Clitheroe 0 - 0 Kendal Town
Close but no cigar for the Blues
Clitheroe held the upper hand in the previous two encounters with Kendal this season and had high hopes for three more points. However, their inability to capitalise on a superb first half saw them having to settle for one point and 10 men left on the pitch at the end.
The early signs were all positive. On 13 minutes, Brad Carroll had a pass and go down the right wing before he hared in to the middle only for him then to bundle his volley over. On 17 minutes, Gareth Roberts received the ball down the left from Chris Thompson, and his early ball to Dimitri Tuanzebe down the line saw him advance on goal and slam the ball on to the bar. Three minutes later, Charlie Russell had a superb left foot strike from nothing, and it demanded a fine save from the keeper.
Five minutes later, Danny Brady rose highest from a corner and headed the ball on to the bar, before Ryan Ellison's follow up shot was desperately blocked. On 31 minutes, Alex Newby tried to control a ball on his chest in the box after he had found a yard of space, but the ball bounced unkindly too far ahead. Kurt Willoughby had a shot well saved after superb interplay, whilst two minutes later Newby and Willoughby combined well only for Tuanzebe's shot to be tipped over.
And as the home fans caught their breath and dreamt of a half time pie and pint, a hush descended on the ground as the referee pointed to the spot for an offence that no one had seen as a free kick was sent into the box, it having seemingly taken place yards away from the action. Thompson was equal to the task and smothered the ball.
The second half was a more disjointed affair and probably ranked as the Blues worst of the season. Substitutes George West and Mitch Bryant had solid chances, but the second half belonged to the visitors, although they lacked the quality to capitalise. The lacklustre half was capped when on 90 minutes Bryant was sent off for a rash challenge, albeit the theatrics from his victim did not help, before he sprang to his feet.
Disappointment for another healthy crowd, but they knew from the first half performance that this is a side worthy of the play offs.
Team: Thompson, Bromley, Roberts, Ellison, Brady, Russell, Mitchell, Carroll, Willoughby, Newby, Tuanzebe.
Subs (used) Bryant, West, Churchman
Subs (not used) Cattermole, Williams