Clitheroe leave it late
By Chris Musson.
Clitheroe 2- 1 Skelmersdale United 10-11-18
With the clock ticking down, Clitheroe looked liked they would rue their hatful of missed chances, before Max Hazeldine settled matters in the final minute of the game.
Clitheroe should have been ahead within one minute, as Josh Gregory meandered through the opposing defence, before laying the ball to Hazeldine, whose shot was smothered by the keeper. However, it was the visitors who took the lead on six minutes, when a lack of communication between Cameron Terry and Stephen Rigby, saw Terry dragged towards the bye-line to tackle a forward, with Rigby going to the goal-line. One pass later, the ball was in the net after an initial save from Terry. It was still one-way traffic though, with Jacob Gregory going close on 16 minutes after an overlap, run and shot. Seconds later, a pinpoint Sugden pass saw Hazeldine scamper through and he angled his shot home across the keeper.
Two minutes later, a high bouncing ball cleared the Skem defence and Josh Gregory rounded the keeper after a short burst, before laying the ball into the box, but Hazeldine went for a deflection rather than a shot and the effort was cleared. Antoine Recizac then had a cheeky effort from a Sugden free kick land on the top of the net. More chances came, although Terry had to be alert after a huge deflection from a free kick almost wrong footed him. There was also time with the clock ticking down for Henry Bongwanga to fire narrowly over after springing the offside trap.
The second half followed the same pattern. With only three minutes gone, Sugden slipped in Rigby, whose shot was saved and Jacob Gregory forced a great save on 64 minutes. Clitheroe had the ball in the net on 70 minutes, but it was ruled out for offside, but Terry had to be alert to cut out a dangerous skidding cross two minutes later from a rare Skem foray. As the clock ticked down, a visiting player was given a second yellow for time wasting, before Clitheroe earned a corner shortly after. Derek Ubah looked to have looped a header into the goal, but it was cleared off the line, before a Clitheroe air shot saw Hazeldine step up and crash the ball home from 10 yards. The roar was impressive and the relief palpable.
Team : Cameron Terry, Jacob Gregory (c), Stephen Rigby, Derek Ubah, Josh Snowden, Lewis Sugden (Harry Cannon-Noren), Antoine Recizac, Andreas Bianga (Hyuga Tanner), Henry Limpitshi-Bongwanga (Macauley Harewood), Max Hazeldine, Josh Gregory. Subs - Macauley Harewood, Hyuga Tanner, Harry Cannon-Noren. Not used - Viktor Cella, Ryan Steele .