Garforth Town 0-2 Clitheroe
Blues secure opening day win
Two goals from debutant Jordan Williams gave Paul Moore the perfect start as Clitheroe manager.
Summer recruits Hakan Burton, Rob Flint, Louis Edwards, Simon Nangle and James Gardner joined Williams in making their first competitive starts for the club, whilst fellow new signings Will James and Danny Bell were named among the substitutes.
The first real chance of the match fell to the hosts but Jadey Ibrahim blazed over after being picked out in the penalty area. For the remainder of the half Clitheroe largely restricted Garforth to long range efforts which were either way off target or dealt with comfortably by Hakan Burton.
Clitheroe took the lead on 13 minutes as Williams converted Simon Nangle’s cross from the right. The same player very nearly made it two on the half hour mark only for his shot to rebound off the crossbar. The ball came to Williams after Alex Johnson, released by Nangle’s pass, had seen his initial effort blocked by a combination of goalkeeper and defender.
Early in the second period Jack Higgins was required to clear an attempt from Daniel Sheriffe off the line after good work from right-back Keenan Radcliffe, who was proving to be an effective attacking outlet for the hosts.
Newly-installed Blues skipper Ollie Devenney then had a good opportunity but shot straight at Garforth keeper Shaun O’Neill following a neat one-two with Williams.
The home side’s best chance of the match came after 55 minutes with full-back Josh Greenhalgh screwing wide of the upright after being played in by Luke Sherry and rounding Burton. Moments later, at the other end, Johnson’s curling effort was well saved by O’Neill.
The all important second goal, which effectively settled the contest, came on 60 minutes with Williams arriving on cue to double his tally for the afternoon from Connor Smith’s pass following another incisive passage of play by the visitors.
As the game entered the final quarter of an hour, substitute Ross Dent fired just the wrong side of the post after being teed up by Johnson while Marcus Calvert dragged an effort wide as Clitheroe went in search of a third.
Garforth rallied towards the end and Burton was called upon to deny the home side a consolation in stoppage time with a good one-handed save but by this stage Clitheroe had done more than enough to return home with three points and a clean sheet.
The Blues will now look to build on this opening day victory and generate some early season momentum when they entertain Harrogate Railway Athletic on Tuesday evening in the first home game of the season.
Garforth Town: Shaun O’Neill, Keenan Radcliffe, Josh Greenhalgh, Bernard Williams (James Burgess 65), Miles Smith, Craig Harding (c), Fernando Moke, Jadey Ibrahim, Daniel Sherriffe (Daniel Redfern 53), Luke Sherry, Dom Blair (Darrell Kendall 46). Subs not used: Cameron Lyn, Jazia Donaldson
Bookings: Ibrahim, Williams, Harding
Clitheroe: Hakan Burton, Rob Flint, Lee Pugh, Jack Higgins, Louis Edwards, Connor Smith (Ross Dent 63), Simon Nangle, Ollie Devenney (c), Jordan Williams, Alex Johnson (Marcus Calvert 77), James Gardner (Danny Bell 63). Subs not used: Will James, Andy Naylor