Droylsden 0 - 3 Clitheroe
Rampant Blues cruise back winning ways
By Jack Towers
Alex Newby stars as Clitheroe see off top 6 rivals Droylsden in a top performance at the Butchers Arms Stadium. Droylsden mustn't of known what hit them when Clitheroe came flying out the starting blocks who looked determined to right some wrongs of the previous two matches.
Straight away you could tell the Bloods were finding the task of stopping Alex Newby and Kurt Willoughby rather difficult. The link up play between the two was superb and Droylsden struggled with their pace. Droylsden were made to pay when Willoughby tricked his way through the Bloods defence and won a free kick in a dangerous area, step up Alex Newby.
A super delivery by Newby was met by Brad Carroll who, completely unmarked, struck past Branagan in the Droylsden net. Carroll was dictating the play well switching balls to the three front men constantly.
From there it became increasingly difficult for the home side and it soon got worse when Newby played a wonderful through ball for Willoughby who beat the offside trap and slotted a cool finish past Branagan to double the lead.
It didn't take long for the Blues virtually see off the game completely when just five minutes later Alex Newby with a fantastic individual effort, skipping past two defenders, powered in a third from outside the box.
It wasn't all plain sailing for Clitheroe who still had their work cut out for them and it's worth noting that fantastic defensive display was equally behind keeping this lead. Former Blues front man, Sefton Gonzales, is not an easy man to mark but skipper, Daniel Brady, was influential in keeping the target man out the game. Droylsden were certain they had one back also when Ventre curled an ambitious free kick that just clipped the cross bar leaving goalkeeper Chris Thompson beaten.
This was followed by an effort from Jamie Rainford that deflected just past the goal and it was this point you had to realise it just wasn't going to be Droylsden's day. As we got stuck in to the second half it turned into the perfect away performance from the Blues defending comfortably and not giving the Bloods front men the time of day.
Clitheroe almost added a fourth when Dimitri Tuanzebe met a ball at the far post to tuck in but for it to be ruled out by the linesman. As the second half progressed it did not look like Clitheroe were going to have too much more to do but in the last minute a late challenge on Ventre in the penalty area gave the chance for the home side to salvage a consolation. Ventre stepped up and was denied by an exceptional save from Chris Thompson saving low to his right.
It was hard to fault anyone in this display with every player contributing hard to a well fought victory.
Team : Chris Thompson, Ryan Ellison, Stephen Rigby, Ian Rowlands, Danny Brady (c), Ross Dent, George Hughes, Brad Carroll (Joe Mitchell), Kurt Willoughby (Harry Blackburn), Alex Newby, Dimitri Tuanzebe (George West). Subs - George West, Harry Blackburn, Joe Mitchell. Not used - Jacob Gregory.