Clitheroe 1 - 2 Lancaster City
Last gasp winner for Lancaster City
By Chris Musson
Clitheroe succumbed to their second defeat in 4 days by a single goal margin in agonising fashion as Lancaster took all three points in the dying seconds of the game.
With Ian Rowlands out due to work commitments and Jimmy Walker out through illness, the side had been tweaked from Saturday, but for much of the first half the sides looked well matched.
Chances were rare, but on 15 minutes, Dimitri Tuanzebe skipped past three players and crossed the ball just behind his forward line, who were bearing down on goal. On 21 minutes, Alex Newby struck a smart free kick which scudded off the surface and was steered on to the bar. On 40 minutes, a rare Lancaster break saw Chris Thompson called in to make a solid one on one save.
As the clock ticked down, Gareth Roberts missed a scything clearance hook to a ball dropping over his shoulder, but made amends by charging back and dispossessing the forward who had been left clear.
However, the half was not done, and from an innocuous looking free kick barely inside the Blue half, the deep ball forced Thompson to judge whether to come or stay, and having decided to come to the ball, his punch failed to make clear contact and the ball limped in.
With Tom Williams brought on in place of the injured Roberts and a flat back 4 being utilised, the game opened slightly in the second half. On 50 minutes, Macauley Harewood showed a clean pair of heels to his marker but his cross could not find a home player. Three minutes later, the visitors had a solid chance as a left wing cross flashed across the goalmouth.
On 62 minutes, a superb Williams cross only just eluded Tuanzebe when it looked easier to score. Five minutes later, smart Clitheroe approach work saw Brad Knox spring the offside trap, but Hale made a brave block.
On 84 minutes, Clitheroe were level, as a quick break down the right flank saw a real melee in the visitors' box and Knox finally loose his shot into the back of the net. Home fans sensed the force was with them, but they were mistaken.
Roared on by their impressive support, Lancaster came again. On 90 minutes a huge dummy saw the Clitheroe defence flat footed and Thompson was forced to make a great save, and as the clock went into extra time, from a disputed free kick, a precise guided header saw the ball just elude Thompson and a joyous scrum behind he goal as the away players piled into their fans.
An excellent game played in the right spirit, but Clitheroe will need to rediscover their ruthless streak if they are to stay in play off contention.
Line up : Chris Thompson, Macauley Harewood, Robbie Bromley, Gareth Roberts (Tom Williams), Danny Brady (c), Ollie Stirzaker, Brad Knox, Brad Carroll, Stavros Tserpes (Joe Mitchell), Alex Newby, Dimitri Tuanzebe. Subs - Tom Williams, Joe Mitchell. Not used - Ryan Cattermole, Christian Paulat-Brigg.