Impressive start to FA Trophy campaign
By Andy Hammond
FA Trophy Preliminary £3000
Clitheroe 3-0 Colne
The Blues comfortably overcame our close rivals Colne and earned an away tie at Altrincham in the next round of the FA Trophy.
The game got underway in steady drizzle and the Blues players looked very much up for the game right from the start. The Colne squad featured no less than seven former Blues players.
An early corner on 4 minutes was headed over by Tom Smyth and shortly after Stephen Rigby’s cross found Adam Bolton, who headed just wide. On 10 minutes, Blues took the lead. From a corner taken by Charlie Russell, Ian Rowlands out jumped his marker to head home at the far post.
Chances kept coming with both Brad Knox and Kurt Willoughby having shots at goal, both which went wide.
Blues made it 2-0 on 32 minutes. A superb through ball from Brad Knox saw Willoughby control brilliantly and he outpaced a Colne defender to shoot past Hakan Burton in the net. Burton was in the action again on 36 minutes when Willoughby picked up another through ball to shoot from an angle, forcing the former Blues keeper to make an excellent save.
Straight from the corner though it was 3-0. Tom Smyth’s header was nodded home by Brad Carroll from close range.
HT Clitheroe 3 Colne 0.
The second half saw Colne have much more of the game although they created few clear-cut chances. On 48 minutes, Chris Thompson had to make an excellent stop from Alex Curran's shot, which went out for a corner. Joe Mitchell replaced Brad Knox after 51 minutes.
Another good chance for Colne saw a shot curled over by Adam Morning, on 55 minutes. Ollie Crankshaw replaced Adam Bolton on 60 minutes.
Charlie Russell received a yellow card for dragging back Colne skipper (and another former Blue), Simon Nangle, on 65 minutes.
The Blues final substitution was on 75 minutes when Danny Byrnes replaced Charlie Russell. The final chance of the game was on 86 minutes when Tom Hartley headed wide for Colne.
The Blues played out the remainder of the match to complete an impressive display.
FT Clitheroe 3 Colne 0
Team : Chris Thompson, Jacob Gregory, Stephen Rigby, Ryan Ellison, Thomas Smyth, Ian Rowlands (c), Charlie Russell (Danny Byrnes), Brad Carroll, Kurt Willoughby, Adam Bolton (Oliver Crankshaw), Brad Knox (Joe Mitchell). Subs - Oliver Crankshaw, Joe Mitchell, Danny Byrnes. Not used - Michael Samson, George Leigh.