Match Report: Clitheroe FC 0 - 1 Lancaster City
Philip Ghayour reports on today's one goal loss at home to Lancaster City.
AFTER the first game of 2014 Clitheroe were licking their wounds following a six nothing thrashing at the hands of Darlington, a rock bottom low point for the Lancashire side. So the opening match of 2015 could only be better.
The Blues’ recent form would suggest so too, as they entered the game unbeaten in their last three games. The later of those being a 3-2 win over local rivals and bottom of the Evostik First Division North Padiham.
On the other side of the pitch this time last year Lancaster City were celebrating a 2-1 win at home to Harrogate railway, a team that has scored 59 goals so far this campaign.
Although, the visitors came into this mid-table affair with a less than impressive run behind them, having accumulated just four points from a possible fifteen in their last 5 games.
Thus far this season the teams have met three times, producing eighteen goals, The Blues have won 3-1 and 7-2 whilst the Dolly Blues beat Simon Garner's team 3-0 back in November.
So today was all geared up for a stunner, yet another classic, goal-frenzied encounter between two Lancashire sides.
Clitheroe kicked off, playing along with the deluge of rain and gusts of wind, whilst their yellow opponents spent the first 45 minutes playing against Mother Nature’s forces.
The first half was dominated by the Shawbridge side, their attacking intent cumulating in Sefton Gonzales finding himself with a chance inside the box, smartly saved by the feet of Lancaster goalkeeper Mike Hale.
The blues continued to pile on the pressure, although often failing in their search for a final pass that mattered, though they stifled the visitor’s offensive threats allowing only Matthew Poole space to shoot, the Lancaster number 9 saw his strike flash by the wrong side of Alex Palffy’s goal frame.
The second three quarters of an hour told a different tale, the home side struggled to settle whilst the Dolly Blues dominated in all areas of the pitch, fantastic efforts from Poole and Josh Draycott forced Palffy into action on a number of occasions with Draycott unfortunate in hitting the bar.
The second half wore on in much the same vain with the visiting team increasing their pressure on the Clitheroe back four, Roberto Bonaminio came to the rescue clearing a header off the line as the Blues were pushed as far back as they could go.
The torrent of fierce rain continued its attack as the 70th minute onwards saw the game open dramatically, both sides on the attack, full blooded challenges and the often unpredictable surface gave fans a spectacle, Ross Dent hitting the post in the 82nd minute followed by a Reece Pearce curler parried by Palffy meant the sides entered the dying moments level.
The 89th minute saw the talking point of the match, Gary Hunter slotted the winner home for the Dolly Blues in a messy Clitheroe box, however, referee Parmenter and his fellow officials failed to spot the extra ball that had entered the pitch, if he had then the goal wouldn’t have stood and both teams would have ended the day with a point.
Blues manager Simon Garner was disappointed with the result:
“Disappointed to get beat, a game that we obviously wanted to win against a team that is slightly behind us in the league”
“We didn’t take advantage in the first half when the pitch was better, we were a bit sloppy”
“Someone was going to get one chance, they got it and they took it”
“To be fair they came, battled and took the three points”
The result leaves the Clitheroe in 13th place of the Evo Stik First Division North as Lancaster move within one point of the Blues and rise into 14th place with 28 points.
Clitheroe’s next game is this coming Saturday (3rd) as they travel to Radcliffe Borough in 18th place on 22 points, the reverse fixture finished in a 1-1 draw.
Alex Palffy, Danny Morton, Seydou Bamba, Roberto Bonominio, Daniel Brady, Simon Garner, Richard Burns (Ross Dent 64), David Lynch(c), Sefton Gonzales, Jason Hart (Ross Wilson 75), Alex Ralph (Louis Meyers 45).
Mike Hale, Ben Hudson (Sam Bailey 62), Gavin Clark, Jacob Davis, Neil Marshall(c), Gary Hunter (G 89), Josh Draycott, Billy Akrigg, Matthew Poole, Simon Wearing (Reece Pearce 62), Lee Dodgson.