Saturday, 17 September 2016

Cleethorpes Town 4 v Maltby Main 0 - NCEL Prem

Saturday 17th September 2016
Toolstation NCEL Premier Division
at Bradley Football Development Centre
Cleethorpes Town (2) 4
Peter Winn 19 pen
Brody Robertson 23
Jack Richardson 66
Luke Mascall 76
Maltby Main (0) 0
Admission £6 Programme £1.50 Attendance 101
At the slow starters end of the NCEL Premier Division table, there were three fixtures that could already be classed as relegation 'six pointers' today, with all six of the clubs at the bottom of the pile involved, namely: Barton Town Old Boys v Harrogate Railway Athletic, Parkgate v Retford United and Staveley Miners Welfare v Armthorpe Welfare. Two of the managers involved in that particular scrap have already fallen on their swords and exited stage left. But nothing in football is won or lost by the middle of September, so it's way too soon to be speculating about such things just yet.
The NCEL season lasts from August 'til April and it's a Marathon not a Snickers.
But our excursion to Waltham with the Stags youth team this lunchtime, gave us the ideal opportunity to catch up with our good friends from both Cleethorpes Town and Maltby Main, who were in the hunt for points today for all together different reasons, with 'Clee' looking tostay at the top of the pile while the Miners were looking to consolidate their position in the comfort zone that is the top half of the table.
Please pardon the pun, but the Owls have got off to a flyer this term, having been somewhat hampered with their promotion push by some indifferent form towards the beginning of last season and prior to kick off they were sat sat on the top perch, leading the NCEL Premier Division, with one point more than second placed Liversedge, who are living up to the potential they showed in the second half of last season once they cleared up their fixtures backlog.
Today's visitors are progressing at a steady sustainable pace and building on the foundations that they put down last season. Their chairman, Wilf Race has realistic aspirations as to what the achievable aims are for his South Yorkshire club and their manager Spencer Fearn is under no pressure as he assembles his team and the development side of the club within a sensible time frame.
The Miners know that they aren't in a position to compete financially with some of the big hitters in this league, but they are moving along nicely in the right direction nevertheless.
Three NCEL Premier Division clubs were in FA Cup action this afternoon and they all fared well, with Bridlington Town earning a replay against Harrogate Town, while AFC Mansfield beat Coalville United away and Handsworth Parramore saw off Burscough at the Windsor Food Service Stadium.
Maltby, pretty much as you'd expect, battled all the way for the whole 90 minutes today, but their hosts demonstrated why they are currently at the top of the NCEL and had that touch more class to rack up two goals in each half, which were all scored by different players, and even the introduction of the mercurial talent of John Stancliffe late in the game wasn't enough to salvage anything from the game for Spencer Fearn's side.
Lee Hill, who was missing from the visitors line up today due to a hamstring problem, was a big miss for Maltby today, who could have done with his run through brick walls for you commitment in the heat of the battle... not that it was actually war, as the wind picked up and did it's level best to ruin the game as a spectacle. 
What the Miners lacked in the way of Hill's physical approach, was offset by the vocal backing and encouragement that he was giving his teammates from the touchline.
Ta very much to Matt Jones for the team details
Grimsby Town were at home today, which will have affected this afternoon's attendance. 
For the record, the Mariners lost 2-0 at Blundell Park against Crewe Alexandra, going down by the same two goal margin that their youngsters did at nearby Waltham, a couple of hours ago. 
For almost completely unbiased details from that game, click HERE
Cleethorpes got the game underway andfor the first ten minutes or so, it was an evenly contested affair with both sides going close to finding the opening goal, while their respective goalkeepers were both required to be on their toes right from the word go, with Danny Rusling plucking Caine Winfarrah's cross from the air as Marc Cooper moved in quickly to receive a return ball and Liam Higton saved acrobatically from Gibrel Banjol, who was a whisker away from opening the score when Dan Reilly knocked Jordan Snodin's corner down to him.
Peter Winn's corner from out on the right wing, moved about in the wind, but Rusling took the safety first approach and turned the ball round the post at the expense of another flag kick.
Luke Mascall delivered a short ball to Winn, but Nicky Darker anticipated his cross well and cleared up at the back for the visitors.
Reilly was covering every blade of grass and he latched onto a loose ball twenty yards from the Owls goal, but his shot deflected wide and as Cleethorpes cleared their lines, and mounted a charge forward. Mascall threaded the ball through the left channel for Brody Robertson to chase and in a last ditch effort to catch him, Craig Mitchell caught Robertson's trailing leg and conceded a penalty.
Winn stepped forward and buried the resulting spot kick, low, hard and central, to put the home side in front.
Maltby pushed forward looking to restore parity, but when Shawn Mitchell picked out Sam Stacey, he couldn't get enough power behind his shot to trouble Higton, as the ball bounced awkwardly in front of him and he was forced to attempt a hybrid effort that contained elements of a bicycle kick, a scissor kick and adopting the kind of posture one can usually only achieve by slipping on a bar of soap in a bath. He probably won't try that one again.
Higton's long clearance found it's way through to Winfarrah out on the left flank and he put on a burst of pace before rolling the ball sideways to his right, to where Brody Robertson added the finishing touch to make it 2-0 in the twenty third minute.
The Owls comfortably saw out the remainder of the first half, nipping two Maltby attacks through Ollie Lawrence and Banjol in the bud, before Winn picked out Robertson's run, but he sliced the ball wide with just Rusling standing between him and a third goal for Marcus stewart's side.
Winfarrah and Mascall tormented Maltby down the left flank, but with Robertson and Cooper moving in to connect with the cross, Callam Cheetham cleared the ball away.
HT: Cleethorpes Town 2 v Maltby Main 0
The game had started of as an end to end affair, but as half time approached, the visitors had to drop deep and put up a dogged resistance against the Owls, who were dealing with the windy conditions better than their opponents and looking good value for their two goal lead.
Mascall was obstructed just outside the Maltby penalty area, although that lot with the flags in the seats, sat 80 yards away from the incident were bawling their heads off, claiming that the Owls should have had a penalty. 
The match referee Darren Whatling did one or two curious things over the course of the afternoon, like grabbing both Lee Betts and Luke Mascall by their necks and looking for all the world as if he was going to bang their heads together for squabbling over a decision (I kid you not!), but he had a clear and unimpeded view of the pull on Mascall in this instance.
Maltby's defensive wall didn't flinch an inch as they blocked Winn's free kick, but they were coming under increasing pressure now and Reilly did well to stop Marc Cooper's goalbound effort from going in.
A third Owls goal looked almost inevitable now.
Jon Oglesby entered the ray from the bench, indicating the strength in depth that Cleethorpes have.
His first taste of the action saw him cause chaos among Maltby's defence when they could only clear the ball as far as Robertson, whose shot crashed off of Reilly, who will be carrying a few lumps and bruises in the morning, but his second cross a few minutes later, picked out a well timed run from Jack Richardson who powered a header past Rusling, to put the game beyond the Miners reach.
To their credit, the visitors were still putting the effort in and encroaching forward down the right via a series of throw ins, but that avenue was taken away from the visitors when their battling right back Cheetham had to limp out of the game late on.
On seventy six minutes, Luke Mascall claimed the goal that his all action showing today warranted, when Winn played the ball forward to Robertson who played a square pass across to Oglesby and when Maltby attempted to clear their lines, the loose ball fell to Mascall, who drilled it past Rusling from an angle to put the icing on a convincing victory for the Owls, on an afternoon that they really needed the points to stay ahead in the title race, with early season pace setters Liversedge, Albion Sports, Thackley and Bottesford Town all winning their games today too.
Nicky Darker, the Maltby captain, aimed a long ball towards Ollie Lawrence, but it dropped wide of the right hand post before the Miners battling number 7 could get a touch on it.
And right had the death Connor Gregg created an half chance to pull back a consolation goal for the visitors, but Higton was determined to hang on to his clean sheet and he touched the ball wide.
FT: Cleethorpes Town 4 v Maltby Main 0
On Wednesday night 'Clee' visit Parkgate, who are joint bottom of the table with Armthorpe Welfare and haven't picked up a single point in the league this season yet, after seven games.
They lost 5-0 at home against Retford United today.
But the Owls will be mindful of what happened the last time that they went to Parkgate and were expected to win, see HERE and they won't be underestimating their opponents or taking anything for granted.
Maltby don't have a midweek game , but they return to action next Saturday when Thackley visit Muglet Lane.