Saturday, 30 January 2016

Cleethorpes Town 1 v Kidlington 2 - FA Vase R5

Prior to this afternoon I've seen Cleethorpes Town in action three times this season... and all of those games were played away from home, in the people's republic of north Nottinghamshire, at Clipstone and Retford United in the NCEL and Handsworth Parramore in the 3rd round of the FA Vase.
The Owls wore a different kit in each one of these games and they won all three of them.
In spite of having travelled extensively around the highways and bye-ways of  non league football in several countries, this was the first time that I have ever seen Oxfordshire based side Kidlington, of the Uhlsport Hellenic League, in action.
Their supporters, the 'Green Army', who had made the long trip up to Grimsby, many of them overnight, were a very friendly bunch and very gracious about the outcome of this fifth round tie.
Saturday 30th January 2016
FA Vase Fifth Round
at Bradley Community Stadium, Grimsby
Cleethorpes Town (0) 1
Brody Robertson 48
Kidlington (2) 2
Tommy Castle 8
Jack Quainton 45
Admission £5. Programme £1.50. Attendance 274
We'd thought it was cold for this lunchtime's Under 18 game at Rainworth between Mansfield Town and Scunthorpe United, but that was positively tropical compared to the icy blast that terrorised the Bradley Community Stadium this afternoon, as we 'enjoyed a four seasons in one day' experience out on the east coast.
At the end of the game, it was like driving home through the set of an episode of 'Ice Road Truckers', however those guys and gals who navigate their big rigs across treacherous terrain, don't have to contend with every other car coming towards them on the A46 being driven by a twat who doesn't know how to dip his/her headlights.
We positioned ourselves right next to the Owls singing section for the first half, where it was good to catch up with David Patterson, a noisy member of the Cleethorpes Town choir, who also doubles up as the progressive club's chairman.
The visitors were a bit of an unknown quantity, but they looked lively from the kick off, with Ancelot Odhiambo testing Miles Fenty early on.
The home sides first attack came to an abrupt halt when Jonathan Oglesby went to ground under a heavy challenge from Ben Weedon, but the referee Tom Bramall waved away the Owls penalty appeals.
Cleethorpes misery at not being awarded what they thought was a definite spot kick, was compounded shortly afterwards, when Tommy Castle cut into the area from out on the visitors left flank and drilled a low shot passed Fenty, to give the Oxfordshire side the lead.
Odhiambo put in a dangerous cross towards Castle, who came close to doubling the visitors lead.
Cleethorpes must've started to wonder if it wasn't going to be their day, when Marc Cooper rounded Sam Warrell, the Greens goalkeeper, only to see two close range strikes cleared off of the line.
Luke Mascall saw his shot crash against the right hand post as the Owls looked odds on to score again, to no avail.
Jack Quainton had a shot turned around the post by Fenty and then blazed the ball over from close range when Fenty parried Lewis Coyle's free kick and the Kidlington number 7 got to the loose ball first.
Mascall headed wide from Oglesby's corner at one end as the first half reached it's conclusion and then the visitors struck again in stoppage time, when Coyle played a sideways pass across the front of the 18 yard box to Quainton, who turned, made himself a yard of space and planted the ball into the back of the net.
HT: Cleethorpes Town 0 v Kidlington 2
Cleethorpes knew another Kidlington goal would probably kill the game off now, but Brody Robertson threw the game wide open on 48 minutes, when he took the ball past Warrell and rolled the ball into the visitors goal.
Within a minute Mascall came close to putting the Owls level, but the 'Green Army' let out a collective sigh of relief as the busy midfielder put the ball narrowly wide.
Driven on by some great vocal backing, the home side came close again, when Warrell strayed off of his line, but Cooper's opportunist long range effort cleared the crossbar.
Tim Lowe conceded a free kick against Castle just outside the Owls area; using a routine that probably worked well on the training pitch, Coyle rolled a short free kick to his captain Lewis Gabbidon, whose wayward strike illustrated to everyone present why he is a defender.
Oglesby had the goal in his sights, but shot over from long distance, before Warrell pulled off a brace of top class saves from Robertson and Danny Trott, that would prove to be just as important in the final analysis as Castle and Quainton's first half strikes.
Mascall picked out Robertson right in front of Kidlington's goal, but the Owls number 10 rattled his shot against the upright.
The woodwork was having a blinding game for the visitors this afternoon.
As the game went into stoppage time, even Fenty was up bolstering the Cleethorpes attack, as Mascall delivered two corners into the visitors goalmouth in quick succesion. The Owls keeper he even got a touch of the ball that fell into the path of Cooper whose close range strike was blocked in the crowded goal area.
With a sleat blizzard developing, Darren Hanslip saw his overhead kick drop just wide of the post with Warrell beaten, as the visiting supporters began to call out for the referee to blow the final whistle.
Mr Bramall did indeed sound his whistle and just for a moment he appeared to be pointing at the penalty spot too, but the cheers turned to jeers from the 'Clee' fans as it became apparent that he was actually pointing for a goal kick to Kidlington.
And that was that, Kidlington were through to the quarter Finals of the FA Vase and although they could hardly have put any more effort in this afternoon, Cleethorpes Town's dreams of Wembley are over for another season.
With just a little bit of good fortune here and there, when the visitors rode their luck once or twice, it could have been very different. But in the end, I suppose you could say, Kidlington got 'the rub of the Greens' today.
FT: Cleethorpes Town 1 v Kidlington 2
All in all, a decent game, played in several kinds of bloody awful weather.
Good luck to both teams for the remainder of the season.