Clitheroe 3 Ossett Town 2
Good form continues
Clitheroe’s upswing in form continued with a hard fought victory over a useful Ossett Town side.
In a classic game of two halves, Ossett had the lion’s share of chances in the first half whilst the second half firmly belonged to the Blues. It was actually Clitheroe who got out of the blocks quickest, when after three minutes a looping Bellew cross was headed back across the goal by Gonzales, but it bounced harmlessly off the bar. The home team’s first scare came on seven minutes, when Bellew cushioned a shot but it fell to the opposition, with Ollerenshaw being called upon to make a good save. Ossett were having plenty of joy through their pacy strikers and it was fully with the run of play when after 30 minutes, Byrom dwelled on the ball too long in midfield, was dispossessed, and Moke lifted the ball effortlessly over the keeper into an empty goal. More attacks followed and on 42 minutes, Ossett should have increased their lead when a speculative volley hit the post and Ollerenshaw saved smartly from the rebound.
Simon Garner rang the changes at half time and took off Lloyd Dean and Andy Griffiths, put himself at left back, pushed Bellew forward and gave Jason Jones a pivotal role in the middle of the park. It paid dividends almost instantaneously, when the referee awarded a penalty for handball against Ossett, and dismissed their centre back in the process. Bakkor thumped home the resultant spot kick. On 60 minutes, another penalty was awarded again for handball. On this occasion there was no red card, but the Bakkor finish was equally unequivocal. By now, the home team was turning up the heat, with Bellew working his socks off on the left flank and putting in a series of great crosses. On 63 minutes, substitute Wainwright almost made it three, when his shot on the turn was saved. Three minutes later Bakkor secured his hat-trick when a bouncing clearance fell tantalisingly between the keeper and his retreating defender, and Bakkor nodded it between the pair to walk the ball home. Shots continued to rain in on the Ossett defence and it looked like only a matter of time before the lead was increased. Even Jones got in the act, with a 25 yard piledriver just skimming the bar. Wainwright had the ball in the net after 87 minutes but it was ruled marginally offside. In the last minute of extra time, Ossett scored from 25 yards, but there was little time for more nerves.
Scott Bakkor was man of the match for his goals, but on any other day, Warren Bellew would have been given the nod for his quality on the left flank.
Team: Josh Ollerenshaw, Keith Wedge (c), Warren Bellew, Will James, Ben Cartwright, George Wysocki, Andy Griffiths, Scott Byrom, Sefton Gonzales, Scott Bakkor, Lloyd Dean Subs Aden Wainwright, Danny Smith, Ross Dent, Jason Jones, Simon Garner.