Town edged out by table-toppers

Market Rasen Town 0-3 Cleethorpes Town

After last week’s fine away win at Ruston Sports, Rasen welcomed table topping Cleethorpes Town to Rase Park on Saturday.

Manager Andy Brumpton was back in the dugout after the recent birth of his son, along with Scott Lowman in Rasen’s midfield, also the proud father of a son born last Sunday.

Nathan Smith returned to the starting line after missing Rasen’s last game as he was assisting the League representative team to victory in the National County League Cup.

Cleethorpes, unbeaten so far in the league this season, boasted the league’s most prolific strike force who had notched up no less than 86 goals in their 22 games.

Cleethorpes’s fast passing game put Will Bradford’s goal under pressure from the first whistle, but the Rasen keeper and his back four dealt admirably with any attempts to break the deadlock.

As the game went on Rasen’s midfield of Lowman and Osbourne started to restrict the early possession enjoyed by the Cleethorpes midfield. The duo worked tirelessly to close the opposition down whilst attempting to feed the Rasen frontline.

Nathan Smith’s pace and the guile of Scott Coupland gave the visitors defence problems and Smith and winger Andy Belt should have done better with half chances.

With the first half hour reasonably even, Rasen Manager Andy Brumpton will be disappointed when Rasen failed to deal with an in swinging corner only to see Peck bundle the ball scrappily into the net at the near post.

Going into the half time break, Rasen were very much in the game and confident of getting something from it.

Jason Hall replaced the ineffective Williams and looked to provide more pace in attack and the game continued its even flow as in the first half.

The midfield battle was evenly balanced until the 75th minute, when Matt Rutherford failed to spot the dangerous Maskell closing in on him. Maskell nipped ahead of Rutherford to fire past the helpless Bradford to make it 0-2.

Bradford was on hand to pull off a couple of fine saves as the clock and the game ebbed away from Rasen, and a third goal from the experienced Cawley probably flattered the visitors.

Rasen had more than matched a highly talented Cleethorpes side for 75 mins and showed how far the Rasen squad have improved this term at a higher level. In particular, the outstanding performances of skipper Greenbeck and central defensive partner Jake Wade, along with typically industrious display from Joe Osbourne, bodes well for the rest of the campaign.

The tough fixtures keep coming with next week’s trip to the seaside to face a highly fancied Skegness United, who currently provide Cleethorpes with their biggest threat to the title.