Long Journey Rewarded
By Chris Musson
With Alex Newby returning on loan from Witton, and Adam Anson from Chorley becoming Ryan Ellison's latest centre back partner this season, Clitheroe started to show real signs of last season's brand of football. The Blues were good value for the points but still gave the travelling fans a few butterflies as the clock ticked down.
Newby and Ollie Crankshaw struck up an instant rapport and these two linked up well as Newby released Crankshaw on 12 minutes to hare to the byeline, with the follow up shot deflected for a corner. On a rare foray forward, Goole had an attack down the right and it took a superb block from Brad Carroll to deflect wide the goal bound shot. Clitheroe were showing patience in their build up play, but were just lacking a cutting edge. On 25 minutes, Chris Thompson was called into action as a free kick arrowed round the wall and he was at full stretch. Kurt Willoughby was now getting in on the action and on 28 minutes he forced a corner after twisting on the edge of the box and seeing his shot deflected.
One minute later, Crankshaw had a great shot curl just beyond the far post, whilst on 33 minutes Willoughby was hacked down crudely on the edge of the box, only for him to sky the subsequent free kick. On 37 minutes, Charlie Russell dinked a delicate lob over the defence for Crankshaw to run on to, and as he headed the bouncing ball over the keeper, a defender just got back in time to clear. The pressure was building and Clitheroe had a flurry of chances on 40 minutes, after a tremendous weaving run by Newby down the right saw him, Russell and Crankshaw each have shots saved in quick succession. A goal had been coming and after some great one touch football, Crankshaw skipped down the left and laid the ball across to Newby who comfortably obliged.
The tempo did not let up in the second half. On 48 minutes, Newby ran 30 yards down the left and having cut the ball back, Robbie Bromley narrowly side footed the ball wide. Thompson was called upon to make a smart save after Anson had been dispossessed but on 54 minutes, Willoughby doubled the lead. A defensive blunder let him in and after running half the length of the pitch he muscled his way through the opposition and thumped the ball home left footed.
Further chances came the visitors' way, but the lone Goole striker also had to be watched as he outpaced Anson and arrowed a shot across the face of the goal. On 68 minutes, a deep Goole free kick from the left was glanced unchallenged into the right side of the goal. Clitheroe then found themselves back pedalling and half chances fell Goole's way, but the Blues had enough to see the game out.
Team : Chris Thompson, Robbie Bromley, Stephen Rigby (Matt Atherton), Ryan Ellison, Adam Anson (Jacob Davis), Charlie Russell, Joe Mitchell, Brad Carroll (c), Kurt Willoughby, Alex Newby, Oliver Crankshaw (Adam Bolton). Subs - Matt Atherton, Jacob Davis, Adam Bolton. Not used - Ryan Cattermole, Michael Samson.