It was a depleted Hednesford Town squad that made the long midweek trip up to Cleethorpes Town for this Buildbase FA Trophy replay.
Captain Tom Thorley and centre back Jim Mutton were both nursing injuries from Saturday’s tie and with Reece King and James Fitzgibbon unavailable for selection, the only good news for the Pitmen was the return of Ben Bailey after his one match suspension.
The home side had the best of the opening exchanges and the lively Mascall was denied on no less than three occasions by James Wren in the first 15 minutes.
Then, somewhat against the run of play, a cross into the box was met by Joey Butlin whose pinpoint header into the top corner gave the goalkeeper no chance.
The goal spurred the visitors on and for the remainder of the half the Pitmen had their best spell of the game and could have gone further ahead but for some wasteful approach play
The second half began well for the Pitmen when, in the 47th minute, a great effort from the impressive Butlin was turned round the post by the keeper but a few minutes later the home side were on level terms. Winger, Oglesby, hit a dangerous right foot cross into the box which evaded everyone but found it’s way into the net giving Wren little chance.
As the half progressed there were chances at both ends but the home side were starting to build some momentum and looking the more likely side to score.
In the 71st minute stand in skipper, Darren Campion, picked up the first of his yellow cards for bringing down Drury but from the resultant free kick the home side were again denied by Wren.
Then, in the 87th minute a good break by Cleethorpes caught the Pitmen defence a little flat footed and Mascall’s cross into the box was smartly turned in at the near post by Danny North.
Just after the restart tempers appeared to boil over and a number of players from both sides were seen to be pushing and shoving each other. After deliberating with his assistants the match referee produced a second yellow card for Campion and dismissed him from the field which put paid to any realistic hopes of a late equaliser, with Cleethorpes comfortably seeing the game out to the final whistle.
Cleethorpes Town: Walton, Lowe, Winn, Dickens, Bloomer, Donald, Drury (Davis 77), Richardson, North, Mascall (Aldrich 90), Oglesby
Subs not used: Parker, Newell, McFarland
Hednesford Town: Wren, Gatter, Campion, Bailey, Oji, Fitzpatrick (Mbunga 87), Steele (George 73), Glover, Graham, Butlin (Haig 90), Lawrie
Subs not used: Veiga