Top effort in vain
By Chris Musson
On a superb day for football, the Blues lined up with an attacking formation, giving young Burnley scholar Leighton Egan his debut in a free role behind the strikers.
Throughout the game it was Clitheroe who showed most attacking intent, and an early passing move after six minutes between Robbie Bromley and Joe Mitchell saw Alex Newby loose off a snap shot which called for a good save. On 13 minutes, Brad Carroll was stunned to find the ball at his feet after Egan’s through ball to Bromley saw the ball crossed to his feet. He simply could not arrange his feet in time to shoot. Carroll is starting to show more of last season’s form and on 25 minutes his run, dribble and shot deserved more. On 31 minutes, Newby ran the length of the pitch and after slipping Carroll through, his shot was saved at full stretch. The home team had barely shown until this point, except for a series of niggling fouls which went unpunished, but on 33 minutes their first shot was blocked by a diving defender. Against the run of play, Tadcaster took the lead when an inswinging corner caused panic and after some pinball, the ball was stabbed home. With the clock ticking down, Newby was felled on the edge of the box, and Kurt Willoughby forced a smart save with his drive.
The Blues continued to dominate play in the second half, and from a deep Bromley corner on 52 minutes, Ian Rowlands saw his header cleared off the line. Three minutes later, the travelling fans held their breath as the Tadcaster number six missed the keeper with his cushioned defensive header and as he back tracked and the Blues swarmed forward, three shots finally saw Newby’s attempt saved. On 61 minutes, from nowhere, a smart right foot scudding cross by Tadcaster saw a first time shot evade Thompson to double the lead. It only took one minute for George West to pull one back as the keeper’s punched clearance from a free kick fell at his feet, and he lobbed it home. The scores should have been level three minutes later as West hared down the left and his cross saw Willoughby swivel in the box but put his shot over. By this point the home team lost any interest in scoring and used every attempt the run down the clock.
When the whistle went, Tadcaster had the points, the Blues the credit, but at the end of the season, it will only be the points tally which is remembered.
Team : Chris Thompson, Robbie Bromley, Stephen Rigby, Ryan Ellison, Ian Rowlands (c), Joe Mitchell (Charlie Russell), Leighton Egan (Jacob Gregory), Brad Carroll (Ross Dent), Kurt Willoughby, Alex Newby, George West. Subs - Jacob Gregory, Ross Dent, Charlie Russell. Not used - Brad Knox.