Match report: Clee Town secure comfortable victory over Grantham
Cleethorpes Town claimed a home victory over Grantham Town in the league on Tuesday evening.
Goals from Curtis Bateson, Tom Jamieson and Dec Howe were enough to earn all three points for the Owls, as they continue to battle for a place in the top five.
Manager Nathan Arnold made three changes to the side that had earned a 0-0 draw at Worksop at the weekend, with Bateson, Will Annan and Jon Oglesby all coming into the lineup.
It was a chilly night at the Myenergi Stadium at kick-off, but the surface appeared to be in decent shape for this time of the year.
The game got off to a fairly cagey start, with Jordon Cooke going closest to breaking the deadline for the hosts in the early exchanges, while James McKeown was on alert to grab a nod on from a long throw into the box.
The best moment of the first 20 minutes saw Annan hit an effort narrowly over the crossbar following a lovely interchange between Jamieson and Howe.
Clee were gradually growing into the ascendency and, as the clock ticked towards the half-hour mark, they found the opener.
Howe pulled the ball back from the inside left to pick out Bateson, with the winger – playing in a more central role than usual – firing in a low shot that took a deflection before finding the bottom corner.
The rest of the half was competitive, but neither managed to find the second goal of the game, as the Owls headed in a goal up at the break.
It didn’t take the hosts long to add to the scoreline, though, with Jamieson racing down the right and latching on to a loose ball before finishing beyond Dan Haystead to double the lead.
The points were made safe in the 73rd minute in slightly controversial fashion through leading scorer Howe, who turned a bouncing delivery over the keeper from about five yards out.
Haystead was incensed by the award of the goal, as he raced from his line to challenge the referee about a possible handball, but the official waved away his protests.
Despite being behind by three goals, relegation-threatened Grantham continued to try and battle their way back into the game and grabbed a consolation in injury time through a Nathan Tyson penalty after he was fouled in the area.
The victory sets Clee up for their next three fixtures, where they face sides that all sit in the top seven of the league table.