Clitheroe tamely exited the FA Cup with a lacklustre display at Harrogate Railway.
By Roy Fearnhead
Boss Simon Garner made one change from the team that undeservedly lost Monday's league game between the two sides with Peter Dunkerley replacing Danny Morton up front.
Harrogate were first to have a strike on goal in the 4th minute but their long range free kick sailed over the bar. Clitheroe's first effort came in the 8th minute when Danny Brady's cross from the right found Liam Hutchinson at the far post but his header fell safely into the keeper's hands. Five minutes later a Liam Hutchinson corner was headed goalwards by Sefton Gonzales only to be palmed over by the keeper. The home side drilled a shot wide of the far post in the 26th minutes before David Lynch did the same at the other end in the 37th minute.
The game was end to end but very scrappy and livened up in the 43rd minute when Clitheroe took the lead. Zach Clarke collected the ball just outside the penalty area in a central position, inked to the right and fired in a low shot which beat the keeper just inside the left hand post.
The joy was short lived as the home side equalised just a minute later, the ball being driven in from the right of the penalty area and diverted home in front of goal.
Half time - Harrogate Railway 1 Clitheroe 1
The turning point of the game came in the 3rd minute of the second half when Steve Mercer was sent off for elbowing a Harrogate striker. Just moments earlier they'd both tussled for a similar ball played out of defence but this time the assistant referee saw the use of an elbow and the Blues were down to ten men.
The home side took the lead just a minute later when a deep cross from the Harrogate left wing somehow evaded everyone and found it's way into the Clitheroe goal at the far post. Worse was to follow in the 52nd minute when Danny Brady dawdled on the ball just outside his own area, lost possession and watched helplessly as the striker rounded Matt Green to easily slot home Harrogate's third goal.
Substitutions saw Roberto Bonaminio replace Peter Dunkerley and Danny Morton replace Liam Hutchinson as Clitheroe tried to reshape. Adam Freeland was booked in the 60th minute as he stopped a home striker's advance on goal.
Seydou Bamba's pass from the left wing in the 67th minute found Sefton Gonzales in the box but his shot was blocked and the ball cleared. Soon after Harrogate drilled the ball narrowly wide as they looked more likely to increase their lead.
A further substitution saw Jack Hargreaves make his Blues debut in place of Zach Clarke.
In the 75th minute a Harrogate shot was deflected over the bar for a corner, the same happening just 30 seconds later and moments after that they drilled another effort just wide of the post.
Clitheroe's last effort in a below par performance was an 89th minute shot from distance by David Lynch which went high over the bar.
Team: Matt Green, Danny Brady, Seydou Bamba, Adam Freeland, Steve Mercer (c), David Lynch, Zach Clark (Jack Hargreaves), Danny Wilkins, Sefton Gonzales, Peter Dunkerley (Roberto Bonaminio), Liam Hutchinson (Danny Morton). Subs not used - Richard Burns, James Walker, Ryan Cattermole & Alex Palffy.