Farsley 4 Clitheroe 1
Away day blues
Clitheroe have never taken a point away at Farsley before, and as the game wore on, that record never looked likely to be broken. There was a changed look to the Clitheroe side with Adam Reid coming in as keeper, and with neither Lloyd Dean nor Sean Miller available, it was left to George Conway and Scott Bakkor to provide the cutting edge.
Clitheroe played down the pronounced slope in the first half, but it was Farsley who had much of the early play, with a flurry of corners in the first 10 minutes, and Clitheroe very much under the cosh. From one of these corners, the ball fell loose to a home forward, who thumped it narrowly over. The first chance for the away team came on 16 minutes, when Griffiths linked up with Conway, whose cross was met cleanly by Bakkor, but his header was put round the post for a corner. On 23 minutes, Conway latched on to a through ball, but in rounding the keeper just pushed it too far and could not catch up the ball to turn it into the net before it went out of play. However, one minute later he made amends, when a great combination down the left wing saw Walker feed the overlapping Thornton, whose cross was controlled by Conway before he slotted it calmly home. Farsley took this in their stride and on 27 minutes, only a great blocking tackle by Will James kept the home forward at bay. Two minutes later a superb cross from the Farsley left wing was met perfectly but the glancing header skimmed just wide of Reid’s post. On 27 minutes, Danny Morton lost the ball whilst in possession and seemingly under little pressure, and the Farsley finish was clinical to draw the home side level. However, it was Clitheroe who ended the half the brightest. A Thornton free kick on 41 minutes skimmed just wide, whilst Bakkor had two good runs which came to nothing, whilst a Conway cross was begging to be turned in.
Farsley started the second half with great purpose and never took their foot off the gas for the following 45 minutes. As early as the 47th minute, a cross flashed across the Clitheroe box from the left. Clitheroe made a double substitution on 55 minutes with Smith and Byrom coming on for Griffiths and Conway, but it did not have the desired effect as Farsley hit the post with the following attack. The pressure was unrelenting and four clear chances fell to the home side before it finally told when the Farsley striker picked up the ball after some pin ball and slotted home on 65 minutes. Dent came on for Garner and his energy was required to try and wrest possession from Farsley. Farsley’s third goal on 72 minutes was a soft one as a hopeful hoof from the half way line was not dealt with and the bouncing ball was stabbed home. Reid made a good save with his legs on 78 minutes after Clitheroe had helpfully cushioned the ball for their Farsley opponents, but it was no surprise when a cross from the Farsley left was met by a sliding leg to make it 4-1.
It was no disgrace to lose to a team of Farsley’s quality and it will be a surprise if they are not in the mix at the end of the season. Meanwhile, the Clitheroe side continue to learn their trade and work out their best starting eleven.
Team: Adam Reid, Keith Wedge, Darren Thornton, Will James, Danny Morton, Simon Garner, Danny Wilkins, Andy Griffiths, George Conway, Scott Bakkor, James Walker Subs: Ben Cartwright, Charlie Collinge, Ross Dent, Scott Byrom, Danny Smith.