Clitheroe 0 - 3 Bamber Bridge
Tame performance punished
Clitheroe succumbed to their second home defeat in four days, as an impressive Bamber Bridge side departed Shawbridge with all three points. There might have been two teams on the pitch, but only one really turned up.
Clitheroe debutant Tom Smyth whistled over a bullet header in the first minute from a corner, but this was a false dawn. Brig played an energetic, pressing game and gave the home side little time to settle.
Within the first ten minutes, flowing moves by the visitors down both flanks showed the home team what to expect, and only Ollie Crankshaw for Clitheroe demonstrated similar attacking threat. On 17 minutes, Chris Thompson made a finger tip save after the defence switched off and on 20 minutes, a swift break down the right saw Thompson just get to the driven cross before the opposition. On 28 minutes, Ryan Ellison was appealing for offside, but Thompson had to hare off his line to smother the danger.
It was no surprise when from a dart down the right on 42 minutes, a visiting striker cushioned the cross home, to go in at half time in the lead.
The anticipated second half rejuvenation failed to materialise, although Charlie Russell had an opportunist volley on 51 minutes skim the bar, and a great flick on by Kurt Willoughby sprang the defence, only for Alex Newby to fail to control the through ball.
On 55 minutes, Thompson pushed a driven shot from the right on to the post, but it was no surprise when via the same route, Ryan Ellison under huge pressure, and at full stretch, just failed to cut out a driven cross from the right before a visiting forward prodded home.
Three minutes later, the game was over as a contest when Ryan Cattermole was wrong footed and a marauding striker drifted in from the right and struck the ball across Thompson to make it three.
Brig kept pressing until the end, and when the final whistle went, this represented a comprehensive beating for Clitheroe, who now face a daunting trip to leaders South Shields on Saturday.
Team: Thompson, Bromley, Cattermole, Ellison, Smyth, Russell, Mitchell, Carroll, Willoughby, Newby, Crankshaw.
Subs (used) Rigby, Bolton, Sampson
Subs (not used) David, Eccles