Cleethorpes Town soaring after big derby day victory over Louth Town
CLEETHORPES Town maintained their charge towards the top of the Northern Counties East League Division One with a thumping 6-1 victory over local rivals Louth Town.
A healthy crowd of nearly 200 descended on the Bradley Community Stadium for the division's early kick-off.
And the Owls showed their intentions from the off as first Luke Mascall and then Jack Richardson both squandered decent one-one-one opportunities.
But the hosts continued to press with Jack Debnam proving to be one of their main threats against his former club.
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He first saw a looping half-volley sail just the wrong side of the post before he combined with Tim Lowe to create a half-chance for Mascall.
At the other end, Louth's Matt Kennedy went on a mazy run before going down in the box, but no penalty was given.
But Clee's early pressure finally told on 20 minutes when Debnam cut in from the left and found Marc Cooper on the edge of the area, and the frontman rifled a shot that flew under Ian McTaggert to open the scoring.
However, the White Wolves' response to going behind was almost instant.
Four minutes later, a high ball found its way through to Jamie Coulson, who kept his cool to slot the ball past the keeper to level the scoring.
But Andy Liddle's men were awarded a penalty just over five minutes later after Nick Manders had felled Jack Richardson in the box and Tim Lowe stepped up to convert.
And with that goal, the floodgates opened.
First, skipper Darren Hanslip struck a powerful drive from the edge of the area to make it 3-1 before man-of-the-match Lowe got his second of the game – despite McTaggert's attempts – five minutes before the break.
The half-time stoppage did nothing to quell Cleethorpes and they added another goal within three minutes of the restart.
Mascall found Debnam with a quick throw-in and the winger found Craig Mitchell with a superb pass, that allowed him to stride clear and slot home.
Despite the scoreline, Daryl Clare's side continued to search for a way back into the game and Kennedy struck the post before Scott Drury recovered to save well from Jon Walton on the rebound.
Debnam then saw two efforts go close before, on 78 minutes, Mascall found second-half sub Lee Stephenson, who rounded McTaggert to complete Cleethorpes' rout.
The result means that the Owls go into tonight's trip to Pontefract Collieries on a high.
Andy Liddle's side are now just three points off leaders Shirebrook Town, who have played three games more.
The defeat saw Louth drop to tenth in the Division One table.
Clare's side are also in action again tonight, but face a tough-looking trip to second-placed Athersley Recreation.