Clitheroe 3-1 Mossley
By Chris Musson
Clitheroe 3 Mossley 1
Another good three points for Simon Garner’s new charges, but the game ended in slightly farcical circumstances as Mossley ended with 8 men and the home team secured six yellow cards for their trouble, despite the game being played in a good spirit throughout.
With ex Kendal striker, Sefton Gonzales, making his debut, and Scott Bakkor back from suspension, the Clitheroe front line had pace to burn and for the first 30 minutes, the home side tore at the visitors to the delight of the Shawbridge crowd. After seven minutes, Bakkor burst down the right, sent Wedge flying on the overlap and positioned himself perfectly to drive home the subsequent cross. Bakkor almost made it two three minutes later, when Dean hared down the left and fired the ball across to Bakkor who shot narrowly wide. This was exhibition football. However, Mossley had not come for the ride and they put the Clitheroe defence intermittently under pressure, with a goal line clearance and a shot ballooned over the result of their attacking endeavour. On 27 minutes, home debutant Ben Cartwright latched on to a Garner corner, which sat up perfectly for him, and he drilled it home in textbook fashion. Still the home side pressured and a Mossley defender was lucky to get away with a booking when Bakkor streaked past him down the wing and he hacked him down. Minutes later Dawber was down to save with his legs from an increasingly rare Mossley attack, but home hearts were in mouths a minute later, when Mossley had a central free kick on the edge of the box, but wasted it. On 40 minutes, Dawber failed to connect with a punch to a hanging cross and the ball was scuffed home, to make the score 2-1. However, the half was not over before the first Mossley player took the long walk after his crude hack from behind formed a perfect pair with his previous yellow for dissent and he was sent off.
Within 7 minutes of the restart Mossley were down to 9 men, when their keeper was sent off for handling outside the area. His hands were clearly by his side as he made messy contact with the ball, but the decision was made. Despite the 2 player advantage, Clitheroe could not make the extra men tell and started to lose some of their impressive shape. Equally, Mossley battled like tigers and clearly sniffed an equaliser. Home chances did come and go, but the game was over as a contest when Gonzales burst through on 89 minutes and was hacked down just outside the box. Another red was shown, and Danny Smith curled the resultant free kick into the corner.
A curious game all round, but Clitheroe always looked like they had enough in the tank to take the points, however many opposition players were on the pitch. MoM was Bakkor for his first half performance.
Team : Andrew Dawber, Keith Wedge (c), Warren Bellew (George Wysocki), Will James, Ben Cartwright, Scott Byrom, Andy Griffiths, Simon Garner, Sefton Gonzales (Lee Barrett), Scott Bakkor (Danny Smith), Lloyd Dean. Subs - George Wysocki, Danny Smith, Lee Barrett. Not used - Ross Dent, Tom Fletcher.