Clitheroe 1-1 Burscough
Jason Hart rescues Blues from defeat and secures a vital point for Garner’s men.
Fresh from a disappointing draw away to New Mills last weekend Clitheroe were looking to bounce back and fight for a top 10 place in the Evo-Stik Northern Premier Division. The signings of Joseph Mullen from AFC Flyde and return of Peter Collinge to Shawbridge signalled intent to reach that top 10 goal from manager Simon Garner.
The return of attack minded Cory Bent added to the promise of a good result at home to Burscough FC today. A team who haven’t achieved all three points in the league since the 20th of December 2014, conceding 11 goals in that time. Beginning the day in 14th 3 points behind the Blues in 11 Barcough were looking to end their dismal run and move level on points with their hosts, behind only on goal difference.
Big team sheet news came in the form of starts for both Bent and Collinge, Bent looked fresh and feisty, excellent ball control and dribbling pried open the Burscough defence. The games first major chance was a result of Bent’s hard work in the 11th minute, cutting inside of Phil Quirk to get his shot away, parried by keeper Calvin Hare into the path of Sefton Gonzales who failed to find his accuracy firing his shot just wide.
The theme continued, Clitheroe dominating play, creating all the chances, Burscough looked like a side struggling to win as Bent made another impressive dribble guiding the ball through the visitors defensive efforts only to have his strike blocked. Left wing back Seydou Bamba’s impressive running added to the Blues’ attacking threat, his driven crosses calling the team in green’s defence into action.
However, it was Burscough who broke the deadlock, Eddie Toner found the back of Collinge’s goal in the 41st minute following questionable Blues defending. Burscough’s 17th away goal of the season came from nowhere, leaving the home side stunned. Two minutes later Bent gave way for début eon Joseph Mullen.
Clitheroe began the second half, but it was the visitors who dominated, looking like a side transformed they spent the first ten minutes holding possession with confidence, dominating in midfield and threatening the Blues at every opportunity. Collinge making a series of impressive saves to keep his the Shawbridge side in the game.
The tensions in this entertaining game heightened as Simon Garner’s full blooded challenge enraged the visitor's players and coaching staff, a scuffle ensured with both sets of players exchanging pushes and shoves. Seven minutes of tranquillity and deliberation later referee Mark Powell and his assistants decided that both Garner and Toner’s names were required in his little black book.
Normal high tempo play resuming it was Hare’s impressive goalkeeping efforts, which kept his side’s dream of a first win in 2015 alive, denying both Mullen and Gonzales 20 minutes from time. Though to no avail, Jason Hart’s magnificent first touch in the 87th minute steered the ball past the approaching Hare who could only watch as Clitheroe’s number 11 scored his side concede their 23rd away league goal of the campaign.
The home team could have won it, in a game that last 95 minutes Shawbridge new boy Mullen was desperately unlucky to see his strike from seven yards rush by the wrong side of visitor’s goal.
The late goal translates to Clitheroe’s fifth draw at home this season and stretches Burscough’s winning doubt to yet another game. The Blues end the day as the started in eleventh, sharing 37 points with though Kendall Town who are behind only on goal difference. Burscough fall to fifteenth, trapped below Lanaster City and above Brighouse Town, all on 34 points.
Cltiheroe: Peter Collinge, Danny Morton ©, Seydou Bamba, Roberto Bonaminio, Danny Brady, Simon Garner, Cory Bent (Mullen 43), Ross Dent, Sefton Gonzales, Louis Mayers (Burns (76), Jason Hart
Subs: Richard Burns, James Walker, Laquan Esdaille, Joseph Mullen, Alez Palffy
Burscough: Calvin Hare, Ryan Schofield, Phil Quirk, Anthony Brown ©, Nicholas Ryan, Darren Brookfield, Paul Jewell (Joyce 62), Eddie Toner, Matthew Harris (Devine 70), Mark Beesley (Dean 89), Jordan Williams
Subs: Matthew Devine, Wade Joyce, Danny Smith, Michael Smith, Lloyd Dean
Referee: Mark Powell