Clitheroe 1-0 Mossley
By Chris Musson
A cagey game between two sides vying for a playoff berth rarely burst into life, but the one moment of real quality saw Chris Mason take the points with a glancing header with only a handful of minutes remaining.
Mossley were first out of the blocks but were unable to capitalise on a sequence of free kicks after the Blues defence had conceded fouls in dangerous areas. The play was primarily attritional and it wasn’t until the 32nd minute that the Blues saw their first real chance. Lee Pugh floated in a great ball, which Danny Mahoney flicked on to Dean Canning in the box, but the keeper smothered his efforts before he could strike at goal. Five minutes later a Clitheroe corner was only half cleared and Chris Dykes had a good shot well saved. However, the first half almost ended in disaster for the Blues when a long clearance bounced towards the Clitheroe goal, and Hakan sprinted to the edge of his box and managed to use his head and body to frustrate the onrushing forward without using his hands to concede a free kick.
Play freed up in the second half, and apart from the Mossley players’ tendency to fall to the ground with alarming regularity, Clitheroe just about shaded it. Two minutes in, Dykes juggled the ball and swept a cross shot just wide. A minute later, a great sequence of six passes saw Daley Woods burst free down the right and his cross was simply begging to be steered in, but there was no forward on hand. The crowd started to get frustrated with the referee, not least when Lee Pugh received a harsh yellow for a fair challenge, and further half chances fell Clitheroe’s way to Dean Canning, but the end product lacked quality. The game was settled on the 89th minute when Danny Mahoney freed Chris Smalley down the right and a whipped in cross was met at the near post by the finest of glancing headers from substitute Chris Mason.
This was not champagne football, but the home side stuck to its task well and on balance deserved their three points. They will now hope to take this form into their next two games away at Wakefield and Ramsbottom next Tuesday.