Season winds down
By Peter Ryan
By Chris Musson
Clitheroe 1-3 Colne 26-04-2018
With both sides having already played once in midweek, it was no surprise that they looked a touch weary, although with Colne chasing the final play off spot and desperate to avenge their Boxing Day drubbing, it was the visitors who sprang out of the blocks quickest.
Indeed, they had the perfect start, when after two minutes, a low driven cross into a forest of legs was stabbed home by young player of the year Curran. This had followed quickly on the heels of an unchallenged header, which whistled wide with less than 30 seconds on the clock. Clitheroe were making some headway, mainly through Stephen Rigby and Kurt Willoughby, and on 20 minutes Willoughby had a great free kick saved in the top corner by Burton. On 22 minutes, Ross Dent swivelled on the edge of the box and forced a smart save, but within minutes Colne had doubled their lead when an inswinging corner from the left was headed home at the near post. On 35 minutes, Ian Rowlands dwelt too long on the ball and in the ensuing foot race, Chris Thompson was called upon to dive bravely at the striker’s feet. Almost instantly, Thompson made another smothering stop with the defence at sea.
The second half was more even, although a Colne third came on 51 minutes when a one-two saw the defence sprung, with a regulation finish to follow. Willoughby then got some reward for his tireless graft with a firm shot from the edge of the box, before Michael Samson took an early bath, courtesy of two yellow cards. This actually seemed to spur Clitheroe on and to play far more incisive football, but at the end it was the Reds of Colne who were singing their way out of Shawbridge to a titanic last game with South Shields.
Team : Chris Thompson, Jacob Gregory, Stephen Rigby, Ian Rowlands (c) (Robbie Bromley), Michael Samson, Charlie Russell, Ross Dent, Joe Mitchell, Kurt Willoughby, George West, Chris Churchman. Subs - Robbie Bromley. Not used - Adam Bolton, Alaster Redmayne.