Stocksbridge Park Steels were swept aside by a Cleethorpes Town as they pushed to secure their place in the play-offs.
Cleethorpes opened the scoring when Brody Robertson latched onto good passing so he could have the space to finish. In the second half, Robertson scored again as he finished off an expertly done counter attack.
The game started off breathless. Luke Lofts, who’d be a constant thorn in the Stocksbridge defence throughout the game, looked to get a handball decision for a penalty when he broke into the box but the referee sided with the Steels. At the other end, Stocksbridge got a corner which was just about defended by Cleethorpes.
Cleethorpes started to take control of the game and Michael Roxburgh did have to beat away a narrow angle shot early on into the game. It was then fair to say that the Owls deserved the lead they’d soon get. Cleethorpes gathered the ball following a poor clearance from the Steels and Alex Flett was able to slip in Robertson who took the opportunity to finish and give the visitors the lead.
The Owls continued to press and look to double their lead. Most of Cleethorpe’s corners were defended by Sam Finlaw at the near post but this one worked out different and ended with Fin Shrimpton striking the ball into the side netting. Lofts was also not far away with a long range shot.
Stocksbridge grew into the game towards the end of the half. Some good passing gave Reece Fielding, making a rare venture forwards, some space on the edge of the box. He took the opportunity to have a shot which forced Jackson to make a save and ended the first half with a little positivity for the Steels.
Cleethorpes would have been frustrated not to have doubled their lead after they missed two fantastic chances. Jordan Cooke got space for a free header but could only steer it wide. A few minutes later, Flett sent a ball into the middle and the away crowd were cheering for Lofts as he struck the ball thinking it was in the minute he hit it. Instead, it hit the inside of the post and was cleared.
Stocksbridge then had their best chance of the game. Ben Partridge beat his man and was able to loft the ball over an advancing Jackson. It looked like it could have made its way in but the Owls defence moved quickly to clear the ball away and keep Cleethorpes ahead.
And then from that, Cleethorpes got their second. Just two passes after that goal line clearance, the ball landed with Robertson on the right. He moved into the box and just like in the first half, he took the finish well and doubled Cleethorpes’ lead.
With Cleethorpes having doubled their lead, they looked to close the game out and make sure that Stocksbridge didn’t launch an unlikely comeback. But Stocksbridge did almost get a goal to make the closing part of the game interesting. Partridge managed to break through the defence to get clear on goal but Jackson saved with his feet to keep his clean sheet.
With that, Cleethorpes were able to hold Stocksbridge off and make sure the Steels had their second home loss in a row.