Droylsden 1-0 Clitheroe 23-02-2019
Lee Ashforth rang the changes on Saturday, giving three debuts as he looked to inject more experience into the squad. All three bedded in well and played their part in an even game, which only drifted out of Clitheroe’s reach in the final minutes.
With the home team featuring three former Clitheroe players, it was always going to be an interesting affair, with Stephen Rigby and Chris Thompson performing to their usual high standards. The early play was even but probably shaded by the home side. The first clear chance came from nowhere as the home side rattled the bar with a powerful drive.
Four minutes later, another deep cross from the right was thankfully squandered by a home forward, as his header tamely went wide despite being unmarked. Clitheroe’s best chance came on 27 minutes when Andy Langford expertly sent Harry Blackburn away, and as he ran on to the bouncing ball, his volley was sliced wide. Hyuga Tanner limped off shortly afterwards after a couple of clattering challenges, but the home side should have taken the lead as the clock ticked down after a cross field ball following a Rigby run deserved better than a skied hoof.
The second half was much more even, with Langford dominating play. George West bulldozed his way through a melee of players on 62 minutes and went close with his final shot. On 70 minutes, a great burst down the Clitheroe left after neat interplay saw Jordyn Fitton advancing on goal, but instead of shooting he opted to square the ball and the attack fizzled out.
Six minutes later, Clitheroe saw another shot curl over the bar, before Sefton Gonzales missed a clear chance after the Blues’ defence had been left flat footed.
Substitute Harry Pratt then had a great chance as he shielded the ball and sent his shot wide as he swivelled. One minute later, Thompson saved brilliantly at Jay Jeffries’ feet inches from the goal line after another great piece of work from Pratt. Minutes later, the play swung to the other end and from a deep left sided cross, the Droyslden right back steered the ball home to break Clitheroe hearts.
Team : Ben Purdham, Michael Wilson, Jordyn Fitton (Jacob Gregory), Josh Snowden, Alex Low, Andy Langford, Jay Jeffries (c), Hyuga Tanner (Andreas Bianga), George West, Harry Blackburn (Harry Pratt), Antoine Recizac. Subs - Andreas Bianga, Harry Pratt, Jacob Gregory. Not used - Max Hazeldine, Cameron Terry.