Clitheroe 3 - 1 Burscough
Clitheroe finish the season in style
Clitheroe ended their 2016-17 campaign in some style in front of another large crowd at a sun drenched Shawbridge. Fellow play off chasing Brighouse provided stiff opposition but in the end Clitheroe took the three points but still could not secure a play off slot.
Brighouse were keen to assert themselves in the game and within the first three minutes, two Clitheroe players had gone down with head injuries after being clattered.
The visitors even took the lead on 7 minutes after Chris Churchman gave the ball away and the resultant driven cross from the right just eluded Chris Thompson as he came for the ball, leaving Mike Fish to head the ball home.
The lead did not last, as Alex Newby galloped down the left and then fooled the defenders by laying the ball across to Dimitri Tuanzebe, who easily converted. Charlie Russell had a good effort on 37 minutes but it thumped into the keeper’s midriff, and he was in the thick of the action again just before half time as he burst through on goal, and in the melee which followed both he and Newby had shots saved as a second goal looked inevitable.
Clitheroe started the brighter in the second half and on 63 minutes, a Churchman punt forward saw the visiting keeper totally misjudge the bounce of the ball as he was left stranded, leaving Tuanzebe the simplest of jobs to double his tally. Six minutes later, the keeper made some amends as he pulled out a top drawer save from a pile driver. Other chances came the way of the home side and Kurt Willoughby had a good snap shot go just wide.
On 79 minutes, Russell went into a full blooded challenge with his opposite number with neither giving any quarter, and whilst the Brighouse player saw yellow, Russell got his marching orders. Brighouse almost drew level on 85 minutes when a shot was flashed across the goal after a great surge, but it was Clitheroe who settled the game with two minutes to go, as Tuanzebe feigned to run forward, before laying off to Newby who continued his purple patch and easily netted.
The warm and extended ovation at the end from the Clitheroe fans was recognition not only of a solid performance but of a tremendous season all round.
Team: Thompson, Bromley, Roberts, Davis, Brady, Russell, Churchman, Carroll, Willoughby, Newby, Tuanzebe.
Subs (used) Kirby, Mitchell.
Subs (not used) Rowlands, Cattermole, Bolton