Kendal Town 0 - 3 Clitheroe
The Blues get their first away win of the season in emphatic style
By Chris Musson
Clitheroe registered their first away win of the season in emphatic style, with the squad down to the bare bones but the team spirit as high as the Cumbrian fells.
It could have been very different if on two minutes after being gifted a direct pass by the Blues’ defence, the home attacker had not popped his finish wide of the post. Thereafter, there was only going to be one winner.
It only took six minutes for Danny Brady to put the Blues ahead, when he bulleted in his header from close range after a wickedly inswinging Alex Newby corner. This heralded a period of Clitheroe dominance, which only got better on 22 minutes when Dimitri Tuanzebe took the ball down the left flank, scudded a cross into the box, only to see two home defenders audition for Fred Karno’s circus, with both leaving the ball for the other.
Joe Mitchell popped it home from four yards. Kendal had the odd foray forward, but it was still all Clitheroe, even though Gareth Roberts cleared the ball with ease off the line on 30 minutes. On 41 minutes, Brad Knox threaded the ball superbly through the home defence, only for Newby’s shot to be saved, before Chris Thompson had to be alert to push a header on to the woodwork, from a hanging cross.
The second half saw a number of Kendal changes, and their passing football progressively had a more physical edge to it. It was still all Clitheroe and on 48 minutes, Tuanzebe should have extended the lead. However, the healthy travelling contingent only had to wait one minute longer, before Mitchell and Newby combined to release man of the match Brad Carroll, who effortlessly slid the ball past the keeper. Three minutes later, it should have been four as Tuanzebe pushed the ball past his full back and leathered a drive goalwards only for it to hit the side netting.
Knox was felled by an appalling tackle only for the transgressor to receive a yellow, when a straight red was the obvious choice. There were few specific incidents thereafter, aside from a rare Kendal attack on 65 minutes, when a home striker could not believe his luck after not being given yards offside, but Chris Thompson had too much presence of mind and the move was closed down.
In short, a tremendous performance by the Blues, the like of which the Clitheroe fans are getting used to. Numbers are certainly light, but it was great to see Jimmy Walker had travelled to sit in the stands and he may be back in training shortly.
Great performances from Joe Mitchell, Ryan Cattermole and Ollie Stirzaker were eclipsed by Brad Carroll, who on this form must be the best midfielder in the league.
Chris Thompson, Macauley Harewood (Robbie Bromley), Ryan Cattermole, Gareth Roberts, Danny Brady (c), Ollie Stirzaker, Joe Mitchell, Brad Carroll, Dimitri Tuanzebe, Alex Newby, Brad Knox (Johnny Hession)