Local derby fails to spark
By Chris Musson
Ramsbottom Utd 1-0 Clitheroe 07-04-2018
Ramsbottom 1 Clitheroe 0
Despite both teams being in contention for the final play off spot, there was a whiff of the end of season about some of the football. Both sides were evenly matched but it was the home side who found the one incisive move to break the deadlock.
On a heavy surface, Ramsbottom had the bulk of the chances in the first half, despite possession being evenly shared. On 11 minutes, Ian Rowlands was dispossessed as he dwelled on the ball, and from the following break, Chris Thompson saved bravely at the forward’s feet, surviving a half-hearted appeal for a penalty. Thompson was called upon again after 17 minutes to save at feet and smother a shot, whilst one minute later, a mistake by Chris Churchman saw another home attack, although this came to nothing. On 23 minutes Rammy fired narrowly over after a forward chested down the ball, and it took until 32 minutes for Clitheroe to have their first chance as Churchman cut out a home free kick and released Kurt Willoughby, who forced a smart save. One minute later he followed up with another shot as he held off ex Blue Ryan Ellison and released a more dangerous shot, which was well saved.
The visitors had more chances to show in the second half. George West twisted and turned on 49 minutes as he advanced on goal and his fierce shot was well saved. One minute later, Clitheroe had another through ball into the Rammy box, but Ross Dent could just not stretch enough to steer it home. The home side were still lively and on 53 minutes hit the base of the post, with the Clitheroe defence beaten. West had another chance on 66 minutes, but as play swung to the other end, a cross from the left should have been converted. The winning goal came on 73 minutes as a powerful run down the right was converted with a solid but unchallenged header. Willoughby’s best chance came on 77 minutes as he muscled his way down the left, but his shot drew a great save from the keeper. Willoughby’s reaction suggested he thought he would score.
The game then petered out as a contest, leaving Clitheroe still looking for a spark to ignite the end of the season, not least with a cup final looming.
Team : Chris Thompson, Jacob Gregory, Stephen Rigby, Ian Rowlands, Danny Brady (c), Ross Dent (Joe Mitchell), George Hughes (Robbie Bromley), Chris Churchman, Kurt Willoughby, George West, Adam Bolton (Charlie Russell). Subs - Charlie Russell, Joe Mitchell, Robbie Bromley. Not used - Alaster Redmayne, Michael Samson.