Clitheroe 2 Padiham 3
Boxing Day blues
Simon Garner tasted defeat on home turf for the first time as manager, as Padiham left Shawbridge with their exultant supporters’ voices ringing in their ears.
The visitors were a workmanlike side, but in Kieron Pickup had the most dangerous man on the pitch. Indeed, it was Pickup who set his stamp on the match right from the outset when on five minutes he sprang the offside trap, pushed the ball past the defender and slipped the ball under the onrushing keeper. Clitheroe’s first chance came on 10 minutes, when Danny Wilkins received a loose ball from a corner and forced a full length save from the Padiham keeper. However, it was Padiham who had the upper hand and on 19 minutes, a raking ball picked out former Blue Louis Mayers who forced a good save from Adam Reid. Clitheroe almost found an equaliser a few minutes later when Simon Garner just failed to connect with a loose ball when the ball was ricocheting round the Padiham box. Padiham striker, Ben Allen, was lucky to stay on the pitch when his full length challenge on Reid only earned home a yellow several minutes later. Ross Dent was brought on after half an hour to add more bite to the Clitheroe midfield and his influence was positive for the rest of the game. On 34 minutes, a slick move from Garner to Keith Wedge, saw Lloyd Dean slip the ball to debutant Kieran Lee, who dragged the ball across the face of goal. However, it was Padiham who halted the period of good Clitheroe play when Allen turned the home side inside out before drilling the ball from the right wing for defender Overson to slot home. The Clitheroe response was instant and in a move of rare quality, Lloyd Dean played a slick one two before Dent fired the ball home with great technique.
The second half was more even but it was Padiham who extended their lead on 65 minutes when a burst down the left flank saw a great cross for Mayers to head home cleanly to make it 3-1. Garner shuffled the pack to inject more energy and Danny Morton saw a 76th minute thunderbolt just flash over the bar. One minute later, Will James was bundled over on the box as he looked to connect with a corner and a penalty was awarded. Dean made no mistake from the spot. The expected cavalry charge from Clitheroe did not materialise and indeed it was Reid who made a great fingertip save in extra time.
The bulk of the impressive 380 strong crowd went home disappointed, and the team must look to find their rhythm again as they face three of the top teams in the space of eight days.
Team; Adam Reid, Keith Wedge, James Walker, Will James, Ben Cartwright, Danny Morton, Scott Byrom, Danny Wilkins, Lloyd Dean, Kieran Lee, Simon Garner Subs: Ross dent, Charlie Collinge, Tom Berwick, Adam Freeland, Ryan Parr.