Clitheroe 0-3 Ossett Town
Terrific run comes to an end - By Chris Musson
There were few complaints from the home team as Ossett Town swept into town and left with all three points to maintain their promotion push. In a game devoid of many chances, the visitors used their height advantage at set pieces well and capitalised on the Blues never quite slipping into gear.
As early as four minutes into the game, Ossett took the lead from a driven corner, which was glanced superbly into the far corner of the goal, giving keeper Chris Thompson little chance. It took Clitheroe 22 minutes to have a shot on goal. A good burst down the left by Kurt Willoughby saw him send a sharp pass into George West on the edge of the box and his sharp turn and shot was well saved by the keeper. Prior to that point the visitors simply did not let the home team get into their stride.
The home team's best chance came four minutes later when Alex Newby jinked and turned on the right and surged diagonally towards goal, only to be hauled down feet from the edge of the box. On such margins do games turn. The resultant Charlie Russell free kick forced a smart save, but that was scant reward. Things got worse for the Blues on 33 minutes, when a trademark long throw saw Thompson come to punch, only for the ball to go tamely to an attacker who looped the ball back into the box and only requiring an easy header into an empty goal.
The second half would normally herald a blue revival, but the home team were still at sixes and sevens. Willoughby had a tremendous chance on 53 minutes when he found himself one on one with the keeper, but as he shaped to shoot, the enormous figure of Gay loomed behind him and snuffed out the chance. Ossett put the game to bed on 67 minutes, when a burst down the right saw a driven cross to the far post, where the attacker half volleyed it in at pace, albeit with a sniff of the Clitheroe defender getting a nick as the ball sped in, much to the delight of the 20 Ossett fans behind the goal.
The lead could have been extended further on 75 minutes, when a surge down the left and cross, saw the ball hit back across goal, just missing the far post. With the clock ticking down, 17 year old substitute Adam Bolton fashioned a great position in front of goal, but his shot was smothered to safety.
In the end, the game had been lost long before that point. The Blues will need to dust themselves down as the games come thick and fast, whilst Ossett will certainly continue to surprise people, including their own supporters.
Team: Thompson, Bromley, Cattermole, Ellison, Benjamin, Russell, Mitchell, Carroll, Willoughby, Newby, West
Subs (used) Churchman, Williams, Bolton
Subs (not used) Tserpes, Roberts