Blues show character
By Peter Ryan
By Chris Musson
Colwyn Bay 1-1 Clitheroe 05-01-2019
Blues show character
With George West back in the blue of Clitheroe and a number of players playing out of position, it wasn’t just the early start which seemed slightly out of the ordinary. Conceding an early goal was less so. A soft free kick was conceded after four minutes close to the bye line 25 yards out. A two-man wall was set up, but with Cameron Terry staring straight into the low winter sun, the kick was driven firmly and looked to all intents and purposes like it was going to balloon over.
That it dipped sharply to scrape the underside of the bar on its way in was a surprise both to the fans and to Terry himself. However, heads did not drop and with Jay Jeffries relishing his central midfield role, it was he who went closest on 15 minutes as he bulldozed 40 yards down the pitch before forcing a smart save from his shot. Play was cagy for much of the rest of the half, but when Oliver Muir dropped a Bay player on the edge of the box after 40 minutes, hearts were in mouths. Fortunately, the spot kick was bent too far round the wall.
With Jeffries limping off before half time, Harry Cannon-Noren took up an unfamiliar right back position and he was left floundering on 50 minutes as a forward burst past him and shot into the side netting. On 62 minutes Muir throw in a great block on the edge of the box and a minute later a Bay forward glanced a header from a corner just wide. And then the focus changed. Clitheroe realised they were more than a match for their hosts and on 67 minutes, Max Hazeldine bustled down the wing and under pressure crossed for substitute Harry Blackburn to cushion his volley straight at the keeper.
When he fumbled the ball, Blackburn was on hand to pop it home, to the huge delight of the travelling fans. When Cannon-Noren limped off, substitute James Sloane came on for the first time since his sending off against Radcliffe. It was a different player who turned up and his size and desire proved a real handful for the home defence. He went close with one run and shot and could just have played himself back into the manager’s plans. When the whistle went, Colwyn Bay knew they had ridden their luck and Clitheroe knew they now had a crop of players who both have ability and a willingness to roll up their sleeves for the cause.
Team : Cameron Terry, Michael Wilson, Jack Fleming, Josh Snowden, Oliver Muir, Jay Jeffries (Harry Cannon-Noren (James Sloane)), Jacob Gregory (c), Jordyn Fitton, George West (Harry Blackburn), Andreas Bianga, Max Hazeldine. Subs - Harry Cannon-Noren, Harry Blackburn, James Sloane. Not used - Hyuga Tanner, Michael Roddy.