Even though he was disappointed not to make the League Cup final, Bridlington Town manager Gary Allanson felt Tuesday’s defeat was a vast improvement on Saturday’s embarrassing result against Parkgate.
He said: “I think we need to put the game into perspective, especially after Saturday’s inept, shambolic performance. The players showed a great reaction and absolutely worked their socks off, we couldn’t have asked for any more in terms of effort and commitment.
“Cleethorpes had finished third in the league, had a great run in the FA Vase and are a very experienced side with players who had played at a lot higher level, with two of the most prolific scorers in the league this season.”
Town’s cause was not helped by the fact two of their key players went into the game carrying injuries.
“We had Tom Fleming only 50% fit and he finally broke down after 44 minutes and unfortunately while we were trying to re-organise they scored their goal,” added Allanson.
“I think it was two or three mistakes in the build-up that showed our inexperience and naivety, especially on the cross where we should have done a lot better on the back post.
“Andy Norfolk passed a late fitness test but was only 75% or 80% fit but we decided to take a gamble with him as it would be easier for him to break down and replace him rather than put him on the bench and bring him on and he breaks down.
“I thought we defended very well and kept compact, organised and showed great resilience.
“We missed a cutting edge in the final third and we could only create half chances. Overall, it was a very good hard working performance in a tight, tense game.
“We have to look at the positives and I think with everyone available and fit we would have won. This is the first time they have beaten us in five attempts over two seasons so we have done really well.
“The players last night showed they have some guts and desire, we lost because we didn’t have that bit of quality in possession and lacked that experience of how to win a game.”
Town’s final game of the season is the East Riding Senior Cup final against North Ferriby at the KC Stadium on May 18.
“We will have seven to 10 days off and start preparing for the final and hopefully the rest will help recovery and we will be fresh and ready to go,” the manager said.