Tue 24
Clitheroe
2
-
0
League
Workington AFC
C Russell (32'), C Lonsdale (84')
Clitheroe 2 Workington AFC 0

Clitheroe 2 Workington AFC 0

By Pete Oliver
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Brilliant Blues topple league leaders to record welcome Shawbridge win


The brilliant Blues laid their home hoodoo is style as they stopped league leaders Workington in their tracks.

Goals in either half from Charlie Russell and Cole Lonsdale gave Clitheroe only their second home win since November and first since March.

It was therefore a first Shawbridge success for manager Phil Brown since his summer appointment.

And the manner of the performance in upsetting a Workington side which had lost just once this season in opening up a clear lead at the top of the BetVictor North-West Division again underlined the progress the Blues are making under the former Lancaster City boss.

Brown’s side had averaged a point a game from their opening nine matches but hit new heights in ending a four-game winless run with a victory that should have been even more emphatic against a visiting side which ended with 10 men following the dismissal of Sam Smith.

The Blues – with Connor Gaul a constant threat – made a catalogue of chances in outplaying a Workington side which lost for only the second time this season and rarely looked like adding to the second best scoring record in the division.

Brown included new signing Oliver Wood in his starting line-up as the striker made a welcome return to Shawbridge.

And the targetman – back with the Blues after leaving to join Colne last season – played a big part in a positive start that saw Brown’s men get straight on the front foot.

Workington weren’t allowed to settle and within two minutes Jacob Gregory had a chance which he steered just wide of the target.

The winger then went close again after swapping flanks with Terry Cummings and just failing to convert at the far post.

But 10 minutes before the break the Blues forced the break-through with Wood again heavily involved.

His header down from a free-kick delivered from half way was picked up by Russell and the Clitheroe skipper showed great poise to curl a measured finish into the bottom corner with the outside of his right foot.

Gregory was then somehow denied a second when his shot hit posts before bouncing clear and in stoppage time Russell forced Alexander Mitchell into a fine save.

But the momentum remained with the Blues after the break as they continued to open up a Workington defence which had previously conceded just six league goals.

Mitchell kept out a Cummings’ header from Gregory’s cross and then only the woodwork denied Wood a ‘debut’ goal when he volleyed a superb Gaul cross against the bar.

King was finally called into action when he made a fine save to keep out a curling effort from skipper Bradley Carroll.

But the second goal the Blues needed to guarantee the points finally came six minutes from time.

Again, Workington couldn’t deal with the pace of Gaul on the break and when he was tripped by Smith, the Reds’ defender was sent off and Lonsdale doubled the punishment with a free-kick deflected into the top corner.

There was still time for one more chance for Gaul to get the goal he deserved. And although Mitchell made a fine save, the Blues had done more than enough to make it a break-through night at the Bridge.

Clitheroe: King; Jackson, Downing, Muir, Lonsdale; Gregory, O’Neil, Russell (Connelly 85), Cummings (Gray 80); Gaul, Wood (Mulgrew 75). Substitutes: Foulds, Terry.

Workington: Mitchell, Hebson, Brockbank, Wordsworth, Smith, Carroll, Symington (Clarke 56), Casson, Allison, Hubbold (Tinnlon 60), Waterson (Bowman 75). Substitutes: Maguire, Kelly.

Attendance: 301

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Match details

Match date

Tue 24, Sep 2019

Kickoff

19:45

Attendance

301

Competition

North West Division

League position

1
Workington AFC
8
Clitheroe