Market Rasen 0–4 Cleethorpes Town Reserves
Following recent improved performances and the midweek announcement that Ian Williams had been confirmed as permanent manager alongside Keith Lowman and Andy Brumpton, Rasen went into their latest fixture with renewed confidence.
However facing high fliers Cleethorpes Town Reserves the team knew they had a tough fixture ahead of them at Rase Park.
With the same starting 11 being tasked to perform in the yellow jerseys, Rasen were fully aware of the threat their opponents posed as many of their players had experience of playing with the first team in the Northern Counties East Division One league.
The extra experience and skill levels were apparent from the offset when Cleethorpes set the tone early on, putting pressure on both Marshall and Rutherford who were occupying either full back positions by using the pace and trickery of their wingers.
It didn’t take long for Rasen to concede the opening goal when a defensive mix-up between Lowman and Christie left striker Mascall with the simple job of sliding the ball into an open goal.
Worse was to follow as Cleethorpes doubled their lead in the first 10 minutes, poor marking in the middle of the park allowed a through ball to go unchallenged for Mascall to yet again break free and slot home from close range.
In a disappointing first half Rasen never got to grips with the slick passing and movement of their opposition, constant pressure was only just being dealt with in order to keep the score-line somewhere close to respectable.
However, on the half hour mark Mascall again broke free of the Rasen defence to complete his hat-trick in confident fashion with a sublime chip from 25–yards out to show his true class.
Rasen’s midfield trio of Osbourne, Bennett and Smith were being over-run time after time and with poor effort and application from the whole team it was always going to be difficult for Rasen to pull themselves back into the game.
With this in mind, changes were made at half–time with Adam Brumpton and Craig Korytnickyj being introduced to revert the formation back to 4-4-2 to stem the flow of attacks being faced.
Unfortunately the second–half started with a case of ‘déjà vu’ for the home supporters when not for the first or last time Cleethorpes were too easily allowed to break free from defence.
A couple of swift passes later Macall was yet again bearing down on goal and he made no mistake in making the score 4-0, despite the best efforts of Lowman to clear the ball.
With 40 minutes of the game remaining it was simply a case of damage limitation and playing for pride for the home team, but they did show an improvement and will to fight, which should bode well for the future.
On the rare occasion when Rasen did find themselves in or around the visitors penalty box, possession was far too easily wasted and chances failed to be converted.
Further goal-scoring opportunities did come the visitors way, but none were clinical enough to extend the lead further.
With a run of home fixtures throughout November the management trio have lots to ponder on how performances like this are not repeated, otherwise it could be a long hard season for the men in yellow.
Next week, Sleaford Town Reserves visit Rase Park where a league double will be very welcome as the visitors lie just below Rasen in the league table. Kick off is 2pm.