Clitheroe 4 - 0 Radcliffe Borough
Byrnes shines in goals galore at Shawbridge
By Jack Towers
Danny Byrnes scored two as Clitheroe triumphed through to the semi-finals of the Lancashire FA Challenge Trophy for the second year running.
The Blues got going right from the off piling the pressure on Radcliffe after narrowly beating them in league action on Saturday.
Clitheroe’s efforts were swiftly rewarded just eleven minutes in when Kurt Willoughby put a superb ball in which Newby pounced on to get his second goal in as many games.
When Radcliffe went forward it was broken down straight away and the visitors started to crumble from there.
Willoughby continued to press Boro but came short when Carroll squared the ball and when looked certain to score blazed it over.
The Radcliffe defence looked shaky and continued to gift the Blues chances and it was Willoughby again clean through could not test Haslam in the Boro net.
As we approached half-time however Willoughby finally got his chance when in his usual territory curled in a beautiful free-kick into the near top corner. Half-time: Blues 2-0 Radcliffe.
When the second half progressed it only looked to get worse for Radcliffe with Newby causing all sorts of problems dancing through their defence.
Then on 52 minutes it got only worse for Boro when Carroll tested Haslam from range and his parried shot fell straight to Byrnes who easily slotted in for his first goal for Clitheroe.
Newby continued to trouble the visitors and make a statement with terrific work in the attacking third and almost added a fourth when his wonderful square ball just missed Willoughby and Byrnes who were running in.
It was not long however before the night officially ended for Clitheroe when after a lovely bit of dribbling from Willoughby down the left cut inside and slotted it in to the feet of Byrnes who powered home a fourth.
It was a great attacking display and some of the best football we have seen at Shawbridge all season.
Simon Haworth’s thoughts:
"It was an opportunity to keep the run and keep winning we got to the semis last year and lost to Radcliffe so it was a nice bit of payback!"
"Last year we were desperate to get to the final to give the lads a chance to play at the Macron and now another chance to do it"
"They (Byrnes and Carroll) were knocking on the door in training...so they deserved to start and they took their opportunity especially Byrnes with two goals"
"The lads that aren't in the team might not like it but with the quality of football we're bound to have a strong squad and I've been there myself it's not nice being on the bench"
"I said to the lads at half-time at 2-0 let's show them (The rest of the league) what we're about and make a statement"
"We had it last year when we went 16/17 games unbeaten I think that's 5 wins on the trot now and we're just trying to build something"
Team : Chris Thompson, Robbie Bromley, Stephen Rigby, Ian Rowlands, Danny Brady (c) (Ryan Ellison), Ross Dent (Charlie Russell), Joe Mitchell, Brad Carroll, Kurt Willoughby, Alex Newby, Danny Byrnes (Jacob Gregory). Subs - Ryan Ellison, Charlie Russell, Jacob Gregory. Not used - George West.