Cleethorpes Town fly high to beat rivals Grimsby Borough
THE derby between Grimsby Borough and Clee Town was billed as a battle for local bragging rights.
But after watching his side claim a 2-0 win on Wednesday night, Owls boss Andy Liddle was just happy to pick up three valuable points.
A healthy crowd of 463 were at the Bradley Community Stadium for what was the first clash between the two sides since Town's promotion to the Baris Northern Counties East League last season.
The Owls went into the game on the back of two straight defeats against Albion Sports and Shirebrook Town.
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Borough were on a indifferent run of form themselves, having only won two of their last six games.
But in a game that never truly lived up to its pre-match billing, Clee came out on top.
A first half strike from Marc Cooper – his third in two games – was added to by a deflected effort from the impressive Luke Mascall 20 minutes from time.
Although the Owls were the better of the two sides throughout the match, it was Borough who had the first chance of the evening.
Josh Fuller skipped past his marker and into the area, but the former Grimsby Town youngster's pull-back was straight at the Clee keeper.
At the other end, Mascall's trickery on the right wing etched out a decent opening but, after getting the best of his marker, he could only fire over Leigh Cook's goal.
After that early spell of dominance, the 'visitors', on what is also their home ground, finally got the goal their play had deserved.
Some more neat play from Mascall opened the door for Cooper who fired unflinchingly past Cook.
Clee were firmly on top by now, with Borough often found guilty of wasting possession in good areas.
But, with the experienced Bobby Lewsam spearheading their attack, the hosts always had a target to work from.
The frontman showed a good touch and strength to create a decent opportunity for the Blues as they pushed for an equaliser, before the break, however, Lewis Buckthorp's shot from just inside the area was well held by Scott Drury.
In the second half, the game sparked into life, with challenges flying in for both sides – Cooper was followed into the referee's book by Buckthorp just 10 minutes after the restart.
Borough created a handful of half-chances to get back on terms – most notably from Fuller but he could only skew wide after being found brilliantly in the box with a long ball from Mark Courtley.
But Cleethorpes made their opponents pay for their profligacy on 72 minutes by doubling their advantage.
A pull back from the left wing came all the way across the box and Mascall curled a dipping shot that deflected in at the far post beyond the reach of Cook in the Borough goal.
That goal capped what had been a fine individual performance from the winger, who was playing against his former club.
The win extended Clee's lead over Borough to five points and moved them up to fourth in the table.
Cleethorpes Town play Rossington at Bradley tomorrow in a match sponsored by the Telegraph.