, Josh Batty
The thermometer may have said 2 degrees Celcius at kick-off but a howling gale made the air temperature seem well below freezing.
Ossett were the first to threaten and keeper Richardson, who has experience with Manchester United and Grantham Town, made a smart intervention to deny Corner. Hardaker also shot over from distance, as the visitors made most of the early running.
Clee gradually worked their way into the contest though and a run from Oglesby took the winger past two challenges before a covering defender snuffed out the danger. Stopper Souter then made a save from striker Vernon.
It was all pretty even and perhaps unsurprisingly, given the challenging conditions, scrappy. However, it was the Owls who nosed ahead on 28 minutes after a period of pressure. Topliss, who had been getting well forward on the left, swung in a teasing cross which swirled over the defence. Brody Robertson had read the situation well to nip in behind the rearguard and guided home his 13th goal of the campaign in all competitions.
Liam Dickens was forced off in the 34th minute and was replaced by Craig Disley.
Donald and Walker were once again in commanding form in the heart of the home defence. They dealt comfortably with successive away corners and the nearest Ossett came to a leveller was a deflected shot by captain McQuade.
HT Cleethorpes Town 1 (Robertson 28) Ossett United 0
The weather deteriorated even further during the interval, with rain now beating down to add to an ever strengthening wind - it really was a foul afternoon on the East coast!
Luke Mascall came on at half-time to replace Tim Lowe, with the versatile player slotting straight in at right-back.
As the encounter went beyond the hour mark, the home faithful were becoming increasingly optimistic that a first Evostik clean sheet could be secured. This belief increased after Ossett had a massive appeal for a penalty waved away by the referee.
Clee were largely content to maintain their shape and invite the visitors to break them down and, with numerous balls now going astray due to the wind, this tactic looked more than likely to win the day.
The Owls picked up three yellows in the final stages - Theo Richardson, captain Alex Flett and Jack Richardson all entering the notebook. Lewis Collins was introduced after 78 minutes to replace Jon Oglesby.
With the clock ticking down, substitute Priestley missed a golden chance for United, somehow failing to convert from close range. However, the pressure was building and with the 90th minute reached, Ossett scored to deny the Owls all the spoils. A header from Ross Hardaker looped agonisingly over Richardson to nestle in the corner of the net.
A hammer blow for Clee but it could have got even worse during the three added minutes. Greaves and Chippendale both hit the woodwork, as Ossett nearly completed a dramatic late turnaround.
FT Cleethorpes Town 1 (Robertson 28) Ossett United 1 (Hardaker 90) Attendance: 329
Not an afternoon for the faint-hearted at a wet and wild Linden! Credit to all the players (and fans!) for putting on a reasonable spectacle, considering the diabolical weather.
In truth, it was always going to be a struggle to put on a feast of football but, even though it is disappointing to concede a late goal, Ossett were well worth a draw. Overall, I thought we put in a good shift.
Despite dropping a place in the table, 10 points from the last 5 games is a decent return and the management team can be satisfied with that. An important fixture next Saturday at a rapidly improving Spalding United - a win in south Lincolnshire would send everyone in to the Christmas break in high spirits.
Saturday 22nd December – 3pm
Spalding United - Evostik East
Sir Halley Stewart Playing Field, Winfrey Avenue, Spalding, PE11 1DA
Adults £8, Concessions £5, 12-16 £2, Under 12s free
UP THE OWLS!