Tadcaster Albion 1 - 0 Clitheroe
All the plaudits but none of the points
By Chris Musson
Clitheroe travelled to last years North East Counties champions to visit a ground they had not been to for over 30 years and once again came away with all the plaudits but none of the points.
For a ground which had been under six feet of water during the winter floods, it was looking in remarkably good shape. The same could be said of their team, which boasting Blues Legend Gregg Anderson at the heart of the defence and ex Manchester United player Jonathan Greening in midfield, had clearly benefitted from the largesse of their owner.
The first half did not produce many clear cut chances, but what there were primarily went the way of the home side. It took Greening only seven minutes to unpick the Blues’ defence as he floated a delightful 40 yard lob behind the last Clitheroe defender, leaving the Tadcaster forward to hit an instant shot past the helpless Chris Thompson. The next clear cut chance came Clitheroe’s way on 26 minutes as Bradley Knox cushioned the ball 25 yards out, flicked the ball to his other foot whilst it was still in the air, and forced a wonderful save from the outstanding home keeper. Jimmy Walker then limped off with a twisted ankle and Ryan Cattermole took his place. On 35 minutes, Greening was at it again and twisted and turned on the left, making Knox dizzy in the process, before crossing into the box, with the resultant shot well saved by Thompson. On 39 minutes Thompson tried to charge a dangerous through ball down, but the ball bounced over him and it took Danny Brady to pick up the pieces. From the resultant corner, Gareth Roberts headed a neat overhead kick off the line.
The second half could not have provided more of a contrast. Brad Carroll dominated the middle of the park, Robbie Bromley was outstanding as a right wing back, able to cross the ball with both feet, and Danny Brady had more charges down the field than the average Western, but the goal eluded incessant pressure. Dimitri Tuanzebe showed more in the second half and on 47 minutes, his run and weak cross set the tone. Three minutes later, Tuanzebe forced a great save with a left foot drive. On 58 minutes, a superb passing sequence saw Clitheroe carve their way down the field only to get a corner. On 67 minutes, the big chance came when Bromley charged down the right, moved the ball between his feet and curled a shot on to the post. Half chances came at will with no response from Tadcaster, who appeared to have settled for 1-0 by playing increasingly deep in their own defence, but still no joy for the away team.
The Tadcaster tactics ultimately worked, but on another day it could easily have backfired. The Blues were again left ruing that clinical edge in front of goal and a sniff of good fortune from Lady Luck.
Team : Chris Thompson, Robbie Bromley, James Walker (Ryan Cattermole), Gareth Roberts, Danny Brady (c), Dylan Smith, Brad Knox, Brad Carroll, George West (Kurt Willoughby), Alex Newby, Dimitri Tuanzebe. Subs - Ryan Cattermole, Kurt Willoughby. Not used - Ollie Stirzaker, Andrew Hill, Dominic Welsby.