Ossett Albion 1-2 Clitheroe
Report By Chris Musson
Clitheroe fully deserved victory in this hugely entertaining game, albeit each side could have scored a hatful of goals. An impressive debut from new centre forward, Lloyd Dean, Chris Dykes’s best game in a blue shirt and Jack Higgins in full cry proved too much for the home side.
The first 10 minutes were possibly the quietest of the game as few chances were made and Clitheroe fans drifted on to the ground after hold-ups on the M62. However, a foul on Dykes 20 yards from the opposition goal after 12 minutes proved too tempting for Nangle, who whipped the ball on the full into the home goal. Albion then had a couple of chances in quick succession as they played the ball quickly to each flank. A snap shot on 17 minutes had Mottram back pedalling and a minute later Mottram was quickly off his line only for the ball to threaten the Clitheroe goal. Play then swung to the other end and a deep corner was headed back across goal for Nangle then to whip another cross in, with Dean just wide. On 21 minutes, Dean drove into the box and slipped Bakkor through on goal, who was then summarily upended. Nangle converted the resultant penalty. The Clitheroe pressure did not let up and Fleming on his full debut was proving a handful to the home defence. On 25 minutes Bakkor spun a shot from a Fleming corner, and two minutes later Dykes rode two challenges only to shoot just wide. Dean made several more good chances in quick succession and it was only good work from the home keeper which denied him. As half time approached Albion upped the tempo and against the run of play a home corner was only half cleared and the driven follow up was headed in with a bullet header from close range. Clitheroe were still not done and Dykes executed his party trick pulling the ball back and forth before releasing Fleming whose shot was then smothered.
The travelling fans were hoping that the Blues did not try and sit back on the lead and once Clitheroe had survived a pinball scare one minute into the half, they continued to push forward. On 60 minutes, Mihill , Dean and Fleming all fired on goal in succession only for the goal somehow to elude them. Albion were still making chances, including a torpedo throwing midfielder. On 63 minutes a scuffed goal kick from Mottram was hammered back towards goal with interest and he had to be alert to tip it round the post. Dean was still proving a handful as he showed himself adept both at holding up the ball and bursting forward, and he was a constant thorn in the home team’s side. Shots continued to rain on the home goal, but it was Mottram who had to be grateful for a goal line clearance from a shot which was truck through a forest of legs with ten minutes to go.
When the whistle came, the travelling fans showed their full appreciation. The back four might have been makeshift, the front line might have been new, but the Clitheroe team showed the character and attacking flair that the fans crave.
Team: Mottram, Nangle, Carney, Bodie, Higgins, Birchall, Mihill, Dykes, Dean, Bakkor, Fleming Subs: Wedge, Hewitt, Duffield, King
Video of Simon Nangle's penalty