Clitheroe 1-3 Farsley Celtic
Tough day at the office for the Blues! By Chris Musson
The general mood around Shawbridge was that this would be the toughest game of the season, and so it proved. Without a weak link in the opposing side and with Walshaw up front, Clitheroe were always going to be up against it.
The home side were first to show, with George West being slipped through on 5 minutes, forcing a good save from the Farsley keeper. On 23 minutes, Luke Wall released Brad Carroll on the right in space and with the ball sitting up nicely, he struck it sweetly, forcing another good save. One minute later the lanky Farsley number 7, recently signed from Boston, spun Gareth Roberts in the box, and stretched out a leg as he went to ground, forcing Chris Thompson to make a good save on the floor at full reach.
One minute later, the visitors took the lead. Walshaw, looking suspiciously offside received the ball midway in the Clitheroe half and drew Thompson before coolly drilling the ball home. Chances were still at a premium and on 32 minutes Joe Mitchell broke up play and released Carroll, whose shot whistled across the face of goal. Farsley then went within a whisker of doubling their lead in injury time as Thomson was forced to make a smart near post save.
Clitheroe started the second half the stronger side, with Charlie Russell and the returning Dimitri Tuanzebe showing much more attacking intent. On 62 minutes, a Clitheroe free kick was swung into the box and as the ball came free and Ryan Ellison shaped for an unlikely shot, he was swamped by a forest of legs. The lead was doubled four minutes later as a free kick was headed over the Clitheroe defence and Walshaw finished clinically. Two minutes later, the game was over as a contest as a move down the right finished with a smart shot into the home goal.
A fourth goal was threatened on 75 minutes when a superb Farsley break down the length of the pitch saw Thompson called upon to save with his feet. Kurt Willoughby pulled one back on 82 minutes, when he rescued a lost effort on the bye line and smashed the ball home from a narrow angle, with the visitors screaming that the ball had gone out. The temperature rose, and another Ellison burst down the pitch saw him pick out Wall on the far post, but his shot went wide. Finally, as the clock ticked into extra time, Alex Newby laid the ball to Mitchell, who fired against the post and Wall's follow up shot went Stewart into the keeper's hands.
That was the end of the action. There was no disgrace in losing to a team of the calibre. The next two games against teams around us will have far more bearing on our final position.
Team: Chris Thompson, Ryan Ellison, Gareth Roberts, Ian Rowlands, Danny Brady (c), Charlie Russell, Joe Mitchell, Brad Carroll (Chris Churchman), Dimitri Tuanzebe (Alex Newby), George West (Kurt Willoughby), Luke Wall. Subs - Kurt Willoughby, Alex Newby, Chris Churchman. Not used - Robbie Bromley, Jacob Davies.