Still waiting for Santa
By Peter Ryan
By Chris Musson
Kidsgrove A. 3-0 Clitheroe 22-12-18
Still waiting for Santa
Clitheroe gave debuts to two new defenders, Jordyn Fitton and Ollie Muir, but they could not help stop the current run of defeats, despite both fitting in very well into the side. Kidsgrove themselves were having a relatively barren run, but this side is all about one player, Anthony Malbon. If he fires, they fire. And he loves playing Clitheroe.
The alarm bells were ringing on two minutes when he received a superb through ball and shaped to curl the ball into the far corner, but he was met by a superb wrong handed save by Cameron Terry. Two minutes later, the play was at the other end and Lewis Sugden was bringing out a similarly great save from a fine drive. The game then settled down, but on 12 minutes, a huge, deep cross from the right ballooned over the defence and there was Malbon to nod it home. Kidsgrove seemed happy to soak up pressure thereafter, given their mean defensive record. On 14 minutes, Hyuga Tanner had a great slaloming run, but his shot went wide, before Malbon received the ball and barrelled down the line, before sending in a great cross, which eluded his team mates. One minute later, Terry was almost foiled by a huge deflection, but until Harry Pratt slipped Max Hazeldine through on 38 minutes, only for his snap shot to be well saved, little of note happened.
Lee Ashforth shuffled things around at half time and brought on Macauley Harewood as full back, allowing Jacob Gregory to play on the left flank. Gregory was tireless in the second half, causing numerous chances, but it was not to be his day. On 59 minutes, Kidsgrove doubled the lead, as an out swinging free kick from the right bye line was glanced home. One minute later, Gregory forced his way to the bye line and Pratt’s shot was desperately smothered. Five minutes later, Gregory was at it again and his lashed shot was just saved. On 76 minutes, Gregory engineered himself one on one, but his shot was smothered. Two minutes later, the game was over as a contest as a free kick from the right was hit first time and it pea-rolled from the edge of the box through a throng of players. There was still time for Gregory to go close again, but there was to be no consolation goal for the Blues.
Team : Cameron Terry, Jacob Gregory (c), Jordyn Fitton, Josh Snowden, Oliver Muir, Lewis Sugden, Hyuga Tanner, Andreas Bianga (Macauley Harewood), Harry Pratt, Max Hazeldine, Harry Blackburn (Harry Cannon-Noren). Subs - Macauley Harewood, Harry Cannon-Noren. Not used - Michael Itela, Jack Fleming, Jay Jefferies.