Owls hit a triple to see off Emley
CLEETHORPES Town dug deep to record a battling 3-2 victory over AFC Emley.
Boss Andy Liddle, above, made three changes, bringing in Dave Walsh, Daniel Freeman and Lawrence Hewitt to make their first starts of the season.
Cleethorpes were forced to absorb some early pressure from the hosts, with Anthony Haigh heading just over from a corner when well-placed in the area.
Minutes later, Cleethorpes goalkeeper Scott Drury was called into action when he saved a long-range effort, before then making a smart stop from the resulting corner.
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Undeterred, Cleethorpes began to come into the game as Freeman saw his effort flash wide before Hewitt shot over from inside the area after a corner.
A Tim Lowe free-kick was well-saved by Emley's keeper and Hewitt had his effort blocked on the line 15 minutes before half-time.
At the other end, however, Emley struck a post with a late effort, and Drury had to be alert to gather the rebound as the half finished goalless.
Emley came out on the attack after the restart and went ahead when a fierce long-range strike flew through a crowded box and past a helpless Drury in the Clee goal.
This lifted the visitors and they were soon back on terms when Anthony Leech struck a low drive past the despairing dive of the Emly keeper.
Having drawn level, the Owls had no intention of sitting back, and Emley where struggling to cope as the visitors continued to press the ball high up the field.
That pressure told when Stephenson danced past two challenges and lashed into the corner of the goal to give Cleethorpes a lead for he first time in the game.
The former Borough man doubled the Owls' advantage when he drove infield from the corner flag and unleased a curling effort that sailed into the top corner.
But with ten minutes to go, after Drury pulled off a point-blank save from an Emley corner, Anthony Haigh was on hand to drill in the rebound to half the deficit and set up a nervy finish.
But Cleethorpes hung on to record a hard-fought victory and return to North East Lincolnshire with all three points.