REPORT | Widnes 1 - 2 Clitheroe
By Peter Ryan
Dreaming of Home
Clitheroe swapped the Elysian fields of Shawbridge for Widnes’s temporary home of NWCFL Barnton and came back with all three points, having contended with a sloping, bumpy pitch a howling gale, few creature comforts and a lack of atmosphere with only sixty nine in attendance.
Chances were rare throughout the game as most players looked to hit the ball on the full or to take it on the half volley. Allowing the ball to bounce or to attempt any great dribbling was tempting fate.
Clitheroe kicked up the hill against the wind in the first half and Limpitshi-Bongwanga was first to show on three minutes after he conjured a shot from nothing to test the keeper, with Max Hazeldine then getting in on the act on seven minutes, as he bulldozed through the defence only to force a good blocking save from the keeper.
Widnes beat the offside trap on ten minutes, but Cameron Terry was alive to the danger. On 17 minutes, Limpitshi laid the ball to Antoine Recizac who fed Josh Gregory, whose drive went close. On 22 minutes, Andreas Bianga had a bouncing long-distance shot cause the keeper problems as he saw it out for a corner. As the half ended, Clitheroe took a decisive advantage. On 42 minutes, Limpitshi fed the ball to Hazeldine, whose fierce shot tested the keeper and as it slipped from his grasp, Josh Gregory was on hand to stab home.
Two minutes later, the lead was doubled, as Limpitshi forced his way through the defence and as he was felled in the box, Hazeldine spared the referee the job of sending off the home player for a second offence, by lashing it home.
The second half saw very little action of quality as the visitors were content to see off the rare Widnes’ attacks. It did not start well on 51 minutes when Towey drifted in from the right and arrowed his left foot shot inside the post. However, this was the first and last clear chance of the half and Clitheroe were happy to leave with the three points in the bag and to dream of Shawbridge.
Team : Cameron Terry, Jacob Gregory (c), Stephen Rigby, Derek Ubah, Josh Snowden, Lewis Sugden, Josh Gregory, Andreas Bianga, Henry Limpitshi-Bongwanga (James Boyd), Max Hazeldine (Jonah Gosling), Antoine Recizac (Harry Cannon-Noren). Subs - Harry Cannon-Noren, James Boyd, Jonah Gosling. Not used - Hyuga Tanner, Macauley Harewood.