By Chris Musson
In front of a 500+ crowd, Clitheroe lost their unbeaten league record to near rivals Colne in a tense, hard fought game.
Both sides successfully cancelled each other out for much of the first half, in a technical but cagey affair. As the first half progressed, it was the home team which gained the upper hand. On 35 minutes, Clitheroe had a great passing exchange on the edge of the Colne box, and when Cole Lonsdale set Owen Watkinson free, he just failed to loose off his shot. Three minutes later, Charlie Russel chanced his arm from distance, with his shot fizzing over the bar, before in the next wave of attacks, Terry Cummings had two good strikes at goal foiled in quick succession.
When the second half whistle blew, the fans had barely left the bar before the visitors took the lead. A throw in sparked a move down the Colne left, before Chippendale drove a powerful cross skimming across the pitch, which was controlled and finished by ex Blue Max Hazeldine without missing a stride. The score could have been doubled on 53 minutes, when the home defence switched off and a driven cross from the right was begging to be converted as it whistled past the goal.
Clitheroe were still in the game, though, and Cummings drilled a shot just wide on 60 minutes. Six minutes later, Jacob Gregory whipped a cross in from the right and Russell’s glancing header was powered narrowly over. The complexion of the game changed when Connor King was taken off with a facial injury after colliding with Sefton Gonzales. Danny Gray volunteered to go between the sticks, but before he had settled himself, Chippendale instantly lobbed the ball expertly over a frantically back pedalling Gray to double the lead. Clitheroe could not claw themselves back into the game but there was still time for Gray to make an excellent back pedalling save on 80 minutes.
Team: King, Gregory, Lonsdale, Stanley, Foulds, Russell ©, Cummings, Mulgrew, Watkinson, Tanner, Gaul. Subs (used): Darr, Gray, Pond. Subs (not used): Muir, Price