Clitheroe 1-2 Ramsbottom United 09-03-19
Despite a vastly improved performance, Clitheroe could not prevail against their high flying neighbours.
Despite kicking with the strong wind, the home side were soon on the back foot, with a Ramsbottom free kick on 8 minutes causing panic as it floated in from the right. Antoine Recizac was proving to be the pick of the home players and he was lively from the start, but it was a burst down the Ramsbottom left and a whipped in cross which caused further problems in the home defence. On 20 minutes another chance for the visitors whistled over and it was no surprise when a panicked Clitheroe clearance from the right was eased back with interest, with ex Blue Jamie Rainford picking his spot. The Clitheroe response was instantaneous, and three minutes later a superb cross field ball by Josh Gregory found the visiting defence flat footed, with Max Hazeldine lobbing the bouncing ball expertly over the keeper.
When the teams came out for the second half, Clitheroe should have taken the lead within minutes, when a whipped in free kick forced a point blank save. Against the run of play on 57 minutes, Andy Langford made an uncharacteristic error, leaving Rainford staring at goal with no defender in front of him. He picked his spot and restored the lead. Minutes later, George West was sent through on goal and his weak shot beat the keeper but was easily swept aside. Half chances fell to both sides before a huge Ramsbottom shout for a penalty was thankfully ruled out for offside, as the handball offence was blatant.
The score stayed the same when the final whistle went, and the applause for the home team at the end could not hide another blank at home.
Team : Ben Purdham, Ryan Botell, Cole Lonsdale, Michael Wilson, Andy Langford, Jay Jeffries (Andreas Bianga), Jacob Gregory (c) (Harry Blackburn), Josh Gregory, George West, Max Hazeldine, Antoine Recizac (Hyuga Tanner). Subs - Harry Blackburn, Andreas Bianga, Hyuga Tanner. Not used - Cameron Terry.