Cleethorpes Town manager Andy Liddle urges his men to start 'winning ugly'
CLEETHORPES Town's nemesis struck again – as Pontefract Collieries beat them for the third time this season.
The defeat may now prompt boss Andy Liddle to change their approach to away games for the rest of the campaign.
Clee struggled to contain the lively forwards of Pontefract – and eventually went down 2-1 in West Yorkshire on Tuesday night.
Liddle's men are without a match this weekend – so will watch other team's results in the Northern Counties East League with interest, keeping their fingers crossed that some of the division's other high-fliers slip-up.
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The Clee boss is now planning to approach away games differently in a bid to stay in the promotion picture.
He said: "I may have to change things for away games. We need to start 'winning ugly' when necessary.
"We need to be more stout and not give anything away. We need to be able to scratch wins out when things are tough.
"Sometimes those 1-0 and 2-1 wins away from home give you more pleasure than the 5-0 and 6-0 thrashings.
"I think every team has its bogey team – and Pontefract seem to be ours.
"Credit to our lads, they gave 100 per cent again, but our quality in front of goal was missing – we could have scored five or six again."
Pontefract's forwards proved a handful for the Cleethorpes defence, and the warning signs were there from the opening minutes.
A ball into the box saw Barrett and keeper Drury collide. The ball was dropped by Drury, leaving the simplest of tap-ins.
Liddle's team struggled to create clear-cut chances with their hosts content to allow them possession. They packed the defence and looked to hit Clee on the break.
This continued for much of the first half with the visitors restricted to only a couple of long-range efforts – from Hanslip and Richardson.
In the second half, Clee changed to a more conventional 4-4-2 formation and instantly they looked much more comfortable.
Pontefract continued to be a menace on the break and, despite efforts from Marc Cooper and Luke Mascall, clear chances continued to be at a premium.
The Owls fell further behind when Pontefract hit them on the break and netted their second.
Clee, to their credit, did look to push forward and saw efforts from Callum Day go wide and over in a short space of time.
Then a glorious chance fell to Craig Gordon from a corner when a flick-on found Gordon at the far post – but his header was straight at the keeper.
Clee's chances of clawing something from the game disappeared when Barrett was given his marching orders. Already on a booking, he fouled the keeper and was shown his second yellow.
Clee did manage a late consolation following a corner when Hanslip scored, but the damage was already done and the result put a dent in their aspirations of a top-two finish.