As the elements threatened to wreak havoc, The Owls were closest to breaking the deadlock, a move down the Trinity right, instigated by Jon Oglesby saw him tee up on loan Grimsby forward Brandon Buckley, his deft touch into Brody Robertson saw the forward ruffle the side netting. At the other end, Ross Hannah was involved in the action, his floated free kick finding Kingsley James, only to see his headed effort powered the wrong side of Theo Richardson's upright.
Alex Flett switched the play for Cleethorpes, finding Jon Oglesby, his early cross picked out Josh Batty, but he couldn't find the target for the visitors. With both sides combative, niggle set in as the game progressed towards half time, a series of fouls punctuating proceedings. Ross Hannah forced a smart save from Richardson low down to his right, the 'keeper reacting smartly to deny Gavin Allott from close range, before Allot rolled the ball back to the off-balance Nathan Stainfield who skewed his effort wide of the target.
Josh Batty then did the hard work as he brought a lofted ball under his spell, as he rounded Joe Green, centre back Joe Maguire got round well on the defensive cover and somehow blocked Batty's attempt to roll the ball home. Harry Middleton made way for Shane Clarke a couple of minutes into the second half, and the Player-Coach was soon in the thick of the action. Clarke forcing a fine save from the visiting goalkeeper, following in after Kingsley James’ effort was beaten out. With the Trinity midfield trio of James, Clarke and Simon Russell looking to impose themselves on the game, Russell flashed an effort a yard over the bar from the edge of the box.
Just before the hour, both 'keepers were called into action, first Joe Green had to stretch at full length to keep out Jon Oglesby's curled effort, before Ross Hannah caught hold of a howitzer, but somehow Theo Richardson was equal to the test, acrobatically turning the ball over for a Trinity corner.
After Gavin Allot was fouled holding the ball up, he was found by a Sam Topliss free-kick, but the hitman couldn’t steer his header goal-wards as he towered over his man. With a plethora of changes littering the final quarter of the game, clear sights of goal for both sides were at a premium.
Referee, Mr Topless adjudged Worsfold was fouled just outside the box and Joe Maguire stepped up to thump an effort through the wall, that Richardson was equal to, parrying his effort away from goal.
Teams & Schemes
Gainsborough Trinity: Joe Green, Sam Topliss, Jamie Green (Thomas Davie 74) Simon Russell (Rod Orlando-Young 89), Joe Maguire, Nathan Stainfield, Kingsley James, Harry Middleton (Shane Clarke 47), Ashley Worsfold, Ross Hannah (Curtis Morrison 64), Gavin Allott (Brodie Litchfield 70). Sub not used: Callum Fielding (GK).
Cleethorpes Town: Theo Richardson, Tim Lowe, Jon Oglesby, Ben Davies, Ben Clappison (Andy Taylor 65), Oli Donald, Jack Richardson (Adam Milson 73), Alex Flett (Jack Boswell 73), Brandon Buckley (Lewis Collins 60), Brody Robertson (Jack Fixter 65), Josh Batty.