Clitheroe 2-0 Prescot Cables
Three More Points!
Chris Mason and Scott Bakkor scored their first goals for Clitheroe as Paul Moore’s side won for the fourth match in succession.
Despite carving out a number of good opportunities, the Blues were made to work for this victory by a combative Prescot Cables who belied their lowly league position.
Moore made two changes from last Saturday’s impressive victory at New Mills as Connor Smith and Danny Bell came into the starting line-up, with Will James moving to left-back.
The game was five minutes old when Danny Mahoney sent Mason clear only for keeper Nick Culkin to make a smart save and thwart the former Guiseley striker.
Daley Woods again tested the ex-Manchester United stopper before Mason’s volley from the edge of the penalty area whistled inches past the upright.
David Powell’s Prescot – who have accrued 12 of their 14 points this season away from Valerie Park – posed a constant threat throughout the opening period.
And with 20 minutes on the clock John Bathurst headed Callum Hoctor’s cross wide of the post.
Quarter of an hour later, Culkin smothered Simon Nangle’s swivelled attempt from a Bell free-kick from the right flank before Clitheroe took the lead on 39 minutes.
Despite not being at their most fluent, the Blues edged ahead when Mason latched onto Nangle’s through ball and finished with a crisp low finish past Culkin.
Just before the break, Prescot twice came close to levelling matters as Danny Lambert’s arrowed drive from range narrowly missed the frame of the goal.
A minute later, incisive approach play from Lambert and Jack Booth created space for Ian Bennett who fired over when well-placed in the penalty area.
The Shawbridge outfit started the second period brightly with Bell firing a shot into the side-netting before Woods exchanged passes with Mahoney only to be denied by Culkin.
Scott Bakkor was introduced from the substitute’s bench shortly before the hour mark and went on to enjoy an eventful debut.
His pace immediately caused the Prescot backline problems and he tested the visiting keeper on a couple of occasions in the space of a few minutes.
Culkin repelled Bakkor’s 64th minute shot following Mason’s ball over the top and again saved from the 19-year-old moments later after he was freed by Woods.
While all that separated the teams was a single goal, Prescot retained an interest in the game and the hosts overcame an anxious final ten minutes before securing victory.
Prescot captain James McCulloch wriggled clear in the penalty area but could only shoot straight at Hakan Burton while Clitheroe survived a huge scare with five minutes remaining.
McCulloch missed a golden chance as he glanced a free header from Lambert’s left-wing cross wide of the post after arriving unmarked in the 6-yard box.
As Cables pressed for an equaliser, Clitheroe looked to take advantage on the break and after a quick counter-attack Mark Buchan was unable to convert Mahoney’s cross.
However, with the Blues’ defence holding firm, victory was finally sealed deep into added on time as Bakkor capped his impressive cameo appearance with a debut goal.
Taking the ball in his stride on the halfway line, the former Rylands forward played the ball around the last defender before bearing down on goal and finishing calmly.
With Skelmersdale United in FA Trophy action, these three points see Clitheroe return to second place in Evo-Stik League Division One (North).
The Blues now face Radcliffe Borough at Stainton Park on Tuesday evening (7.45pm kick-off) for a Doodson Sport Cup first round tie.
Clitheroe: Hakan Burton, Chris Smalley, Will James, Rob Bodie, Jack Higgins (c), Connor Smith, Simon Nangle, Daley Woods (Mark Buchan 83), Danny Mahoney, Chris Mason (Chris Dykes 69), Danny Bell (Scott Bakkor 57). Subs not used: Marcus Calvert, Stuart McDonald
Prescot Cables: Nick Culkin, Anthony Shinks, Callum Hoctor, Ged Murphy, Chris Rimmer, Jack Webb, James McCulloch (c), Jack Booth (Joe Skelmerdene 63), John Bathurst (Davison Banda 69), Ian Bennett (Glyn Barker 69), Danny Lambert. Subs not used: Liam Hollett, Luke Edwards