Record Bradley crowd see battling Clee Town beaten
CLEETHORPES Town continued their preparations for the new season with a dogged performance in a 4-2 defeat to Dean Saunders' Doncaster Rovers at a packed Bradley Community Stadium.
There was a record crowd of 752 at the Bradley Road venue.
Chris Brown gave Rovers a half-time lead before Jordan Ball's penalty doubled the away side's advantage early in the second half.
Manager Dean Saunders then came off the bench to score a third for and Ball added his second with time running out.
MAYFAIR ESTATE AGENTS
If we cannot find you a tenant within one month, we will find you one for FREE, yes FREE, you will pay no fees
Contact 01472 355553
Terms: Terms and Conditions Aply
Contact: 01472 355 553
Valid until: Friday, May 24 2013
But Cleethorpes refused to lay down and scored twice late on through an own goal and a nicely-worked Darren Hanslip effort.
Boss Andy Liddle went for a 4-5-1 formation, with new signing Marc Cooper starting on his own up front.
League One Doncaster Rovers, who were relegated from the Championship last season, named new signings David Cotterill and David Syers in their starting line-up, but a lack of options meant their management team of Saunders and Brian Carey started on the bench.
Rovers imposed their superiority over the Owls immediately. After Kyle Bennett pulled a shot wide, Chris Brown poked the visitors in front after the ball squirmed through the arms of Miles Fenty six minutes in.
The Owls refused to fold, and they matched their counterparts for much of the first half. After great hold-up play from Cooper, Jonathan Oglesby could have equalised but he hesitated and his shot was blocked.
As the half neared its conclusion, Clee's Luke Mascall embarked on a 70-yard run, exchanging passes with Darren Hanslip before firing over.
In the second half, Rovers employed a much quicker tempo which Cleethorpes found difficult to deal with.
Substitute Scott Drury made two fantastic saves early after the restart but, after Phil Cawley handled the ball in his own area, he was forced to pick the ball out of the net after Jordan Ball tucked away the subsequent spot-kick.
Mascall was thwarted by Rovers keeper Jon Maxted just before the hour mark and then had to be helped off after picking up an injury in a collision with Friend.
Clee were not humbled and could have got on the scoresheet with ten minutes to go, but substitute Ricky Belding side-footed straight at Maxted.
Rovers manager Saunders introduced himself with nine minutes to go and was celebrating soon after when he poked home from close range to make it 3-0 – much to the delight of the travelling fans.
Jordan Ball scored a second soon after, but Cleethorpes brought the deficit back to three goals when Hanslip's cross was headed into his own net by Jake McCormick.
And deep in stoppage time, Hanslip got a goal of his own after playing an excellent one-two with Lee McFarland.
Marc Sawyer saw red late on for the Owls, but it was the only negative on a fantastic day.
The match was sponsored by Hendersons Insurance.
Clee Town continue their pre-season campaign by travelling to Market Rasen Town tomorrow.