Clitheroe 3 - 2 Pontefract Colls
Shawbridge come to life!
By Chris Musson
Clitheroe booked their place in the next round of the FA Trophy with a scintillating second half display, which stood comparison with anything in the previous twelve months.
Visitors Pontefract were a compact, direct side, who used the flanks well, and kicking with a strong, swirling wind were on top in the first half. Cameron Terry saved a certain goal as early as the third minute after a sweeping diagonal pass was crossed into the area, forcing the young keeper into a point blank save.
The visitors were having the better of the early exchanges and after Terry had made another good save on 30 minutes, from the resultant corner, a striker headed home unchallenged to give Pontefract the lead. Clitheroe then had a small purple patch. Derek Ubah had a bicycle kick from a corner turned for another corner.
From this, Ubah thumped a header goalwards only for it to be headed away, before Andreas Bianga drilled a 20 yard drive narrowly over. The lead was doubled on 40 minutes, when the Pontefract centre forward feinted on the edge of the box and then drove his shot home through a forest of legs. It could have been worse four minutes later, but for a great save from Terry from the same forward.
Two changes were made for the second half, including the appearance of Antoine Recizac. Within four minutes the scores were level, with Josh Gregory providing defence splitting passes for Recizac and then Max Hazeldine to score. The volume level turned up and Recizac responded with a virtuoso display of pace and trickery.
On 56 minutes he jinked past several players before seeing his shot saved. Still Pontefract were not done and had a strong penalty shout turned down on 74 minutes. On 79 minutes, James Sloane came on and within three minutes he had his debut senior goal after a sublime Recizac through ball. And still the Blues came forward, and Recizac only just failed to register the goal of this or any other season as he ran 50 yards weaving through opponents before seeing his shot saved and Obi Anoruo just failing to pick up the pieces.
By now Shawbridge had well and truly woken up and the ovation at the end was long and deserved.
Team : Cameron Terry, Jay Jeffries (c), Stephen Rigby, Derek Ubah, Josh Snowden, Andreas Bianga, Harry Cannon-Noren (Hyuga Tanner), Josh Gregory, Obi Anoruo, Max Hazeldine (James Sloane), James Boyd (Antoine Recizac). Subs - Antoine Recizac, Hyuga Tanner, James Sloane. Not used - Macauley Harewood, Jacob Gregory.