Farsley Celtic 2 - 4 Clitheroe
Blue flag flying high in Yorkshire
Highlights of the game can be watched here
Clitheroe put in a stunning performance last night and in so doing beat the league leaders on their own turf and laid to rest a hoodoo, which has haunted them since Farsley joined the league and in which time they had never secured a point at Throstle Nest.
On a good surface, the home team raced out of the blocks and when they had the ball in the net after seven minutes, when a low drive from the right was inadvertently sliced in by Ian Rowlands, the small band of Clitheroe fans could have been forgiven for fearing the worst.
It took fifteen minutes for the Blues to find their feet, but when they did, the chances came. On 17 minutes, Clitheroe broke at speed and interplay between Kurt Willoughby and Louis Myers released Charlie Russell who shot wide. On 18 minutes, impressive debutant Aidan Kirby laid the ball to Willoughby, whose powerful shot was tipped over, and Willoughby had two further chances in quick succession.
On 29 minutes, Willoughby was through one and one, and it took an excellent challenge to stop him loosing off a shot. Clitheroe should have levelled on 32 minutes, when Danny Brady headed a deep corner back into the box and Brad Carroll had a clean header narrowly go over the bar.
However, almost instantly, Myers was lining up an inswinging free kick from the right hand side and Russell was on hand to bundle the ball home.
The second half was dominated by Clitheroe’s increasingly high pressure game.
On 47 minutes, Willoughby’s central free kick was driven into the wall, but as the ball came back out to Russell, his audacious chip from 20 yards hit the underside of the bar and went in.
On 56 minutes, Farsley had their best chance for some time as a piledriver skimmed the bar, with Chris Thompson looking under pressure for about the only time in the game. Two minutes later, Farsley attacked again, but the final shot hit the side netting, before the referee then spotted a flying elbow poleaxing Kirby to the ground and the home team were down to ten men.
Clitheroe exploited the extra man ruthlessly. On 65 minutes, Carroll played an exquisite one two before running at goal and slotting the ball under the keeper.
Further chances came and went and there was almost disbelief as Farsley pulled one back on 88 minutes with a superb strike from distance.
However, as the home team piled forward for the elusive equaliser, Willoughby hared away beyond the defence, buried the ball and dived into the small knot of delirious Clitheroe supporters.
What a night. There is still plenty of life left in this season as the Blues look to continue this kind of form for the rest of the season.
Team: Thompson, Bromley, Roberts, Rowlands, Brady, Russell, Mitchell, Carroll, Willoughby, Myers, Kirby.
Subs (used) Newby, Churchman
Subs (not used) Cattermole, Benjamin, Davis