By Peter Ryan
By Chris Musson
Trafford 0-0 Clitheroe
(Trafford win 5-4 on Pens)
In a thoroughly entertaining game, Clitheroe finally went out of the league cup in a penalty shoot-out after Stephen Rigby’s spot kick, Clitheroe’s fifth, was well saved.
With debutant, Henry Limpitshi-Bongwanga, starting in the number nine shirt, both sides fielded strong elevens. The ball was being passed around superbly for the first 25 minutes, with no specific end product. At that point, Jacob Gregory hared down the left and his low cross was hit on the turn by Limpitshi-Bongwanga, forcing a solid save from the keeper. Chances were still confined to long distance for most of the half, albeit with seconds to go, a Trafford forward had a goal bound shot saved as it squirted on to the post.
In the second half the chances came thick and fast after a lot of early pressure, with Cameron Terry much the busier of the two keepers. On 73 minutes, Josh Snowden powered a header at point blank range into the keeper’s midriff from a corner. One minute later at the other end, Terry made a superb double save, before Antoine Recizac raced to the other end and had a very solid appeal for a penalty as he was felled on the corner of the box. Terry made two more superb saves as it only seemed like a matter of time before the hosts scored. Any yet, Clitheroe saved their best spell for the last five minutes of the game. On 85 minutes, Gregory weaved on the edge of the box before launching a ferocious shot which was narrowly tipped over the bar. One minute later, Recizac drove a great shot against the apex of the bar.
With the game ending goalless, it was straight to penalties. Trafford hit a perfect series of five before Stephen Rigby’s kick was well saved as the keeper pushed it on to the post. There was no lack of flair and ability on show despite the league cup not being top of clubs’ priorities, but Trafford probably deserved to go through on chances created.
Team : Cameron Terry, Macauley Harewood (James Boyd), Stephen Rigby, Derek Ubah, Josh Snowden, Lewis Sugden, Harry Cannon-Noren (Antoine Recizac), Andreas Bianga, Henry Limpitshi-Bongwanga, Max Hazeldine (Josh Gregory), Jacob Gregory (c). Subs - James Boyd, Antoine Recizac, Josh Gregory. Not used - James Sloane, Jay Jeffries.