Colne 0-6 Clitheroe 26-12-17
By Chris Musson
Boxing Day Knockout
They say that excess is one of the biggest dangers of Christmas, but there were no complaints from the 100 travelling Blues as Clitheroe gorged on their nearest neighbours in this festive walloping.
With Clitheroe going down the hill in the first half, it was no surprise that most of the action was in the Colne half, although in the first 45 minutes, Colne had a handful of their best, if only, chances of the game. As early as seven minutes, George West found himself on the edge of the box, and his precise shot eluded the despairing fingers of Burton. Three minutes later, a deep cross from Clitheroe flashed across the goal, but the goal rush was still elusive.
On 18 minutes, Chris Thompson made a great save from a long distance shot and four minutes later, a Colne pass split the Clitheroe defence and Thompson raced out to save at feet. On 32 minutes, a great Alex Newby corner from the left was met by Danny Brady, but his header flashed wide. Five minutes later, he repeated the feat, this time crashing his header on to the bar, with West’s follow up shot brilliantly saved by Burton. With the clock kicking down, it was the home side who had the last chance, with Thompson forced to save at his near post.
As ever with this Clitheroe side, the second half went up several notches. On 51 minutes, Brad Carroll doubled the lead from close range after good work from West. On a rare foray forward, Thompson was forced to make a great save from a Colne drive from distance, but the third goal followed on 59 minutes when Newby broke down the right, fed the ball to Kurt Willoughby and was on hand in the box to steer home the resultant low cross under pressure from a defender.
On 70 minutes, old boy Lee Pugh flattened Newby in the box and Willoughby made no mistake from the spot. By now it was a procession and on 77 minutes, Newby received the ball on the right in acres of space and beat Burton at the near post. The sixth goal came on 87 minutes when a vast pass from Ryan Ellison from his own half released West, who slotted home comfortably.
Clitheroe will have bigger challenges than this, but the victory went some way to atone for the last minute winner they suffered at Colne on Easter Monday and the subsequent flamboyant celebrations.
Team : Chris Thompson, Ryan Ellison, Stephen Rigby, Ian Rowlands, Danny Brady (c), Ross Dent, Joe Mitchell (Charlie Russell), Brad Carroll, Kurt Willoughby (Danny Byrnes), Alex Newby (Jacob Gregory), George West. Subs - Danny Byrnes, Charlie Russell, Jacob Gregory. Not used - Jamie Hodgson, Robbie Bromley.