Clitheroe 1-1 Radcliffe Borough
October begins with a draw for the Blues
By Chris Musson
The dull looking score line belies a cracking encounter between two evenly matched sides, with action and talking points from the first minute to the last.
The tone was set in the first minute and it never let up. Within the first minute, Dimitri Tuanzebe twisted and turned on the edge of the Radcliffe box, but could not get the ball from under his feet. Two minutes later, Chris Thompson was emulating Gordon Banks as a scuffed shot from a cross threatened to bounce over him. On five minutes, a Boro piledriver smacked against the bar, only for the forward following up to be declared offside.
After this breathless start, Taunzebe and his new partner up front, Harry Pratt, started to make inroads, but it was Joe Mitchell after 21 minutes who raced down the left and pulled a a great ball back from the bye line, before it was cleared. On 32 minutes, home fans were grateful when the big Boro striker lost his footing as the goal opened up in front of him, whilst two minutes later Gareth Roberts struck a sweet free kick which the keeper had to parry under pressure. Both sides then had one further great chance to score. On 38 minutes, a Boro corner was somehow scooped over the bar on the half volley. Two minutes later, a flowing Clitheroe move was begging for a final finish, but it was not to be. Forget Bovril, the fans needed a lie down after the first 45 minutes.
There was no let up though. On 54 minutes, Clitheroe took the lead in controversial fashion as Brad Carroll thumped a 30 harder on to the underside of the bar, and the linesman ruled it had crossed the line. On 59 minutes Thompson had to be alert to push a dangerous free kick round the post as it bounced just in front of him.
One minute later, he scooped the ball away from the apex of the goal, before Radcliffe scored, only for the goal to be ruled offside. On 63 minutes, a Ryan Cattermole corner was flicked on only for Tuanzebe to blast over, whilst on 70 minutes the lead was almost doubled as a Catastrophic back pass seemed destined to beat the keeper to the line. On 71 minutes, Dylan Smith made a great block in the box, but almost immediately the man in black gave a penalty as the away forward melted to the ground under little pressure. The penalty was easily converted. but still the game wasn't done.
On 88 minutes, Cattermole lined up a dangerous free kick deep in Boro territory only for the ball to go straight to an away player, who hoofed it forward and Roberts took a straight red as the forward advanced on goal. And then, deep in extra time, Carroll was scythed down in the box. The away team used every trick in the book to delay the kick, and with Carroll taking the spot kick himself, the young keeper made a smart save.
When the whistle finally went, not one person had left the ground and none felt they had not had their money's worth.
Line up : Chris Thompson, Macauley Harewood (Kisimba Kisimba), Ryan Cattermole, Gareth Roberts, Ollie Stirzaker, Dylan Smith, Joe Mitchell, Brad Carroll (c), Harry Pratt (Brad Knox), Alex Newby (Johnny Hession), Dimitri Tuanzebe. Subs - Kisimba Kisimba, Brad Knox, Johnny Hession. Not used - Robbie Bromley, Christian Paulat-Brigg.