Clitheroe 1 - 2 Trafford
By Michael Barker
Second-half comeback sees Clitheroe’s unbeaten run end
by Zeid Kabbara
A sunny afternoon in Lancashire saw Lee Ashforth’s Clitheroe side, who came into this tie unbeaten in their previous five games, fall victim to a late wonder strike by Trafford substitute, Ross Davidson, which allowed Tom Baker’s Trafford side to claim the victory their second-half performance deserved.
The game was kicked-off by the visitors, Trafford, who were looking to grab the victory that would send them into the playoffs, by full-time
The best chance of the opening 10 minutes, came in the 6th minute, when Matthew Bryan showed off his pace by running down the left-hand side and put in an inviting cross, which Aaron Burns met. Burns’ header, although timed well, was straight at Cameron Terry, who easily caught the ball, to deny Burns from breaking the deadlock.
On the 14th minute, Clitheroe were forced into an early change after Jonah Gosling was accidently treaded on by a Trafford man. The winger left the pitch with a stream of blood coming from his head. Following his departure, Gosling was replaced by Harry Cannon-Noren.
It took until the 22nd minute until the next chance arrived. Trafford’s Burns ended a good spell of Trafford possession with a shot from close range that Terry saved. Terry’s save resulted in a Trafford corner which Jack Dorney went over to take. His corner was played short into the onrushing Matthew Bryan, who hit a left-footed shot, first-time, but saw his drive fly over Terry’s crossbar.
On the 30th minute, Trafford had another corner, which nearly resulted in the opening goal of the game. Dorney’s corner was headed towards goal by James Moore. The header looked destined to nestle into the top corner, had it not been for the head of Macauley Harewood who cleared the ball off the line.
Seconds later, Clitheroe broke forward and after a scramble in the Trafford box which saw a miss kicked bicycle kick. The ball eventually dropped to Hyuga Tanner, who tried his luck from the edge of the area. Despite the confusion, Tanner’s effort was well held by Cooper, who was in the Trafford goal.
With half-time looming, it took until the dying embers for the deadlock to be broken. The goal came for Clitheroe, courtesy of debutant James Boyd, who had recently arrived from Bamber Bridge. A good spell of possession led to a pass inside from the wide area which saw Jamie Rainford skilfully dummy the ball as it trickled into the path of Boyd, who coolly slotted the ball past Cooper to make it 1-0, as the half-time whistle blew soon after.
The second-half was restarted by Clitheroe who were looking to keep hold of their lead, in order to extend their unbeaten run to 6 games. Trafford however, came into the second period with a new player, after Daniel Williams was replaced by Andrew Langford during the break.
Although the continuation of the unbeaten streak was on their minds, Clitheroe’s chances of continuing said streak reduced by the 52nd minute, when Aaron Burns nodded his side level from close-range. Trafford centre-back James Moore strolled forwards unchallenged and found himself in a wide position inside the Clitheroe half. He eventually opted to whip in a wicked cross that curled past Clitheroe’s defenders and landed ahead of Burns who timed his diving header to perfection as the scoring was tied at 1-1.
On the hour mark, both sides elected to make substitutions to try and change the game. Trafford introduced Ross Davidson for Jack Dorney, whilst Clitheroe brought on Antoine Recizac for James Boyd.
4 minutes after Burns’ booking, Clitheroe’s pressure increased, as they earnt a corner, which Recizac took. The winger’s set-piece was lofted into the box and met by the head of Derek Ubah, who had risen highest in the box. His header however, was always rising, as the attempt ended up on top of the stand.
That break in play allowed Clitheroe to make their final change, as Hyuga Tanner was withdrawn and replaced by Obi Anoruo.
With less than 15 minutes left, Trafford made their final change of the game as Aaron Burns was replaced by Mark Derbyshire.
The game fizzled out until the 85th minute, when Trafford substitution Ross Davidson hit a brilliant strike from around 25-yards out to give his side their second-half dominance deserved. Some good possession play by Trafford saw Davidson pick up the ball and move forwards from a deep position before trying his luck from distance, which, fortunately for the vocal Trafford fans, paid off as Tom Baker’s side took a 2-1 lead.
After 3 minutes of added time were played, the game ended, and so did Clitheroe’s unbeaten run, after they were defeated by a strong Trafford side, who are expected to finish high up in the league this season.
The Blues’ next games sees them welcome Pontefract Collieries to Shawbridge for their FA Trophy tie on Saturday 13th October, with kick-off scheduled for 3pm.
Team; Cameron Terry, Macauley Harewood, Stephen Rigby, Derek Ubah, Jay Jeffries (c), Josh Gregory, Jonah Gosling, Andreas Bianga, Jamie Rainford, Hyuga Tanner, James Boyd.
Subs; Harry Cannon-Noren, Antoine Recizac, Obi Anoruo
Subs not used; Max Hazeldine, Ben Matthews