Close but no cigar
By Chris Musson
Clitheroe took a long while to get into the game, but once they were up and running there was only going to be one winner. However, the Gods and the woodwork were against them.
The first 25 minutes were dominated by Kendal, as the tweaked Clitheroe line up looked to bed in. On 4 minutes, Charlie Russell’s back pass was snaffled by a home forward and Chris Thompson was forced into a solid first save before recovering to make a blinding follow up save. Clitheroe’s first effort of note came on 24 minutes when Ollie Crankshaw had a weak shot saved, but one minute later the action swung to the other end, and from an out swinging corner, the home forward leapt unchallenged and nodded the ball into the far corner. On 32 minutes Kendal sprang the offside trap and it took a smart piece of work from Jacob Davis to shepherd the ball out. On 34 minutes, Clitheroe pulled level as Russell pinged a sublime cross field ball to Kurt Willoughby on the left, who drifted inside and drove the ball hoke right footed. Kendal should have retaken the lead as the home left back overlapped and sent a sweet cross in, only to see the ball headed wide, when it was easier to score. On 44 minutes Sefton Gonzales got in on the action, and his glancing header from a Robbie Bromley free kick was smartly saved.
The second half was all Clitheroe, with the ball barely in the blue half of the pitch. On 48 minutes, a bouncing clearance went beyond the Kendal defence and Willoughby hit the ball on the volley on to the bar. On 59 minutes, another bouncing ball was flicked on by Gonzales to Joe Mitchell whose sharp volley was well saved. Clitheroe entered a real purple patch and four minutes later saw the same combination in action, with Mitchell this time driving the ball narrowly over. On 67 minutes, Gonzales flicked the ball on to substitute Adam Bolton, whose snap volley was deflected over the bar. Finally, with injury time looming, Davis thundered a header goalward from a corner and was denied by the woodwork.
All in all, a mixed performance, but with some fine tuning the machine should be up and running again soon.
Team : Chris Thompson, Robbie Bromley, Matt Atherton (Ryan Cattermole), Ryan Ellison, Jacob Davis, Charlie Russell (Michael Roddy), Joe Mitchell, Brad Carroll (c), Sefton Gonzales, Kurt Willoughby, Oliver Crankshaw (Adam Bolton). Subs - Adam Bolton, Michael Roddy, Ryan Cattermole. Not used - Luke Holden, Danny Eccles.