Clitheroe 2 - 0 Droylsden
Flying start for Clitheroe
Once the showers blew away and the sun showed its face, this was truly a superb summer's day with the right outcome for the bulk of the crowd.
With Kurt Willoughby and Sefton Gonzales linking up top and Oliver Crankshaw making his debut on the flanks, this was a side full of attack intent. Equally, Droylsden's main players were attackers, so a cracking game was always in prospect and so it proved.
The home team dominated the first half with Gonzales holding up the ball and flicking on, making numerous half chances for his team mates.
On 7 minutes he flicked the ball to Willoughby who chose to lay the ball off rather than go for goal. Four minutes later, he flicked on to Crankshaw and he forced a corner.
Willoughby skimmed over a drive on 14 minutes, but the Blues took the lead on 23 minutes when Joe Mitchell held the ball up on the left, and as he laid the ball to Gonzales he spun on the edge of the box and slotted home.
Two minutes later, Crankshaw hared down the left and his drive cross found Willoughby volleying over with the goal at his mercy. Chances then came at both ends, with Kilheeny closest for the visitors.
The second half was more even but the lead was extended on 54 minutes when an exquisite move down the left by Willoughby saw him drag the ball in field and his curling right foot shot from distance was from the top drawer.
Droylsden shuffled their pack and had their best patch of the game, testing Chris Thompson on two occasions and hitting the woodwork from scrambles in the box. The home defence kept its shape and it almost fell to home skipper Brad Carroll to finish off the scoring on 89 minutes when he burst through the defence only to see his lashed shot turned round the corner.
The game ended with three points to Clitheroe, but both these sides will be in the top half of the table at the end of the season.
Team: Thompson, Bromley, Cattermole, Ellison, Holden, Roddy, Mitchell, Carroll, Gonzales, Willoughby, Crankshaw.
Subs (used) Rigby, Kirby, Bolton
Subs (not used) Davis, Eccles