FA Vase Third Round
at the Windsor Foodservice Stadium
Handsworth Parramore (1) 1
Luke Fletcher 37
Cleethorpes Town (1) 2
Marc Cooper 25 pen, Louis Grant 88
Admission £5. Programme £1.50. Attendance 101
"Congratulations @CleeTownFC on your victory tonight and as the last surviving @NCEL team we @HandsworthPFC hope you go and win @AllFAVase"
The last time these two sides had met was in the NCEL League Cup Final back in May... in case you need reminding who won that one, by virtue of a late, late comeback, the celebration sparked by the outcome of the game are depicted on the front cover of the Ambers matchday programme this season.
Bearing that in mind, I think it would be fair to say, that tonight's victory was just that little bit sweeter for Marcus Stewart's Cleethorpes Town side and their travelling supporters.
While the Owls were grabbing a late win of their own in Worksop; Tadcaster Albion were bowing out the Vase at Sunderland RCA, meaning that 'Clee' are now the sole representatives of the NCEL still involved in this season's competition and they will now face Alvechurch at home in the next round on January 9th.
The first clear opening fell to the visitors, when Jon Oglesby broke forward from midfield and opted to shoot, rather than laying the ball sideways to either teammate who had tracked his run through either channel and his effort cleared the Handsworth crossbar.
From the Owls next attack a bit of a goalmouth scramble ensued and the Assistant Referee Mark Thomas raised his flag and beckoned the Ref, Hristo Karaivanov over for a discussion, the outcome of which was a penalty award to the visitors for an apparent handball by Sam Denton.
The game had needed a goal and livened up no end from hereon in.
Tim Lowe, up helping out the visitors attack, came close with two half chances as Cleethorpes looked to build on their advantage, while Peter Duffield and Micky Godber, the home sides management duo remonstrated with the officials that they didn't think they were getting a fair share of the decisions.
When Bruno Holden went to ground inside the visitors area, Wayne Gray on the touchline waved his flag, but Mr Karaivanov decided that he had a clear view of the incident and waved play on.
Ryan Lee broke menacingly down the right flank, but Luke Mascall stopped him in his tracks with a well timed tackle. Play switched the other way again and Sneath did well to keep a Liam Dickens shot from doubling the Owls lead.
Jack Richardson and Danny Trott exchanged passes just outside the Parramore area, but Adams calmly mopped up the danger.
The home side had defended well for a while... and they had needed to. But as the first half came to a close, they began to apply more pressure themselves, with Stephen Warne pressing, Lee and Cooper both had shots from inside the penalty area go just wide of the upright.
Buttle was causing all kinds of problems for the visitors, but having absorbed a spell of pressure, they ventured forward again and Trott was thwarted by Sneath.
Fenty showed good reflexes saving a powerful downward header from Nathan Joynes, with Buttle once again providing the opening.
Back came Cleethorpes and Handsworth had Sneath to save for pulling off a brace of top drawer saves from both Oglesby and Winn.
Both keepers were now being called into action more and more frequently and Harrison tested Fenty again, to no avail.
The second half had flown by and Cleethorpes had snatched their vital second goal with just two minutes remaining.
Handsworth stormed forward and chuck everything they had at salvaging the game and forcing it into extra time... all that was needed to complete the scene was an air raid siren sounding in the background.
The Owls were fighting tooth and nail to repel a late equaliser, two goal line clearances and a Fletcher shot flying over the crossbar in stoppage time, brought the game to it's conclusion and on the final whistle, the visitors were clearly elated, while Handsworth were visibly drained by the experience.
FT: Handsworth Parramore 1 v Cleethorpes Town 2
The game had started as a steady pace as the two sides weighed each other up, but it was completely frantic towards the end.
Both sides worked really hard but there could only be one winner.
Good luck to Cleethorpes Town in the next round.