Missed chances punished
By Chris Musson
Prescot Cables 4-1 Clitheroe 24-11-18
Clitheroe gave a good account of themselves away at Prescot but missed chances in the first half meant they were up against it in the second.
Clitheroe were by far the brighter side in the first half against a very experienced home side. On 7 minutes, the returning Jay Jeffries burst from deep and slipped through Jacob Gregory, whose low scudding cross was begging to be converted. Five minutes later, good work from Max Hazeldine saw Hyuga Tanner have a snap shot which shaved the post.
On 14 minutes, Josh Gregory had a massive chance as he found himself free of the defence. He advanced unchallenged but shot weakly straight at the keeper with the goal gaping wide. Macauley Harewood was also soon in on the action bursting forward and all Clitheroe were short of was a goal. On 22 minutes, Hazeldine hobbled off injured, and soon afterwards Prescot had their only chance of the half as they advanced down the right and the ball was crossed into a melee of bodies.
Ultimately, the ball was cleared off the line but with more than a suspicion of handball somewhere in the approach play. However, it served to spark the Clitheroe side as the Blues then won a free kick on the apex of the box. A small wall was formed, but Lewis Sugden had little problem bending the ball low round the wall into the goal. Substitute James Sloane was next on the attack and it took the keeper racing out to deny him.
Clitheroe almost had the perfect start to the second half as Sloane ran towards goal, shepherded by a defender, who just got a tackle in before he shot. However, that was one of few highpoints for the Blues where the home side had the bulk of play albeit not many chances. Those they made they tended to score.
On 52 minutes, Clitheroe could not clear a cross from the right and at the third attempt Prescot scored. Two minutes later, in a moment of madness, Jeffries dropped a player in the box when he was running away from goal and virtually on the bye line. The penalty was converted. Clitheroe weathered the storm and there was always a sense they could grab an equaliser. On 84 minutes, Jacob Gregory almost obliged as he meandered into the box and forced a great save as he cut in along the bye line.
However, it was Prescot who were next on the score sheet, as from a left footed corner from the right, a forward eluded the Clitheroe defence and scored with an excellent diving header. An unwarranted gloss was then put on the victory when Cameron Terry spilled a shot from distance and the rebound was poked home.
Clitheroe are clearly competitive at this level but will need to be more ruthless in front of goal if they are to prosper and to get their just rewards.
Team : Cameron Terry, Macauley Harewood, Jay Jefferies, Derek Ubah, Josh Snowden, Lewis Sugden, Harry Cannon-Noren (Ryan Steele), Hyuga Tanner, Jacob Gregory (c), Max Hazeldine (James Sloane), Josh Gregory (Andreas Bianga). Subs - James Sloane, Andreas Bianga, Ryan Steele. Not used - Antoine Recizac, Viktor Cella.