Solid FA Cup Performance
By Chris Musson
The Emirates FA Cup 17-18 - Preliminary Round £1925
Pickering Town 1-2 Clitheroe ( at Selby FC)
Clitheroe had the bulk of possession and progressed to the next round of the FA Cup, although not without a few stumbles on the way. This was a tale of two players, Sefton Gonzales for the visitors and the home keeper. Gonzales at times was unplayable as he regularly opened up the home defence, whilst the home keeper saved three one on ones and a penalty.
On 5 minutes, Gonzales worked his way down the left, shrugging off players before squaring the ball to Ollie Crankshaw to ease home. The lead should have been doubled on 13 minutes when Adam Bolton, making his first start in blue in a competitive fixture, crossed from the right to Gonzales who cushioned the bill and laid it off to Michael Roddy, who inexplicably fired wide.
Pickering's first chance came on 31 minutes when they opened up Clitheroe down the right and the solid shot from the cross was well saved by Chris Thompson. On 42 minutes, Clitheroe had a succession of close range chances in the box, before in extra time Gonzales flicked the ball to Bolton, who chipped the keeper only to see the ball go agonisingly over.
In the second half it was much the same story. The home team worked a good opening on 58 minutes, but one minute later Bolton opened his account after Brad Carroll freed him with a delicious chip, and the finish was clinical. Crankshaw should have scored a second four minutes later, but he dwelt on the ball too long before shooting. However, the next goal would go to the home side two minutes later when Thompson was beaten from range by a deflected volley.
One minute later, Carroll was denied a stonewall penalty as he pushed the ball past the defender, but whilst the arguments raged, the home team went to the other end and as the visitor's defence slept, a home forward had the goal gaping as he steered his header wide. Normal service was then resumed as both Crankshaw and substitute Stephen Rigby had chances, but there was still time for more action as Gonzales won a penalty as he bamboozled the home defence, only to see his penalty saved.
All in all, a solid performance in unfamiliar surroundings. The draw for the next round is now awaited with interest.
Team : Chris Thompson, Robbie Bromley, Ryan Cattermole, Ryan Ellison, Jacob Davis, Michael Roddy, Joe Mitchell, Brad Carroll (c), Sefton Gonzales, Adam Bolton (Aidan Kirby), Oliver Crankshaw (Stephen Rigby). Subs - Stephen Rigby, Aidan Kirby. Not used - Luke Holden, Kurt Willoughby.