Clitheroe 0 - 5 Stocksbridge Park Steels
Clitheroe trounced in the FA Trophy
By Chris Musson
A little rain has to fall on any season, but this was a metaphorical monsoon which lashed Shawbridge, as the Blues turned in comfortably their worst performance of the season. Indeed, the score line could have been far worse.
With Gareth Roberts suspended, new signing Ian Rowlands came in to partner Danny Brady in a flat back four. Clitheroe actually started brightly and a gilt edged chance was presented to Dimitri Tuanzebe on 8 minutes when he found himself twenty yards from goal with only fresh air between him and the keeper. Tuanzebe tried to lay the ball off rather than charge at the target, and the moment was gone. Alarm bells should have rung two minutes later when the visitors had a goal ruled out for offside.
Steels were certainly incisive in the final third, and on 16 minutes, a harsh penalty was awarded when Tuanzebe was adjudged to have fouled a forward who was facing his own goal at the time. The spot kick was easily converted At this point, Clitheroe had their one purple patch. On 22 minutes, Brady burst down the left to the bye line and a cheeky back heel from Tuanzebe was only just blocked as it headed goalwards.
One minute later, Harry Pratt had a snap shot expertly stopped when it had goal written all over. Things then got worse for the Blues when young midfielder Kisimba Kisimba decided to weigh up his options for an age with the ball at his feet in his own half. 5 seconds and one burst later, the ball was in the back of the net. It should have been three just minutes later, when Chris Thompson hooked his goal kick, only to see the ball returned with interest after a burst forward, but again this was deemed to be offside. On 37 minutes, the Clitheroe skipper headed an Alex Newby free kick on to the post, but that ended the action for the first half.
A couple of solid chances to Brad Carroll, with a header, and a Tuanzebe run ended by a foul which earned a yellow, promised slightly more. It was a false dawn. On 53 minutes, Steels went close after the defence pleaded in vain for offside, but it only needed a further three minutes before the visiting forward watched the ball drop over his shoulder from a boot forward and he hit it on the volley into the far corner. Silence all round.
Two minutes later, it was 0-4 as the offside trap was again sprung. At this stage, Thompson was the only man standing between respectability and a cricket score. The returning James Walker had a great effort on 86 minutes as his fierce drive demanded a finger tip response. Finally, to put the tin lid on things, a central free kick was simply kicked through the wall into the net.
Another excellent crowd trooped out shell shocked. One to forget, but the gaffer will be looking for a big response at Ossett next week.
Chris Thompson, Macauley Harewood (Robbie Bromley), Ryan Cattermole, Kisimba Kisimba (James Walker), Danny Brady (c), Ian Rowlands, Joe Mitchell, Brad Carroll (Brad Knox), Harry Pratt, Alex Newby, Dimitri Tuanzebe.
Subs - James Walker, Brad Knox, Robbie Bromley. Not used - Dylan Smith, Christian Paulat-Brigg.