Six wins on the bounce
By Chris Musson
Clitheroe 4-1 Glossop North End
Pre-Christmas three points.
After two weeks’ enforced lay off, both teams had ring rust aplenty on show. The opening exchanges were lethargic at best, with the home team’s first sight of goal being a looping Danny Brady header from a deep corner. However, it was Glossop who took the lead on 23 minutes when after a number of weak defensive clearances, Ryan White, on loan from Bolton, drilled a left foot shot through a forest of legs and beyond the fingertips of Chris Thompson. The pace picked up as half time approached. On 38 minutes, the visitors looked dangerous as a visiting forward burst down the right, cut inside and forced a great save from Thompson at full stretch.
One minute later, Thompson was called upon again make another full length save. The home team were just about waking up and on 42 minutes Stephen Rigby had a good looping shot well saved by the keeper. However, the two sides would go in level courtesy of the league’s top goal scorer, Kurt Willoughby. On 43 minutes, he put his head down and muscled his way down the right before lashing an unstoppable drive home.
The second half was all Clitheroe. With Glossop inexplicably resorting to long ball tactics, the Blues took them to pieces. On 54 minutes, the visiting keeper spilled a Willoughby shot and Ross Dent greedily grabbed the rebound and leathered the ball home. Thompson had to be alert on 65 minutes for Glossop’s only chance of the half as he clawed a looping header from the top corner.
Thereafter, it was a blue procession. George West slipped Charlie Russell through on 73 minutes and his shot was well saved. Alex Newby extended the lead on 85 minutes when he received a chipped free kick over the defence, and his control and shot in one movement were from the top drawer. It would take a world beating goal to beat that one, but that was what Willoughby served up two minutes later when he cut in from the left and curled a right foot shot over the keeper from 20 yards.
By this point, it could have been a cricket score as the Blues hit their stride. The ring rust is now well and truly off. All eyes now turn to Colne for Boxing Day, with expectation high amongst the Blues fans who will travel there in large numbers.
Team : Chris Thompson, Ryan Ellison, Stephen Rigby, Ian Rowlands, Danny Brady (c), Ross Dent (Jamie Hodgson), Joe Mitchell, Brad Carroll (Charlie Russell), Kurt Willoughby, Alex Newby, Danny Byrnes (George West). Subs - George West, Charlie Russell, Jamie Hodgson. Not used - Jacob Gregory.