Toolstation Northern Counties East League Division 1: Louth Town 1/ Cleethorpes Town 3.
The White Wolves were denied at least a point in an exciting game at Park Avenue. Two late strikes from Cleethorpes Town were enough to seal victory for the visitors.
Louth fielded a strong line up with the experienced Stuart Leafe, James Archer and Danny Stevens back in the squad.
The heavy pitch made play difficult. Stuart Leafe played a wonderful cross field ball which fell to the feet of Rob Bryant, but his finish was straight at Clee keeper Miles Fenty.
Just minutes later Bryant again managed to wriggle free and sprint clear with only Fenty to beat but he put his shot inches wide of the upright.
Clee pushed forward and openings in the Louth defence allowed Nathan Emson’s deflected shot to go just wide. Again Emson was into the fray and this
time his close range shot was saved by Smith.
After 27 minutes, Louise Grant made a 40 yards run for the goal, clearing two challenges but was then up ended just inside the area for Cleethorpes to be awarded a penalty.
Emson scored from the spot. Shortly after a Clee defender was flagged by the linesman for handball. Lee Croft took to the spot and equalised for the White Wolves.
At the end of the 1st half, new signing Tony Edwards was brought down in the Cleethorpe’s area. Unfortunately this time Miles Fenty pulled off a great save to deny Lee Croft.
The second half started with chances for both teams. Marc Cooper going close for the Owls and Louth’s Lee Croft forcing a great save from Fenty.
Louth’s Rob Bryant should have put the Wolves into the lead when a long throw from Appleby dropped at his feet only for his shot to go wide.
Louth Town put the ball in the back of the net through a Lee Croft strike only for the linesman to flag for offside. Both teams had strong penalty appeals waived away by the referee who was not willing to award the fourth penalty of the afternoon.
An unpleasant situation occurred when Clee’s Richard Peck and Louth’s Tony Edwards both went up for a header and clashed heads, leaving Edwards on the
floor and Peck bleeding from the head.
Fortunately both players were able to continue. The White Wolves had another great chance to snatch victory as Edwards spurned a glorious chance from just inside the area as he shot wide with a close range sitter.
Clee substitute Brody Robertson gave them the lead when the Town defence failed to clear. Shortly afterwards Louth were reduced to 10 men when Callum Hyland was shown a red card for a disputed second bookable offence.
The White Wolves deserve great credit in the face of defeat. It was a fantastic team performance and shows how far they have come in a short while under new management. They matched Clee Town in every respect and deserved a point if not three.
Manager Paul Walden said: “When you are at the wrong end of the table these results and decisions tend to go against you.
“A hand ball on the line and a last man foul in the box were deemed by the referee to be not worthy of a yellow never mind a straight red. Yet Callum Hyland was given a straight red for jumping for a header.
“Yes, the three points would have been fantastic and when it was eleven v eleven we had the better chances, but Cleethorpes dispatched theirs with the confidence of a top of the table side and we wish them all the best for the rest of the season.
“I asked my players not to worry about the points before the game, just give me a performance and that they did to a man!
“I was extremely proud of them and they are looking forward to our trip to Hemsworth now with a lot more belief.”