Ossett Albion 6-1 Clitheroe
A disappointing afternoon at Dimple Wells leads to 9-man Clitheroe conceding 6.
By Chris Musson
Few of the small bunch of Clitheroe fans at the game could have predicted the utter shambles which would define the second half of the fixture, as the game kicked off under dark clouds and with heavy rain starting to make its presence felt.
The ground itself was quite firm, but the water was making the ball skid off the surface and over-hit passes simply ran away from players.
Albion were in the form of their lives and with Rob Bordman, the ex-Wakefield striker, up front, they were always posing a threat. However, it was Clitheroe who dominated the early exchanges and both Gonzales and Harries went close in the first five minutes. Much of Clitheroe’s best work was coming down the right flank from Heywood overlapping and there was much promise.
On 27 minutes, totally against the run of play, a rare Ossett corner to the near post was headed by Mayers on to the foot of a striker, from where it cannoned into the top of the net. A fluke and an undeserved lead.
For the rest of the half, honours were even, and it was shaping up to be a low scoring game. How wrong we were.
On 48 minutes, makeshift defender Mayers tried to clear his lines with a diving header on the edge of the box. He simply served to cushion the ball for the opposing forward who tucked it gratefully home.
On 57 minutes, Simon Garner’s frustration with the man in black boiled over and he was shown a red card for protesting against a number of decisions. Within one minute, Mayers joined him for a body check that barely caught his opponent. Whilst the red card was harsh, the timing was appalling.
On 62 minutes Brady single handed broke up a three man attack with a despairing lunge at pace, but it wasn’t long before the referee was back in action, this time dismissing an Ossett substitute for no more than a mistimed challenge.
On 70 minutes, Clitheroe’s new striker from AFC Blackpool, Kurt Willoughby, had only been on the field for minutes before he freed Harries on the left, who delivered a superb cross to Gonzales, who shielded the ball and swept it home on the turn. Just rewards for 90 minutes of solo graft down the middle of the park.
As an unlikely comeback threatened, Brady lost his footing and the Ossett forward advanced on goal, rounded the keeper and scored within one minute. As conditions worsened, another slip let a home player dance down the right and his cross was finished well. The scoring had still not finished, and as the nine of Clitheroe tired, first a drifting left foot cross was forced home after 88 minutes, before the half dozen was brought up with a soft penalty.
Positives were hard to find, especially from the second half, but discipline must improve instantly if our great start to the season is not to drift into the sands, or in today’s case, the mud.
1. Woodhead, 2. Heywood, 3. Mayers, 4. Barski, 5. Brady, 6. Garner, 7. Dent, 8. Lynch, 9. Gonzales, 10. Bakkor, 11. Harries
Benjamin, Walker, Bonaminio, Willoughby, Hampson.
Clitheroe's next game is at home on Tuesday against Bacup Borough in the Lancashire FA Challenge Trophy.