Clitheroe 4 Burscough 2
Clitheroe win all action game
An incident packed game proved a great introduction to the Evo-Stik for Rovers starlet Jordan Preston, who was playing on loan for the Blues.
Preston showed as early as the first minute, but that was overshadowed by some muscular challenges, as the game threatened to boil over. Ross Dent was in the thick of the flying boots, but he was initially more sinned against than sinner as Burscough showed a cynical side, which reappeared throughout the game. On 6 minutes, a James Walker free kick flashed off the head of Dent, and one minute later Preston found himself in acres of space on the end of a bouncing ball and he lashed it home from an angle. Jordan Williams, back at his old club, was Burscough’s star man and Paul Horridge in Clitheroe’s goal was called upon several times to make vital saves. The timing of his saves and the choice of when to go to ground highlighted why this veteran has been such a great keeper over the years. Alex Ralph was also starting to make an impact for the home team and having driven one narrowly over the bar after 29 minutes, he and Preston combined well to sling a cross on to Oli McLean’s head after 44 minutes, but it went narrowly over. Deep into stoppage time, Clitheroe were awarded a free kick on the edge of the box. A step over by Walker saw Danny Wilkins power the ball home.
The second half belonged to Burscough for long periods, although on 48 minutes, a pinpoint cross from Simon Garner to Preston drew a point blank save. On 51 minutes, Liam Caddick rolled off Walker, ran with the ball and drilled it home. Williams was still causing problems for the home defence and on 66 minutes, Charlie Collinge was lucky he had a covering defender as he received a yellow for dropping Williams on the edge of the box. Horridge tipped the fine resultant free kick over the bar in spectacular fashion. However, from the corner, slack defending saw Eddie Toner force the ball home from close range. At this point, the home side stirred and on 79 minutes, Heap headed the ball on to Preston to set McLean free, who shrugged off his marker to leather the ball home. And then on 87 minutes, a fumble by the Burscough keeper saw Heap gather the ball and slam it home with relish, after a long absence from the game through injury.
Horridge, Morton ©, Walker, Collinge, Barrett, Nangle, Dent, Wilkins, Preston, McLean, Ralph Subs McNamara, Byrom, Heap, Percival, Garner.