Awesome Albion hand Andy Liddle's Cleethorpes Town a painful defeat
ANDY Liddle wants a reaction from his players after describing his biggest defeat as Cleethorpes Town manager as the lowest moment in his managerial career.
The Owls host Shirebrook Town at the Bradley Community Stadium tomorrow (kick-off 3pm) looking to bounce back from a painful 4-0 thrashing at Albion Sports in midweek.
Liddle enjoyed a 42-match unbeaten run in the Lincolnshire League and steered Cleethorpes to the title last season, earning promotion and a debut campaign in the Northern Counties East League Division One.
His charges are fourth in the table after a solid start. The manner of their defeat in Bradford stunned the former Seven Seas boss.
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Liddle, pictured, said: "It was the biggest defeat in my tenure at the club and as a manager ever.
"I was very disappointed. This is lowest I've felt in my managerial career.
"We have to bounce back. Our pride is hurt. The players have to understand we were beaten by the better side – even at our best we might not have matched their standard on the night.
"We've all got to work hard at this player, myself included. I'm learning at this level too.
"I'll be swinging the axe for the weekend, making changes – we need to shuffle the pack."
Albion are a dangerous outfit on home soil – they hammered Grimsby Borough 7-1 in Bradford last season, avenging their 5-2 Wilkinson Sword Trophy semi-final defeat at the hands of the Wilderness Boys at Bradley.
They trail Cleethorpes by one point in the league table, but have two games in hand.
Liddle added: "They were by far the best side we have played so far and were way above the standard we play at. Their finishing was top drawer.
"I had to applaud them. If they play like that consistently, there's only one winner of this league in my opinion and that's them.
"We went there on a three-game unbeaten run and it's a tough defeat to take on a long trip.
"We were taught a footballing lesson.
"I want a reaction and hopefully we'll get one ahead of the derby against Grimsby Borough next Wednesday."
The Owls started well at Albion. Marc Copper and Jason Flint had attempts at goal.
But their play in the final third lacked composure – Sam Oglesby over-ran the ball when he had a one-on-one with goalkeeper Arian Brian.
Daniel Barrett then saw a long-range effort go high over the bar and Jason Flint was unlucky when he chased down a back pass which the keeper cleared – it cannoned off the advancing Flint but flew the wrong side of the post.
Albion's possessed incisiveness up front, attacking with pace and purpose.
And their first effort on goal was a Karl Hall strike from inside the area that beat Scott Drury at his near post.
Cleethorpes tried to respond and saw another effort from Cooper go wide before Flint headed over a Barrett cross.
But Albion raised their game. After going close on two occasions, they doubled their lead just before the break when an unmarked Adam Jones headed home from a corner.
Cleethorpes had their work cut out in the second half and started brightly with substitute Lee McFarland adding some much needed impetus in the forward line.
Phil Cawley saw a header go wide and Cooper then saw an effort fumbled by the Brian in the Albion goal – but no-one was on hand to capitalise.
More efforts came the Owls' way, but they failed to test the keeper.
Their night was summed up when Darren Hanslip, after heading a cross wide earlier in the game, fired straight at Brian in the six-yard box.
And Albion punished the Owls with two late goals through Temour Khan and a second for Hall.