Clitheroe 6-6 Sunderland RCA 25-08-18
By Chris Musson
Twelve goal thriller.
Every action has an equal and opposite reaction. And so it proved on Saturday. After a sublime first half, the second half was chaos without precedent.
Clitheroe were up for the game from the off. Obi Anoruo and Ollie Wood were quickly in the groove, with Wood just failing to get on the end of an Anoruo cross after eight minutes. On 10 minutes, skipper David Thompson received the ball on the edge of the box and he in turn released Anoruo who easily made it 1-0. On 18 minutes, the highly impressive Antoine Recizac was hacked down in the box, and Wood buried the spot kick.
The pressure was relentless and on 30 minutes, after Anoruo had missed a cross, Josh Gregory was on hand to drive it home. Sunderland had one chance on 35 minutes when a break down the right saw the forward ride a tackle but curl his shot just outside the post. The half was not done though, with Recizac embarking on a mazy 60 yard run, but as he laid the ball off for Anoruo to tap home, the pass was deemed to be a forward one.
The second half started in the same vein, with Recizac skipping down the left on 46 minutes and giving Anoruo the easiest of goals. The visitors, clearly intent on not going down without a fight, pulled one back instantly with a good old fashioned burst through the defence and pile-driver shot. On 50 minutes, Thompson lost out in a tackle and the ball squirted into the path of a forward and he scored to make it 4-2 on 50 minutes.
Any nerves were temporarily calmed when four minutes later, Wood slipped the ball to Anoruo to give him his hat-trick. The pace did not let up though. Debutant Jason Jeffries dropped an opponent in the box and the converted penalty made it 5-3. On 78 minutes, another scruffy goal made it 5-4. The game changed on 79 minutes when substitute Declan Daniels launched a two footed challenge a fraction of a second before his opponent did just the same.
He received a straight red and Thompson received a second yellow in the ensuing fracas, to leave Clitheroe with 9 men. All shape disappeared and Sunderland camped in the home half. On 90 minutes, Recizac appeared to have settled the game when he finished a wonderful break down the right, but with five minutes extra time, Clitheroe subsided to concede two further soft goals.
Team : Ed Wilczynski, Jacob Gregory, David Thompson (c), Jason Jefferies, Josh Snowden, Josh Gregory (Declan Daniels), Max Hazeldine (Harry Cannon-Noren), Andreas Bianga, Ollie Wood, Obi Anoruo (James Sloane), Antoine Recizac. Subs - Harry Cannon-Noren, Declan Daniels, James Sloane. Not used - Lee Ashforth.