Match Reports 2006-07

Sat 28/04/07
- Clitheroe 5 Shepshed Dynamo 0 (UniBond League) Att 250
Danny Woodhead replaced James Mann in goal and John Osborne replaced Ally Brown in defence.

Clitheroe won their final league game of the season with ease and the 60 points total equalled last seasons 16th position finish (achieved with only 53 points). They were given a great start when Chris Ward lobbed high over the advancing keeper in the 5th minute to open the scoring. This was doubled after 10 minutes when a Joel Byrom corner was deflected home in a crowded goal mouth. The Blues were well on top and the third goal arrived after 28 minutes through Ryan Fisher before Joel Byrom fired home from the edge of the box on 40 minutes to seal a comprehensive 4-0 interval lead. The second half again saw Clitheroe dominating but the fifth goal didn't arrive until the 76th minute when Ryan Fisher headed home from close range. The Shepshed keeper made some smart saves to deny the Blues further goals while other goal attempts were just off target as the season ended with Clitheroe securing a positive goal difference.

Team : Woodhead, J.Osborne, McKenna, Matthews, Anderson, Fisher, Sargeson (Reynolds), P.Osborne (Heap), Ward, Byrom, Reid (Smith). Subs - Heap, Smith, Reynolds.

Sat 21/04/07
- Stocksbridge Park Steels 4 Clitheroe 2 (UniBond League) Att 155
Ally Brown replaced the injured Anthony Daniels at right back and Paul Osborne came into midfield with Chris Ward replacing suspended Will Exton up front.

Once again the Blues played as well as their high-riding hosts but came away with nothing. A couple of uncharacteristic defensive errors after just 5 minutes and 11 minutes soon saw Clitheroe 0-2 down and having to chase the game. This they did and they were given a lifeline in the 44th minute when Chris Ward was felled in the box and he calmly slotted home the resultant penalty kick. Unfortunately Stocksbridge notched a 3rd goal just before half time to restore their two goal advantage. The second half saw Clitheroe on top for much of the half but again failing in the final third of the pitch. Lennie Reid had a freekick palmed away for a corner and soon after Stocksbridge broke clear and lobbed keeper James Mann in the 63rd minute. Chris Ward had another surge into the box in the 70th minute and this time fired home low past the keeper. The Blues created plenty of chances against a tiring home back four with Joel Byrom's burst down the left and into the box providing a simple knock-in at the far post for Ally Brown but somehow he managed to knock it over the bar. Stocksbridge had very few chances on goal but converted most of them and in the end that was the only real difference between the two sides.

Team : Mann, Brown, McKenna, Matthews, Anderson, Fisher (J.Osborne), Sargeson, P.Osborne, Ward, Byrom, Reid (Heslop). Subs - J.Osborne, Heslop, Heap. Not used - Heap.

Tue 17/04/07
- Clitheroe 1 Ossett Albion 0 (UniBond League) Att 180
Clitheroe named an unchanged starting 11 and subs bench from Saturday's win against Brigg Town.

The Blues met a quicker and more aggressive Ossett Albion side than they'd comprehensively beaten 3-1 away six weeks ago. The visitors were quick to close Clitheroe down and had their goalkeeper sent off midway through the first half when he charged out of his area and brought down Will Exton. The Blues created chances but it was a 30 yard drive from Lennie Reid on the stroke of halftime that actually forced the replacement to make a save. The second half continued with Clitheroe trying to break down a strong Ossett back four who were helped by some very late offside decisions. The visitors broke quickly when they had the ball but the final touch was missing and the Blues defence held firm. Joel Byrom forced a save from a free kick and a succession of corners put Ossett under pressure. A right wing cross was picked up outside the far post by Lennie Reid and he knocked the ball back in to Joel Byrom to open the scoring in the 81st minute. Ryan Fisher finished a run into the box with a left foot shot that struck the bar and then cleared to safety and 3 tense minutes of added time passed before the ref blew the final whistle.

Team : Mann, Daniels, McKenna, Matthews (P.Osborne), Anderson, Fisher, Sargeson (Brown), Ward, Exton (Smith), Byrom, Reid. Subs - Brown, P.Osborne, Smith.

Sat 14/04/07
- Clitheroe 3 Brigg Town 1 (UniBond League) Att 204
Anthony Daniels returned at rightback in place of Ally Brown who moved to the subs bench.

Clitheroe won this game at ease against a disappointing visiting Brigg side whose only attempt on target in the whole game came with a minute to go. The Blues started brightly and a free kick on the edge of the box after 16 minutes saw Joel Byrom open the scoring. Lennie Reid and Russ McKenna were combining well down the left flank and on 21 minutes Lennie Reid cut inside and fired home from the edge of the box. A third goal came after 25 minutes when a Craig Sargeson corner found Chris Ward free at the far post and he stroked the ball home almost in slow motion. A big score looked likely as Clitheroe continued to create chances but the interval arrived with no further goals. Brigg made a couple of changes for the second half but they still struggled to pose a threat and keeper James Mann was a virtual spectator as the majority of action took place in the Brigg half. Some wild Clitheroe finishing helped to keep the score respectable and just as a clean sheet looked inevitable the visitors somehow managed an 89th minute shot on goal from the edge of the box that sailed past James Mann.

Team : Mann, Daniels, McKenna, Matthews, Anderson, Fisher (Brown), Sargeson, Ward, Exton (P.Osborne), Byrom, Reid (Smith). Subs - Brown, P.Osborne, Smith.

Mon 09/04/07
- Shepshed Dynamo 1 Clitheroe 3 (UniBond League) Att 148
Chris Ward returned to the side and took Anthony Daniels place in midfield.

The Blues dominated this game from the start and created plenty of chances before Gregg Anderson opened the scoring in the 42nd minute with a header in a crowded goalmouth following a right wing corner. Will Exton doubled the lead in the 45th minute when he raced onto a through ball and shot home through the diving keepers hands from a tight angle. The second half continued to see Clitheroe bossing the game and the third goal after 52 minutes also came from a corner when Kris Matthews met the ball sweetly to volley home at the near post. Further chances were created before Shepshed pulled a goal back in the 69th minute and the Blues were pegged back for spells in the final 10 minutes but poor finishing by the home side didn't look like bothering the scoreline again.

Team : Mann, Brown, McKenna, Matthews, Anderson, Fisher, Sargeson, Ward (Reynolds), Exton, Byrom, Reid (Heap). Subs - Heap, Reynolds.

Fri 06/04/07
- Clitheroe 2 Buxton 2 (UniBond League) Att 443
League leaders and champions-elect Buxton were more than matched by the Blues and were fortunate to leave Shawbridge with a point. Clitheroe made the early running and a series of fouls by the visitor's centre back stopped the Blues in their tracks but only until the 20th minute. Joel Byrom whipped in a great freekick that was met by the head of Kris Matthews and he fired his header home. The lead was short lived though as Buxton equalised in the 25th minute when a long throw was headed on and diverted home at the near post. Lenny Reid then saw a well struck header cannon back off the bar and Will Exton was just unable to connect with the rebound. Both sides were reduced to 10 men as Will Exton reacted to one foul too many and Ryan Fisher had a good run and shot saved as the Blues finished the first half strongly. The second half again saw Clitheroe dominate with the league leaders surprisingly bypassing their midfield and launching high balls down the pitch. Despite the Blues being on top, it was Buxton who took the lead in the 60th minute with an own goal as a low right wing corner was sliced home in an attempted clearance. Buxton now resorted to time wasting tactics but Clitheroe kept the tempo up and Craig Sargeson had a couple of mazy runs that ended with shots saved by the keeper. With the game deep into injury time a Clitheroe corner was cleared by a Buxton defender's hand and the ref pointed to the penalty spot. Antnee Daniels calmly waited for the keeper to eventually take up his position on the line and the centre back to finish "gardening" the penalty spot before placing the ball and firmly firing it into the net. A well deserved draw then but it could so easily have been all three points and would have been equally deserved.

Team : Mann, Brown, McKenna (J.Osborne), Matthews, Anderson, Fisher, Daniels, Sargeson (Smith), Exton, Byrom, Reid (Heap). Subs - Heap, J.Osborne, Smith

Tue 03/04/07
- Rossendale United 0 Clitheroe 1 (UniBond League) Att 160
Russ McKenna returned after a lengthy absence to replace John Osborne at left back, Paul Osborne continued at centre-back in place of the delayed Kris Matthews who started on the subs bench and Ryan Fisher returned to a five-man midfield at the expense of injured striker Chris Ward.

Rossendale provided a much better pitch and less windy conditions than last Saturday's game at Harrogate and a great all round team performance was rewarded with a welcome victory. Clitheroe keeper James Mann made a good blocking save early on and the home side struck the bar with a long rangy shot but the Blues were on top for long spells of the first half and were again creating many chances. The second half saw another competent display by the Clitheroe defence and the Blues took the lead in the 68th minute when Will Exton was released on a run to the bye line and his low cross across the face of goal was struck home by Craig Sargeson. James Mann made another good blocking save and Joel Byrom fired in a rasping shot that found the side netting shortly before the full time whistle.

Team : Mann, Brown, McKenna, P.Osborne, Anderson, Fisher, Daniels, Exton, Sargeson, Byrom, Reid. Subs - Heap, Matthews, Smith. Not used - Smith

Sat 31/03/07
- Harrogate Railway 2 Clitheroe 1 (UniBond League) Att 124
James Mann replaced Danny Woodhead in goal, new signing Ally Brown started at right back allowing Anthony Daniels to replace Neil Reynolds in midfield, Paul Osborne replaced Kris Matthews at centre back allowing Lenny Reid to return to midfield, John Osborne replaced Simon Garner at left back and Craig Sargeson returned in place of Ryan Fisher. The other new signing Tristan Hendricks-Hamilton started on the subs bench.

A gusty swirling wind and a really bobbly pitch did nothing to make this game enjoyable and Clitheroe again finished on the wrong end of a narrow scoreline. The ball was difficult to control when it was in the air and it seemed no easier when it was on the ground. The game was littered with mis-controlled passes and tackles by both sides and it was no surprise that the first half ended goalless, with an Antnee Daniels effort that grazed the top of the bar being the closest either team came to a goal. The second half saw the Blues have the "advantage" of the wind and a couple of long range efforts flew the wrong side of the posts. It was increasingly looking like a game where the first goal was vital and would probably win the game and unfortunately it was Harrogate who scored it in the 55th minute just as they started to take hold of the game. Clitheroe battled the wind, pitch and Harrogate - we even ran out of available balls at one point! - and the equaliser was to come from the most unlikely source after 63 minutes. Paul Osborne fired in a wind-assisted freekick from 40 yards out wide on the right and captain Gregg Anderson rose majestically to skilfully divert the ball past the keeper for a magnificent, long awaited first goal for the club. Lenny Reid fired in a ferocious shot that whistled over the bar as they went in search of a winner but the Blues were caught out at in the 90th minute when the home side scored their second and winning goal with a low driven shot past keeper James Mann. This was yet another match where Clitheroe matched higher-placed opponents on their own ground but ultimately failed where it mattered most - putting the ball in the back of the net.

Team : Mann, Brown, J.Osborne, P.Osborne, Anderson, Daniels, Sargeson (Smith), Exton (Hendricks-Hamilton), Ward, Byrom, Reid. Subs - Hendricks-Hamilton, Smith, Reynolds. Not used - Reynolds

Tue 27/03/07
- Colwyn Bay 2 Clitheroe 1 (UniBond League) Att 279
Neil Reynolds started in place of Craig Sargeson who took a place on the subs bench.

Clitheroe failed to capitalise on a great opportunity to sneak the 3 points and start to move up the table. Bay's keeper reacted badly to Joel Garner's quickly taken freekick to levels scores on the stroke of halftime and was only stopped by his teammates from confronting the referee on the pitch. However, he threw his water bottle at the official on the walk down the tunnel and was promptly sent off. Bay subbed a dangerous winger for the start of the second half and if the Blues could repeat their first half showing then a win was definitely on the cards. Colwyn Bay took a 10th minute lead from a free header at a corner and Joel Garner equalised with his central 20 yard freekick on 45 minutes. A disappointing second half display failed to create a single direct shot on the makeshift keeper and the deep crosses into the box were repeatedly cleared by the home defence back to where they came from. The home side scored in the 82nd minute when another corner dropped at the feet of one of their players and he spun to smash the ball home.

Team : Woodhead, Daniels, Garner (J.Osborne), Matthews, Anderson, Fisher, Reynolds, P.Osborne (Heslop), Ward, Byrom, Exton (Sargeson). Subs - Heslop, Sargeson, J.Osborne.

Sat 24/03/07
- Clitheroe 3 Belper Town 2 (UniBond League) Att 240
Danny Woodhead replaced James Mann in goals and Chris Ward returned in place of Darwen-bound Jason Jones.

Clitheroe made a dream start when a left wing free kick was deftly helped home from close range by Chris Ward after just 2 minutes. The joy was shortlived as in the 3rd minute Belper equalised when keeper Danny Woodhead was lobbed from the edge of the box and although Gregg Anderson rushed back to head the ball clear it struck the bar and the rebound was forced home. The visitors then took the lead in the 13th minute with a hard driven shot through a crowded goal mouth. Will Exton was hauled down as he sped past his marker in the penalty area and Chris Ward fired home the 21st minute spot kick to level the scores again. Joel Byrom struck the bar with a free kick but the Blues had to settle for a 2-2 halftime scoreline. Clitheroe took the game to Belper after the interval and Joel Byrom had a good effort from a Craig Sargeson cross well saved by the visiting keeper. Will Exton worked hard again and played his part in Clitheroe taking the lead in the 63rd minute. His challenge for a ball led to Ryan Fisher running clear on goal with just the keeper to beat and he coolly slotted the ball home. A tense final few minutes saw Belper waste a central freekick but they had time for one final effort which saw the ball squirm across the packed goal area and luckily it was a Blues boot that connected to clear the danger and give Clitheroe a valuable 3 points which closes the gap on Belper to 2 points with 2 games in hand on them.

Team : Woodhead, Daniels, Garner, Matthews, Anderson (Reynolds), Fisher, Sargeson, P.Osborne, Ward (Heslop), Byrom, Exton. Subs - Heslop, Reynolds, J.Osborne (not used).

Tue 20/03/07
- Cammell Laird 2 Clitheroe 0 (UniBond League) Att 118
Simon Garner returned to defence in place of Chris Heslop, Will Exton replaced the injured Chris Ward up front and Paul Osborne replaced his brother John in midfield. Lennie Reid started on the subs bench.

Clitheroe were once again more than a match for much higher placed rivals but once again came away with nothing to show for it. The Blues had plenty of the ball and created many openings but it was the swift attacking home side who opened the scoring with a penalty in the 10th minute. Craig Sargeson saw a fine header tipped over by the keeper and Will Exton was inches away from connecting with a low right wing cross from Craig Sargeson. The second half again saw Clitheroe create chances without putting them away and Cammell Laird doubled their lead in the 80th minute with another penalty. They also had a header that struck the bar but a 2-0 scoreline was not reflective of the play on the night and it was only 2 penalties that put Cammell Laird on top at the final whistle.

Team : Mann, Daniels, Garner, Matthews, Anderson, Fisher, Sargeson (Heslop), Jones, Exton, Byrom, P.Osborne (Reid). Subs - Reid, Heslop, Reynolds (not used).

Sat 17/03/07
- Eastwood Town 2 Clitheroe 1 (UniBond League) Att 169
Simon Garner was injured before kickoff and was replaced by Chris Heslop. Will Exton and new signing Paul Osborne started on the subs bench.

A swirling wind throughout the game made things difficult for both sides. The Blues created some early chances with Joel Byrom forcing a save from the Eastwood keeper with a right foot shot from 15 yards. The home side took the lead in the 28th minute with a low shot from the edge of the box in a rare foray forward. Clitheroe continued to create chances but without finishing them and the first half ended 1-0 to Eastwood. Blues keeper James Mann made a smart save very early in the second half but from then on it was Clitheroe who again started to dictate play. Striker Will Exton replaced fullback Chris Heslop and eventually the equaliser came in the 82nd minute when Ryan Fisher's deceptive strike from 10 yards found its way home. A draw was the least the Blues deserved and they went looking for winner right till the end. Unfortunately it was Eastwood who nicked the points when a deep freekick in the 88th minute was missed by James Mann as he came to punch the ball and as the swirling ball came down it was an Eastwood player who got his head to the ball to nod home into an empty net. The Blues didn't give up and almost grabbed another equaliser right on the final whistle when new player Paul Osborne's blistering drive from 25 yards flew through a crowded penalty area before crashing against the post and bouncing clear to safety.

Team : Mann, Daniels, Heslop (Exton), Matthews, Anderson, Fisher, Sargeson, Jones, Ward, Byrom, J.Osborne (P.Osborne). Subs - Exton, P.Osborne, Reynolds (not used).

Tue 13/03/07
- Warrington Town 1 Clitheroe 1 (UniBond League) Att 104
Chris Ward and John Osborne replaced the injured Will Exton and Lennie Reid in the starting line up and Chris Heslop started on the subs bench.

While Clitheroe controlled much of this game, actual ball control on a poor surface was difficult and attractive passing football from either side was at a premium. The Blues created the better chances in the first half and went in at halftime leading thanks to a Craig Sargeson header from a Simon Garner free kick in the 44th minute. The second half saw much of the same - the ball fired quickly forward and Clitheroe had many decent chances to make the game safe before Warrington equalised in the 90th minute. Ant Daniels was subsituted following an early calf injury and later went to hospital with a blood clot - accompanied by Peter Smith who was himself subbed after receiving a deep gash down to the bone in a "tackle" and Kris Matthews who had a suspected broken jaw after an off-the-ball incident that saw both players booked.

Team : Mann, Daniels (Smith (Reynolds)), Garner, Matthews, Anderson, Fisher, Sargeson, Jones, Ward (Heslop), Byrom, Osborne. Subs - Reynolds, Smith, Heslop.

Sat 10/03/07
- Clitheroe 5 Kidsgrove Athletic 1 (UniBond League) Att 268
Craig Sargeson returned to midfield to replace Peter Smith and Chris Ward started on the subs bench on his return from injury.

The Blues continued to play decent football and took a 15th minute lead when Joel Byrom brilliantly returned a clearance back over the stranded Kidsgove keeper. The visitors equalised in the 42nd minute when the league's leading scorer Michael Lennon flashed home a header for his 39th goal of the season. The Blues took a slender half time advantage when Chris Ward drove home a loose ball from close range following a corner in the 43rd minute. The second half was totally dominated by Clitheroe the third goal came in the 58th minute when the ball was squared to Ryan Fisher and he fired home a piledriver from 20 yards. A superb through ball in the 75th minute released Joel Byrom free on goal and he stroked the ball home from just inside the penalty box. A misunderstanding in the Kidsgrove defence saw a defender head the ball over the outcoming keeper and Joel Byrom was presented with an easy knock-in to complete a deserved hat-trick in the 80th minute. Clitheroe were dominant in all areas and created many other chances that could have seen them adding to the goals tally.

Team : Mann, Daniels, Garner, Matthews, Anderson, Fisher, Sargeson (Reynolds), Jones, Exton (Ward), Byrom, Reid (Smith). Subs - Reynolds, Smith, Ward.

Sat 03/03/07
- Ossett Albion 1 Clitheroe 3 (UniBond League) Att 122
Anthony Daniels replaced John Osborne at right back, Kris Matthews returned from injury at centre back with Simon Garner reverted to left back replacing John Kennedy, Peter Smith started in place of Craig Sargeson, Jason Jones came back into midfield and new striker Sam Heap was on the subs bench.

The Blues were soon on top in this game and took a 17th minute lead when Lennie Reid squared the ball in the 6 yard box for Ryan Fisher to slot home. Clitheroe continued to dominate and increased the lead in the 35th minute when Lennie Reid ran on to a fine through ball and lobbed the advancing keeper from the edge of the box. The home side rarely threatened in the first half and the Blues took a comfortable 2-0 interval lead. The second half again saw the Blues dominating and creating chances almost at ease - even Gregg Anderson had an 80yard box to box run as he looked to get on the scoresheet. A third goal always looked likely and it came in the 79th minute when Will Exton caused panic in the Ossett defence and Joel Byrom tapped home from close range in a crowded goalmouth. Further chances fell to Will Exton, Jason Jones, Ryan Fisher and Dave Dempsey as Clitheroe ended the match well on top. A clean sheet also looked likely until Ossett scored with practically the last kick of the game, the ref blowing for fulltime as the Blues restarted the game.

Team : Mann, Daniels, Garner, Matthews, Anderson, Fisher, Smith (Dempsey), Jones, Exton (Heap), Byrom, Reid. Subs - Reynolds, Dempsey, Heap.

Tue 27/02/07
- Clitheroe 1 Colwyn Bay 2 (UniBond League) Att 163
Injured Kris Matthews was replaced at centre back by Simon Garner with John Kennedy returning at left back. Anthony Daniels replaced Jason Jones in midfield while Neil Reynolds started on the subs bench.

Clitheroe opened brightly but were matched by their visitors who looked especially dangerous on the break and Harrogate took the lead in the 22nd minute following a swift counter-attack. They doubled the lead in the 23rd minute with another clinical finish and for the second successive game the Blues were two goals down despite arguably being on top. Neil Reynolds replaced the out of sorts John Kennedy and a defensive reshuffle tightened up things at the back. Clitheroe fought their way back and reduced the arrears in the 45th minute when Ryan Fisher volleyed home from close range. The second half saw the Blues laying seige to the Harrogate goal and the visitors were reduced to 10 men after Will Exton was hauled down as he raced clear. Lennie Reid fired the resulting freekick just wide of the post before making way for Peter Smith who was soon causing problems down the right wing. Gregg Anderson had a shot from the edge of the box well saved and some crowded defending from the 10 men thwarted many Blues attacks. Dave Dempsey fired in a terrific 20 yard shot that was heading for the top corner before another fine save by the keeper tipped it over the bar as Harrogate hung on for their slender victory.

Team : Mann, Osborne (Dempsey), Kennedy (Reynolds), Garner, Anderson, Fisher, Sargeson, Daniels, Exton, Byrom, Reid (Smith). Subs - Reynolds, Dempsey, Smith.

Sat 24/02/07
- Clitheroe 1 Colwyn Bay 3 (UniBond League) Att 295
Clitheroe named an unchanged lineup and bench from the 5-1 victory over Warrington Town.

The Blues played some superb football in the opening half hour and were ahead thanks to a 15th minute goal from Joel Byrom who flicked a cross up and acrobatically fired home from 15 yards, a real Goal of the Season contender. However, within 10 minutes they somehow found themselves 1-3 down as Colwyn Bay's clinical finishing gave them the interval lead. The visitors equalised in the 30th minute when a deep freekick into the box was volleyed home and they took the lead in the 39th minute from the penalty spot, increasing the lead just a minute later with another smart finish. Clitheroe dominated the second half and Joel Byrom forced a point-blank save from the Bay keeper before Will Exton's glancing header was palmed over by the keeper at full stretch. This was a very entertaining match and co-managers Neil Reynolds and Peter Smith are moulding together a team to be reckoned with.

Team : Mann, Osborne, Garner, Matthews (Daniels), Anderson, Fisher, Sargeson, Jones (Smith), Exton , Byrom, Reid (Dempsey). Subs - Daniels, Dempsey, Smith.

Sat 10/02/07
- Clitheroe 5 Warrington Town 1 (UniBond League) Att 229
Will Exton returned as striker in place of the suspended Chris Ward and Lennie Reid started in midfield in place of John Kennedy. Dave Dempsey and Peter Smith started alongside Ant Daniels on the subs bench.

The Blues took a 32nd minute lead when Lennie Reid's fierce shot from the edge of the box struck the post and deflected off the keeper into the path of Joel Byrom who followed up to slam the ball home. Warrington equalised in the 37th minute from the penalty spot and halftime arrived with the scores 1-1. Clitheroe stepped up a gear in the second half and regained the lead in the 60th minute. Will Exton was put through the middle only to be foiled on the edge of the box by the keeper but Joel Byrom was on hand again to make space and coolly roll the ball home from 18 yards. Three goals in the last ten minutes sealed a very good performance and Craig Sargeson crossed low from the right for David Dempsey to knock home from close range in the 80th minute. The fourth goal came after 82 minutes when Jason Jones deftly headed backwards over the keeper from a right wing Ant Daniels cross. A superb through ball by Joel Byrom in injury time released Craig Sargeson and he composed himself before slotting home to give the game an emphatic and deserved scoreline.

Team : Mann, Osborne (Daniels), Garner, Matthews, Anderson, Fisher, Sargeson, Jones, Exton (Dempsey), Byrom, Reid (Smith). Subs - Daniels, Dempsey, Smith.

Sat 03/02/07
- Clitheroe 1 Alsager Town 0 (UniBond League) Att 233
Kris Matthews returned to the centre of defence alongside Gregg Anderson and Simon Garner started on the left of midfield in place of Lennie Reid who started on the bench.

The match was played in foggy conditions and Clitheroe lost striker Chris Ward midway through the first half following a collision with the Alsager goalkeeper. Substitute Will Exton gave the visitors' defence plenty to think about but the first half ended goalless. The Blues took the lead in the 53rd minute when Gregg Anderson's header finally looked to be giving him his first goal for the club but Ryan Fisher made sure the ball crossed the line. Joel Byrom fired in a few stinging shots before Antney Daniels forced a low save after a great surge forward. The Blues defence held firm to record a welcome clean sheet and with it a second successive home win for Clitheroe.

Team : Mann, Osborne, Garner, Matthews, Anderson, Fisher, Sargeson (Daniels), Jones, Ward (Exton), Byrom, Kennedy (Reid). Subs - Daniels, Reid, Exton.

Sat 27/01/07
- Skelmersdale United 2 Clitheroe 2 (UniBond League) Att 285
On loan keeper James Mann started in place of Danny Woodhead, John Osborne replaced Jason Jones at right back who replaced Russ McKenna in midfield. John Kennedy replaced Owen Roberts at left back and Craig Sargeson came into midfield. Chris Ward came back up front and Will Exton started on the bench alongside Kris Matthews and Ant Daniels.

The Blues started strongly and dominated the early stages. Joel Byrom had a tricky 40 yard freekick well saved and several other chances were created but not converted. Clitheroe were awarded a penalty but Chris Ward's fierce shot struck the bar and bounced to safety and the first half ended goalless. The Blues started the second half well enough but fell behind after 55 minutes when a low freekick was diverted home inside the near post. Skem doubled their lead after 63 minutes but Clitheroe fought back and substitute Will Exton followed up his saved first attempt to prod the ball home in the 74th minute. The equaliser came in the 84th minute when Will Exton again got the better of the home defence and lobbed the oncoming keeper. John Osborne saw a superb 30 yard strike over a crowded penalty area hit the crossbar and Joel Byrom saw his follow-up effort well saved. This was another good display from a side with many positional changes and a point was just reward for their efforts.

Team : Mann, Osborne, Jones (Matthews), Garner, Anderson, Fisher, Sargeson, Byrom, Ward, Reid (Daniels), Kennedy (Exton). Subs - Daniels, Matthews, Exton.

Sat 20/01/07
- Brigg Town 1 Clitheroe 0 (UniBond League) Att 160
Jason Jones started in an unfamiliar rightback position, Owen Roberts returned at leftback and new signings Lennie Reid and Joel Byrom started on the right wing and centre midfield respectively. John Kennedy started in attack in place of a flu-stricken Chris Ward. Ant Daniels returned from suspension but suffered a pre-match injury.

The game was played in a swirling wind which restricted the goalscoring chances of both teams. Brigg had a couple of close range headers that went straight into keeper Danny Woodhead's hands while the Blues struggled to make use of the wind to force the home keeper into any saves of note before the interval. The second half saw Clitheroe playing into the wind and when the ball was brought under control then they put Brigg under quite a bit of pressure and looked the more likely team to score. However, when possession was lost then the defence was tested and they coped well, assisted by the wind running many passes out of play. Lennie Reid had a great run inside and struck the ball well from just outside the penalty area but his dipping shot struck the top of the bar and went over. A 0-0 draw was looking a likely result but in the 88th minute a long clearance found it's way through to the Brigg sub who ran on and made no mistake from 15 yards to give the home team a fortunate win.

Team : Woodhead, Jones, Roberts, Garner, Anderson, Fisher, Reid, McKenna (Sargeson), Byrom, Exton (Smith), Kennedy. Subs - J.Osborne, Smith, Sargeson. (not used - J.Osborne)

Sat 13/01/07
- Clitheroe 3 Woodley Sports1 (UniBond League) Att 169
Danny Woodhead replaced Martin Fearon in goal, John Kennedy made his debut in defence in place of the suspended Ant Daniels, Neil Reynolds returned to midfield and Craig Sargeson returned from holiday to a seat on the bench.

The Blues took a 15th minute lead when Ryan Fisher glanced home a close range header following a corner. Woodley Sports equalised after 20 minutes with a stunning strike from outside the box that gave keeper Danny Woodhead no chance at all. Sub Craig Sargeson started the second half in place of Neil Reynolds and when an Owen Roberts centre found him free inside the area on 54 minutes he calmly slotted home to give Clitheroe the lead again. Woodley had a good spell on top but the Blues defended resolutely and were rewarded when Ryan Fisher drove home from just outside the box in time added on to give the new management duo their first win.

Team : Woodhead, Osborne, McKenna (Smith), Garner, Anderson, Fisher, Jones, Reynolds (Sargeson), Ward, Exton, Kennedy (Roberts). Subs - Roberts, Smith, Sargeson.

Sat 06/01/07
- Clitheroe 1 Bradford PA 3 (UniBond League) Att 307
Martin Fearon replaced Paul Horridge in goal, Russ McKenna made his debut in defence, Ryan Fisher made his debut in midfield and Chris Ward made his debut in attack partnering a returning Will Exton after injury.

The scoreline flattered the visitors who had to weather plenty of pressure from the Blues and took their chances when it mattered. Clitheroe started strongly but fell behind to a superb opening goal after 30 minutes for the visitors. They doubled the lead in the 32nd minute to give a very distorted halftime scoreline. The Blues dominated the second half even more but when they found a way past the competent Bradford back line they were thwarted by a keeper who made a string of fine saves. Bradford made the game safe after 85 minutes with a superb 25 yard free kick from Neil Redfern before debutant striker Chris Ward notched a consolation from the penalty spot after 87 minutes.

Team : Fearon, Daniels, McKenna, Garner, Anderson, Fisher, Osborne, Avery (Smith), Ward, Exton, Heslop (Roberts). Subs - Roberts, Smith, Reynolds.

Sat 26/12/06
- Clitheroe 0 Rossendale United 2 (UniBond League) Att 262
Jamie Nay returned after suspension, Chris Heslop was given his first start, Tom Benfield returned alongside Gregg Anderson and John Osborne was pushed up front as a striker.

Another much changed starting lineup matched the opposition apart from where it mattered most - in the final third of the pitch. The visitors started brightly and took a 7th minute minute when an outstretched leg poked the ball past keeper Paul Horridge as he left his line to collect the ball. Neil Reynolds hit a speculative lob that hit the top of the bar but apart from that the Rossendale keeper wasn't troubled in a dour first half. The Blues spent plenty of time in the second half in the visitors half of the pitch but struggled to find a way past a confident Rossendale back line. Their keeper was again given too little to do and a series of frustrating bookings and niggling fouls ended with the visitors superbly firing home a 25 yard free kick in the 85th minute to seal the points.

Team : Horridge, Nay, Heslop (Avery), Benfield, Anderson, C.Howarth (Smith), Daniels, Reynolds, Osborne, M.Howarth (Bowker), Roberts. Subs - Smith, Bowker, Avery.

Sat 23/12/06
- Wakefield 2 Clitheroe 0 (UniBond League) Att 83
New faces John Osborne, Chris Howarth and Mick Howarth started the game along with a returning Ryan Parr and first start for new boss Neil Reynolds.

A much changed lineup to cover for suspensions put in a workmanlike display and with a bit of luck could have nicked the points. The opening goal always looked likely to decide this match and both goalkeepers made vital saves to keep the interval scoreline goalless, with Neil Reynold's 25 yard drive being the pick of the Blues first half chances. Clitheroe started the second half stronger and Gregg Anderson almost opened his goalscoring account but his stretched leg pushed the ball agonisingly over the bar. Wakefield then had a good spell on top and took the lead in the 65th minute with a 15 yard low drive to the left of keeper Paul Horridge. Substitute Chris Heslop had a great chance to equalise when he got his head to a wicked Neil Reynolds freekick but his header flashed back across the face of goal and out for a goalkick at the far post. The game was made safe for Wakefield when they scored their second goal after 82 minutes, forcing the ball home at the near post following a corner. Paul Horridge made a smart save just on the final whistle to deny them a third goal which would have given a completely wrong indication of the closeness of this game. The difference was that the home side put away a couple of their chances while the Blues luck in front of goal again failed to make an appearance.

Team : Horridge, Osborne, Roberts, Parr, Anderson, C.Howarth (Benfield), Daniels, Reynolds, Bowker (Heslop), M.Howarth (Smith), Johnson. Subs - Smith, Heslop, Benfield.

Sat 16/12/06
- Clitheroe 1 Goole 2 (UniBond League) Att 172
Ross Bain started as part of a back three, Darrell Avery started in midfield and new signing Gary Bowker started alongside James Dean up front.

This was another home match that could have gone either way but unfortunately went the way of the visitors. A quiet first half was livened up in the 31st minute when Ross Bain headed home from a corner, something the Blues fans have not seen for close on 2 seasons! Clitheroe missed a great opportunity to double the lead when James Dean twisted to follow up a blocked shot but his effort went over the bar. Goole made the most of this and equalised with a good run and shot after 40 minutes. The second half was an improvement but still too many final balls were not reaching their target and the visitors capitalised on this by taking the lead in the 79th minute. A corner was played beyond the back post, was headed back in and a further 2 headers saw it in the back of the Clitheroe net. The Blues continued to attack though and James Dean fired an acrobatic shot from 6 yards over the bar as the Goole defence appealed for offside. The Blues chased a late equaliser and the visitors struck the post with a low drive just before ref blew the final whistle.

Team : Horridge, Nay, Roberts, Benfield, Anderson, Bain (Smith), Avery, Daniels, Dean, Bowker (Luisi), Garner. Subs - Luisi, Smith. Not used : Johnson.

Sat 09/12/06
- Clitheroe 1 Bamber Bridge 2 (UniBond League) Att 236
Owen Roberts missed the game through suspension and Steve Hussey has moved on to Marine. Ex-reserves Tom Benfield and Tom Bartlett made the starting line-up.

The Blues first half display was generally poor with too many passes going astray and no serious threat created in front of goal. Bamber Bridge were little better but did score after 31 minutes to take the half time lead. Clitheroe were much improved in the second half and James Dean should have scored but powered his shot over from close range. The equaliser came after 60 minutes when Jason Jones picked up a loose ball on the edge of the visitors penalty area and turned to lay the ball back for Darrell Avery to drive home low from 25 yards though a crowded box, the ball going in off the far post. The Blues were well on top and looked the more likely to score again but some desperate and crude tackling kept them at bay. Striker James Dean received a second yellow card to be sent off and Bamber Bridge worked their way back into the game. They were gifted the winning goal on 80 minutes when a sloppy back pass was picked up and slotted under the advancing Paul Horridge.

Team : Horridge, Nay, Garner, Benfield, Anderson, Jones, Sargeson, Daniels, Dean, Bartlett (Johnson), Dempsey (Avery). Subs - Johnson, Avery. Not used : Bain.

Tue 05/12/06
- Marine 2 Clitheroe 0 (Lancs Cup) Att 97
Jamie Nay returned at rightback and Anthony Daniels moved into midfield. Darrell Avery made way for Ian Johnson to return.

Clitheroe gave a good performance against a strong Marine team and defeat now leaves the Blues free to concentrate on improving the league position. A strong headwind in the first half caused both sides problems with many final balls running away from the Clitheroe forwards. James Dean created an opening that he drove wide while keeper Paul Horridge made a fine instinctive save to keep the half time score goalless. The breakthrough came after 55 minutes when a free header at the back post from a corner gave Marine the lead. The Blues continued to move forward in search of goals but fell further behind on 73 minutes when a good run and shot beat Paul Horridge. Gregg Anderson headed over from a Clitheroe corner while at the back Simon Garner sniffed out any chance of ex-Blue Tony Evans getting on the scoresheet.

Team : Horridge, Nay, Roberts, Jones, Anderson, Garner, Daniels, Hussey, Dean, Johnson (Dempsey), Sargeson. Subs - Dempsey. Not used : Avery, Reynolds.

Sat 02/12/06
- Bridlington Town 2 Clitheroe 2 (UniBond League Cup) Att 135
Anthony Daniels replaced Jamie Nay at rightback, Simon Garner replaced Ross Bain at centreback while Jason Jones and Darrell Avery started in midfield. New signing Neil Reynolds started on the subs bench.

The Blues returned to league action and were given a dream start when David Dempsey opened the scoring after just 4 minutes with a looping shot from the edge of the box. The defence coped easily with anything Bridlington could muster and the lead was doubled after 30 minutes when Owen Roberts fired a 22yard free kick through the wall and into the net. The home side fired a rare shot against the Clitheroe cross bar but the Blues held a comfortable 2-0 interval lead. Bridlington threatened more after the break but the Blues continued to control the game and looked on course for a welcome victory. However, the referee awarded a penalty for an infringement only he saw and the home side slotted home the spotkick after 82 minutes. He then awarded Bridlington an 88th minute freekick in another strange decision and they fired it home with a deflection to level the final scores at 2-2.

Team : Horridge, Daniels, Roberts, Jones, Anderson, Garner, Avery, Hussey, Dean, Sargeson (Nay), Dempsey (Bain). Subs - Bain, Nay. Not used : Reynolds.

Tue 27/11/06
- Witton Albion 8 Clitheroe 1 (UniBond League Cup) Att 135
Jeff Underwood has left Shawbridge following Chris Stammers' shock resignation. Jamie Nay returned at right back while Steve Hussey and Dave Dempsey replaced Jason Jones and Darrell Avery in midfield.

The Blues were again given a lesson in swift approach play followed by clinical finishing by a decent team from a higher division. Clitheroe had as much of the ball as their hosts and spent plenty of time in Witton's half but its goals that win and lose matches. Witton only really had 3 chances in the first half but put them away smartly after 3, 18 and 26 minutes before a penalty on 32 minutes gave a similar 4-0 interval scoreline to last Saturday at Kettering. Witton were not as good as them but further goals after 47, 53 and 56 minutes made it 7-0 and double figures again looked on the horizon. By now the Blues were actually having a good spell of continued pressure but fell further behind on 73 minutes before grabbing their consolation in the 78th minute. Simon Garner played a superb pass through the middle for James Dean to run on to and fire home past the keeper. Confidence will be low after these two heavy defeats and a return to UniBond League action at Bridlington on Saturday will be welcomed by the team.

Team : Horridge, Nay (Jones), Garner, Daniels, Anderson, Bain, Roberts, Hussey, Dean, Sargeson, Dempsey (Avery). Subs - Jones, Avery.

Sat 25/11/06
- Kettering Town 10 Clitheroe 1 (FA Trophy) Att 761
Jeff Underwood, Owen Roberts and Jason Jones returned to the starting eleven after being rested midweek, James Dean returned after suspension while Steve Hussey was cup-tied.

Clitheroe were soundly thrashed in this encounter with the favourites for promotion from Conference North but any visiting side would have struggled against a young Kettering side who returned to form in scintillating style. Their approach play had both pace and precision and the Blues just weren't allowed near the ball. The first goal arrived after just 7 minutes when a sprint down the left saw the ball crossed and poked home at the far post. The 2nd was volleyed home superbly after 15 minutes and further strikes after 25 and 39 minutes gave an interval scoreline that reflected their dominance. The second half saw them continue on top and goals after 57, 61, and 65 minutes gave them a convincing 7-0 lead before Owen Roberts was sent off in the 75th minute for committing a last-man foul in the penalty area. The resultant penalty was duly fired home and the 9th was coolly slotted home in the 80th minute. The Blues never stopped trying throughout and scored a consolation goal in the 88th minute. The home defence had been immaculate all afternoon but two defenders clashed when going for the same ball and this allowed James Dean to run on to the loose ball and fire home a blistering shot from 16 yards. There was just enough time for a superb individual goal to take Kettering into double figures before the ref blew for full time. Clitheroe were unlucky to have been the team to visit Rockingham Road on Saturday 25th November and were dealt a thrashing that many a team would surely have been handed.

Team : Horridge, Underwood (Nay), Roberts, Daniels, Anderson, Bain, Jones (Johnson), Avery (Fulton), Dean, Sargeson, Garner. Subs - Nay, Fulton, Johnson. Not used : Dempsey, Fearon.

Tue 21/11/06
- Clitheroe 4 Chorley (Lancs Cup) Att 117
Will Exton was missing following the car accident and Kris Matthews and Sean Nightingale were injured. Gregg Anderson, Ross Bain and Jamie Nay returned to the defence. Owen Roberts, Jeff Underwood and Jason Jones were rested on the bench and Ian Johnson, Darrell Avery and Dave Dempsey were given starts.

Clitheroe were simply too good for a poor Chorley side and a goal after 23 minutes from Craig Sargeson gave the Blues the lead. Simon Garner crossed superbly and for the second game running Sarge scored with his head. The second half continued with Clitheroe on top and the lead was increased after 50 minutes when Dave Dempsey drove in a low shot as he cut in from the right wing. After 60 minutes Craig Sargeson released Anthony Daniels on a sprint into the box and he finished with a blistering drive that gave the keeper no chance at the near post. The scoring was rounded off in the 89th minute when a one-two between Craig Sargeson and Steve Hussey saw the latter drive the ball home across the Chorley keeper to seal a very good team performance and a visit to UniBond Premier League side Marine in the next round.

Team : Horridge, Nay, Garner (Roberts), Daniels (Underwood), Anderson, Bain, Avery (Jones), Hussey, Sargeson, Johnson, Dempsey. Subs - Roberts, Underwood, Jones.

Sat 18/11/06
- Belper Town 0 Clitheroe 3 (UniBond League) Att 146
Gregg Anderson was involved in an accident on the way and missed the team coach and Jamie Nay still has a slight injury. Ross Bain felt unwell immediately before kickoff and so Sean Nightingale was promoted from the bench to make his full debut.

Clitheroe had to make some early positional changes as Kris Matthews was lost to injury and were forced into more when Sean Nightingale was also lost to injury. Belper were not able to take advantage of the changes and soon it was the Blues who were dictating play. The opening goal came after 30 minutes when Darrell Avery ran on to a through ball and moved into the area before driving home low across the keeper from an angle. Jason Jones forced the home keeper into a fine save before Clitheroe doubled the lead on 45 minutes. Will Exton raced clear of the offside trap and slotted the ball past the onrushing keeper to cap a fine first half display. Blues keeper Paul Horridge was rarely troubled throughout the game and Clitheroe continue to look for a third goal. It came after 73 minutes when Will Exton was unlucky to see his header come back off the bar but Craig Sargeson was in the right place and he followed in to head the ball home from 6 yards unchallenged. Belper had a couple of late chances that went wide or easily dealt with by the defence to record a welcome clean sheet along with the three points.

Team : Horridge, Underwood, Roberts, Daniels, Nightingale (Johnson), Matthews (Avery), Jones, Hussey, Sargeson, Exton, Garner. Subs - Avery, Johnson. Not used - Bain.

Sat 11/11/06
- Gresley Rovers 1 Clitheroe 0 (UniBond League) Att 203
Steve Hussey returned to midfield in place of the suspended Jason Jones while Ian Johnson came in for Simon Garner who rested a slight injury on the bench. New signing Sean Nightingale also started on the bench.

This was another game where Clitheroe failed to convert dominance into goals and were made to suffer in the second half. The Blues started brightly and were on top of the struggling hosts for much of the first half but again faltered in the final third against as tall a centre back pairing as you'll see. The swirling wind didn't help and it was Gresley who managed to get more goal attempts in but they were well wide of target. Gresley were a diferent team after the break and were on top right from the second half kick off. They coped with the wind better and continued to create chances without putting them away but they took the lead in the 59th minute when a freekick was glanced in over the despairing Paul Horridge as he came to collect the ball. Will Exton then chested down a superb pass from Simon Garner but shot weakly at the keeper as the Blues created their best chance of the game. Gresley resorted to timewasting tactics in a cup-final-winning effort to get the 3 points, with the keeper more than taking his time with goalkicks and balls being lauched well out of the ground when a simple tap in to touch would do. New balls were not brought in to play as quickly as the Clitheroe bench would have liked and after frustration spilled into scuffles, assistant Ash Berry was sent to the dressing room by the ref. A couple of very late corners gave the Blues some hope but sub Sean Nightingale was unlucky to see his headers saved and go just over the bar.

Team : Horridge, Underwood, Roberts, Daniels (Nightingale), Anderson, Matthews, Hussey, Avery (Garner), Sargeson, Exton, Johnson. Subs - Garner, Nightingale. Not used - Nay.

Tue 07/11/06
- Clitheroe 1 Halesowen Town 0 (FA Trophy replay) Att 229
Paul Horridge continued in goals, Ant Daniels came in for the injured Simon Garner in midfield and Craig Sargeson replaced the suspended James Dean in attack.

The visitors hadn't lost in 5 previous FA Trophy replays away from home and the Southern Premier League side made the Blues battle in an end to end first half that had plenty of action but few clear cut goal chances. Halesowen continually played the ball long to their tall striker and the Clitheroe defence were alert to the danger and coped well. A blocked Halesowen shot that was destined to beat keeper Paul Horridge was the closest either side came to breaking the deadlock before halftime. The second half followed a similar pattern with Halesowen punting the high ball forward at every opportunity and the Blues failing with the final attempt on goal after some neat approach work. Ian Johnson flashed a corner across the face of goal but the connecting Blues body was just out of reach as they piled on the pressure. Clitheroe continued to drive forward and a loose ball outside the visitor's penalty area was pounced on by Darrell Avery and lashed home from 25 yards to give the Blues an 80th minute lead. Halesowen then started to pass the ball more and gave Clitheroe a nervy final 10 minutes but they defended well to get the victory and now face Kettering Town away in the next round.

Team : Horridge, Underwood, Roberts, Daniels, Anderson, Matthews, Nay (Johnson), Avery, Sargeson, Exton (Dempsey), Jones. Subs - Johnson, Dempsey. Not used - Fearon.

Sat 04/11/06
- Halesowen Town 1 Clitheroe 1 (FA Trophy) Att 324
Ray Francis was replaced by Paul Horridge in goals and Kris Matthews replaced the cup-tied Ross Bain at centre back.

The Blues were worthy of a draw at their Southern Premier League hosts and earned a replay at Shawbridge on Tuesday 7th November. Halesowen had some early pressure before Clitheroe took hold of the game and Owen Roberts flashed a 30yard freekick against the crossbar. The home keeper made some fine saves to deny the Blues the breakthrough and halftime arrived goalless. A double substitution by Halesowen at the start of the second half gave them a spell on top and they opened the scoring after 54 minutes when Clitheroe keeper Paul Horridge was lobbed as he came off his line towards the edge of the box. Gradually the Blues came back into the game and some sustained pressure led to the equaliser after 79 minutes. James Dean was beaten to a cross but he was first to react when the ball landed and he twisted to stroke the ball home from 12 yards out. Halesowen pressed forward in the final few minutes but the defence held firm and were rewarded with the replay on Tuesday.

Team : Horridge, Underwood, Roberts, Avery (Daniels), Anderson, Matthews, Nay (Sargeson), Jones, Dean, Exton, Garner (Johnson). Subs - Johnson, Sargeson, Daniels. Not used - Dempsey.

Tue 31/10/06
- Clitheroe 5 Chorley 0 (UniBond League Cup) Att 122
Paul Lamb, Ant Daniels, Kris Matthews and Steve Hussey were missing for a variety of reasons and were replaced by Will Exton, Darrell Avery, Owen Roberts and Jamie Nay. Craig Sargeson returned to the subs bench with Dave Dempsey alongside Ant Daniels.

Clitheroe bounced back from the 0-5 drubbing to new league leaders Stockbridge by completely dominating this game from start to finish. They created plenty of early chances before the first goal arrived on 19 minutes when James Dean crossed from the right of the penalty area and Jamie Nay glanced a header home from in front of the keeper. Further chances were created but the Blues had to settle for the slenderest of halftime leads. Chorley had a brief period of pressure at the start of the second half before Clitheroe increased the lead on 58 minutes. Jamie Nay played a long ball forward and in one movement James Dean chested the ball down and flashed a terrific shot in from 15 yards. The third goal came after 72 minutes when a headed clearance found Owen Roberts just outside the penalty area and he fired home a crisp left-footed bullet shot. The Blues were awarded a penalty after 85 minutes when a fine flowing move saw Will Exton impeded as he connected with a cross from James Dean. James Dean collected the ball, placed it on the spot and fired home the penalty to take the score to 4-0. The emphatic victory was completed in the 90th minute when James Dean latched on to a through ball, took it around the keeper and slotted home to complete a superb hattrick.

Team : Francis, Underwood, Roberts, Avery, Anderson, Bain (Sargeson), Nay, Jones (Daniels), Dean, Exton, Garner (Dempsey). Subs - Dempsey, Sargeson, Daniels.

Sat 28/10/06
- Clitheroe 0 Stocksbridge Park Steels 5 (UniBond League) Att 202
New signings Steve Hussey and Ross Bain made their debuts, Gregg Anderson returned to the defence and Anthony Daniels returned to midfield.

This really was a game of 2 halves with Clitheroe once again having the pressure and territorial advantage but nothing to show for it. A long range shot from Jason Jones that was easily saved and an instinctive block by Blues keeper Ray Francis were the pick of an entertaining but goalless first half. How things changed after the break! Stocksbridge took a 46th minute lead after a goalmouth scramble and the ball going in off the post. James Dean had a strong run and terrific shot saved before Stocksbridge doubled their lead on 70 minutes with a Ross Bain own-goal and a superb third was then whipped past Ray Francis after 73 minutes. Fellow debutant Steve Hussey was dispossesed close to goal on 83 minutes and led to a fourth being conceded before sub Stefan Zoll came off the bench to fire home a 90th minute fifth. A very even first half where it was difficult to tell the sides apart was followed by a second half where the Blues were left with no doubt who were the division's form team and why.

Team : Francis, Underwood, Bain, Daniels (Avery), Anderson (Exton), Matthews, Hussey, Jones, Dean, Lamb, Garner. Subs - Avery, Exton, Nay. Non-playing sub - Nay.

Tue 24/10/06
- Bamber Bridge 3 Clitheroe 1 (UniBond League) Att 231
Manager Chris Stammers named an unchanged team with Anthony Daniels, Ian Johnson and Owen Roberts on the bench.

A sizeable following from Clitheroe saw a bright opening spell with the Blues seeing plenty of action in front of the Bamber Bridge goal. Unfortunately Brig then took the lead on 11 minutes and were able to match anything the Blues produced and kept the slim interval lead. They doubled the lead from a close range header after 51 minutes and a third was rifled home after 60 minutes. Clitheroe introduced their substitutes and fought their way back into the game and Paul Lamb fired home from 6 yards after 73 minutes to give a glimmer of hope. The Blues had a good spell on top but were again restricted to long range efforts that missed the target and a disappointing night ended with striker James Dean being sent off after getting involved in a melee between Jason Jones and a Brig player - who both received yellow cards.

Team : Francis, Nay (Roberts), Garner, Avery, Underwood, Matthews, Sargeson (Daniels), Jones, Dean, Lamb, Dempsey (Johnson). Subs - Daniels, Johnson, Roberts.

Sat 21/10/06
- Warrington Town 0 Clitheroe 1 (FA Trophy) Att 132
New keeper Ray Francis replaced Peter Collinge who has signed for Leek Town and with Alan Fitzpatrick injured young keeper Martin Fearon came in from Accrington Stanley to sit on the bench. Simon Garner dropped to left back in place of Owen Roberts allowing Dave Dempsey a start in midfield. Jason Jones came in for Ian Johnson and Paul Lamb partnered James Dean up front.

The Blues started brightly and took a 5th minute lead when a dangerous Craig Sargeson cross from the right was knocked into his own goal by a Warrington defender under pressure from James Dean. New Clitheroe keeper Ray Francis made an instinctive save low to his right to deny the home side an equaliser and the Blues were marginally on top going into the interval. The second half started in a prolonged sudden downpour and Jamie Nay had a low show that fizzed across goal and out of play past the far post. Warrington gradually worked their way to a spell on top but the Clitheroe defence were standing firm and denying them the chance to get any clear shots in. Keeper Ray Francis knew nothing though about a snatch shot late on that struck the bar and was cleared to safety. Paul Lamb set up Jason Jones to fire in a low shot that was saved and Jamie Nay fired the rebound wide of the goal from the edge of the box. Clitheroe did enough to win this lacklustre match with a clean sheet to progress into the next round of the FA Trophy.

Francis, Nay, Garner, Avery (Daniels), Underwood, Matthews, Sargeson (Exton), Jones, Dean, Lamb, Dempsey (Johnson). Subs - Daniels, Johnson, Exton. Not used - Fearon, Roberts.

Tue 17/10/06
- Chorley 2 Clitheroe 2 (UniBond League) Att 206
Peter Collinge replaced Alan Fitzpatrick in goal, Jeff Underwood came in for the injured Gregg Anderson, Craig Sargeson returned to midfield with Ian Johnson moving inside to replace Jason Jones. Simon Garner returned after suspension so Paul Lamb was on the bench again.

Clitheroe were soon on top against a struggling Chorley side and Will Exton was unlucky not to open the scoring when his shot across the keeper just went the wrong side of the far post. Despite being so much on top it was the home side who took the lead after 34 minutes. A Blues corner was easily gathered by the Chorley keeper and the resulting break down the wing led to a low cross being converted at the back post. Their lead lasted just 8 minutes when Simon Garner fed the ball in to James Dean who turned his marker and fired home from 12 yards to level the halftime score. The Blues again had most of the pressure and territorial advantage in the second half but determined Chorley defending kept them out. Paul Lamb replaced Will Exton and Craig Sargeson also started to have more of an effect. After 88 minutes Paul Lamb chased a ball down the right, made his way towards the box and centred the ball which found sub Dave Dempsey at the back post and he fired the ball home to give Clitheroe the lead. Unfortunately a last ditch long ball out of the Chorley defence led to a mixup between keeper and defender and saw the ball squeezed home from a narrow angle to give the hosts a 90th minute equaliser.

Team : Collinge, Nay, Roberts (Dempsey), Avery (Jones), Underwood, Matthews, Sargeson, Johnson, Exton (Lamb), Dean, Garner. Subs Dempsey, Jones, Lamb.

Sat 14/10/06
- Bradford PA 7 Clitheroe 3 (UniBond League) Att 232
Simon Garner was suspended for this game and manager Chris Stammers brought a third striker - Paul Lamb - into the starting line up. Darrell Avery replaced Anthony Daniels in midfield.

Bradford made a dream start and were 3 goals up within 17 minutes. A free header into the top corner after 8 minutes that gave Alan Fitzgerald no chance, a huge deflection from the edge of the box after 16 minutes and a defensive mixup 5 yards from goal a minute later left the Blues with a huge task to recover. A good flowing move after 30 minutes saw Will Exton finish off from close range to reduce the deficit but Bradford notched another after 38 minutes to secure a halftime scoreline of 4-1. The second half was still evens but this time the goals were not going in. Jason Jones pulled another goal back when firing home a loose ball in the area after 64 minutes and an unlikely fightback looked possible. There then followed three goals in as many miutes with the hosts scoring another two goals in the 77th and 78 minutes and then scoring an own goal to make it 6-3. A seventh goal right on the final whistle flattered Bradford.

Team : Fitzpatrick, Nay, Roberts (Dempsey), Avery, Anderson, Matthews, Johnson, Jones (Sargeson), Exton (Underwood), Dean, Lamb. Subs Dempsey, Underwood, Sargeson.

Tue 10/10/06
- Clitheroe 1 Wakefield 1 (UniBond League) Att 181
Chris Stammers named an unchanged team for the first time this season following last Saturday's fightback from 2 goals down to win 3-2.

Wakefield are rooted to the bottom of the table having scored only 3 goals and their woeful first half performance showed why. They were wasteful in front of goal and often resorted to last-ditch tactics to keep the Blues attack out. Another sorry performance by officials did not help and again Clitheroe had a player sent off - admittedly the second yellow card for a foul by Will Exton was probably justified but his first yellow just moments earlier was awarded for...well, no-one knows. The visitors committed identical (and at times worse) offences but were treated leniently instead as the first half ended without goalscoring incident. Despite being a man down, the Blues were soon on top in the second half and took the lead after 52 minutes. A superb through ball by Tex Avery released Paul Lamb on a clean run on goal but his shot was parried by the Wakefield keeper only to be fired home by the supporting James Dean. Clitheroe continued to force the issue but after losing James Dean to a facial injury had to juggle the formation with Owen Roberts moving to right back as they looked to protect the lead in the last few minutes. Wakefield were themselves starting to increase the pressure and got their reward after 86 minutes by scoring the equaliser from close range.

Team : Fitzpatrick, Nay (Lamb), Roberts, Daniels (Avery), Anderson, Matthews, Johnson, Jones, Exton , Dean (Sargeson), Garner. Subs Avery, Lamb, Sargeson.

Sat 07/10/06
- Clitheroe 3 Bamber Bridge 2 (FA Trophy QR) Att 244
Alan Fitpatrick returned in goal after his suspension, Jamie Nay replaced Jeff Underwood at right back, Ian Johnson came into midfield instead of Craig Sargeson and James Dean returned after his suspension to partner Will Exton up front. Paul Lamb started on the bench after pulling out of Tuesday's game though injury.

Neil Reynolds received a warm welcome back to Shawbridge and it was his punt forward that led to Brig's first goal after 11 minutes, keeper Alan Fitzpatrick being beaten by a low drilled shot. Clitheroe were equal to anything the visitors could muster but fell further behind on 38 minutes when a swift move down the left was finished from close range by Brickell. Peter Collinge replaced an injured Alan Fitzpatrick in the Clitheroe goal and the Blues pulled a goal back on 42 minutes when James Dean's shot could only be parried and Simon Garner followed in to fire home the loose ball. Clitheroe dominated the second half and drew level on 55 minutes when Simon Garner fired in a low cross and Will Exton was on hand to force the ball home from close range. Bamber Bridge had a couple of chances to retake the lead as the Blues pushed forward for the winner themselves. James Dean had a close shot blocked and in the ensuing goal mouth scramble Jason Jones drilled the ball home from 10 yards to send the Blues into the next round and a tie away at Warrington Town.

Team : Fitzpatrick (Collinge), Nay, Roberts, Daniels (Avery), Anderson, Matthews, Johnson, Jones, Exton (Lamb), Dean, Garner. Subs Collinge, Avery, Lamb. Not used - Sargeson, Oates.

Tue 03/10/06
- Woodley Sports 2 Clitheroe 0 (UniBond League) Att 113
Paul Lamb pulled up in the pre-match warm up and took no part in the game with Michael Oates starting in his place. Anthony Daniels returned with a place on the bench.

The match was never in doubt as the artificial surface coped well enough with the frequent rain spells and Woodley reverted to pumping the ball forward as often and as hard as they could hoping for their speedy forwards to find themselves in the clear. They won a corner in the 8th minutes and a short pass then low driven shot gave them an early lead. The Blues came more into the game and an angled drive from Will Exton brought a smart save from the Woodley keeper. That was to be the only noteworthy goal attempt in the first half. Clitheroe continued to get on top in the second half and had more possesion, pressure and territorial advantage but again struggled in the final third of the pitch to create clear goalscoring opportunities. Woodley were reduced to 10 men when Adam Morning was red-carded and the Blues piled on even more pressure but still couldn't breach the home defence. Sub Ryan Parr was introduced alongside Will Exton up front but Woodley pulled men back and handled the extra threat before a rare second half venture forward led to them doubling the lead in the 90th minute with a deflected shot from just outside the penalty box.

Team : Collinge, Underwood, Roberts, Jones, Anderson, Matthews (Nay), Sargeson, Avery (Daniels), Exton, Oates (Parr), Garner. Subs Parr, Daniels, Nay.

Sat 30/09/06
- Clitheroe 0 Eastwood Town 3 (UniBond League) Att 280
Peter Collinge returned in goal for the suspended Alan Fitzpatrick, Jeff Underwood started instead of Jamie Nay at right back, Jason Jones replaced Anthony Daniels, Simon Garner returned after suspension and new striker Will Exton started alongside Paul Lamb after signing from Bradford City. Ryan Parr returned to the club and started on the bench.

Clitheroe were given another opportunity on 4 minutes for an early lead when Simon Garner was held back as he darted into the box but the resultant penalty from Owen Roberts was saved by the diving Eastwood keeper. The Blues were on top and forced the visitors keeper into several saves as well as flashing some long distance shots just wide. It was Eastwood who took the lead though after 38 minutes when some quick passing down the left saw the ball laid back for their no.11 to smash home superbly into the top right hand corner. Clitheroe continued to drive forward and new striker Bill Exton had a weak shot saved and a header go over the bar as halftime arrived with the Blues on top but a goal down. Eastwood did enough to thwart Clitheroe after the break and only an Owen Roberts goal-line clearance stopped them doubling the lead on 52 minutes. They were looking increasingly dangerous going forward though and on 61 minutes they scored their second goal with a follow-up tap in after Peter Collinge had saved the initial shot. The Blues surged forward but could not breach the Eastwood back four and conceded a 90th minute third when the visitors sub found himself in acres of space with a free run in on goal and he slotted home past the advancing Peter Collinge.

Team : Collinge, Underwood, Roberts, Jones, Anderson, Matthews (Parr), Sargeson, Avery (Oates), Exton, Lamb, Garner. Subs Parr, Oates, Nay (not used - Nay).

Tue 26/09/06
- Clitheroe 0 Skelmersdale United 1 (UniBond League) Att 245
Clitheroe striker James Dean was missing through suspension so Ian Johnson started alongside Paul Lamb with Dave Dempsey making his first start on the left. Defender Shaun Gray has returned to Morecambe after his loan period so Owen Roberts came back into the defence. Simon Garner sat out the second game of his 2-match suspension.

Ex-manager Tommy Lawson and five former Blues returned to Shawbridge and staged a well-played smash and grab to return home with the three points. Owen Roberts struck a long range shot that struck the visitors bar and Gregg Anderson was injured on the stroke of halftime. Clitheroe started brightly after the interval and lay siege to the Skem goal but fell behind in the 52nd minute when a free header in front of goal was firmly placed past keeper Alan Fitzpatrick. The Blues continued to drive forward but were met with stubborn resistance and were restricted to long range efforts that either flew wide of the target or high over the bar. Ben Stanford came on for his first appearance since the opening week of the season but it was not to be and Clitheroe fell to a narrow home defeat.

Team : Fitzpatrick, Nay, Roberts, Daniels, Anderson (Underwood), Matthews, Sargeson, Avery, Johnson (Stanford), Lamb, Dempsey (Oates). Subs Underwood, Oates, Stanford.

Sat 23/09/06
- Alsager Town 0 Clitheroe 2 (UniBond League) Att 129
Clitheroe striker and new British kick-boxing champion James Dean returned to the starting lineup in place of Michael Oates and alongside a much fitter Paul Lamb up front. Kris Matthews kept his place alongside Gregg Anderson at centre back and Shaun Gray replaced Owen Roberts at left back. Jason Jones was missing due to suspension while Simon Garner sat out the first game of his 2-match suspension.

Alsager started well and it was the Blues who felt the early pressure for a change but the defence was again equal to anything thrown at it. Clitheroe were unable to capitalise on a flurry of corners and Alsager had an effort cleared off the line as the first half ended goalless. Clitheroe were soon on top in the second half and were on the attack time after time while Gregg Anderson mopped up anything that the hosts mustered going forward on the break. The domination was finally turned into a goal after 61 minutes when Jamie Nay swung in a cross from the right and James Dean sent a controlled header over the keeper from the edge of the box, a superb goal. Alsager went in search of the equaliser but some shrewd substitutions by new full-time manager Chris Stammers saw the Blues hold the lead and look to increasing it. This they did on 88 minutes when substitute Dave Dempsey drove into the box before laying the ball across for Paul Lamb to slot home from close range to cap a return to fitness. This was another fine team performance and another clean sheet in the league.

Team : Fitzpatrick, Nay, Gray, Daniels (Underwood), Anderson, Matthews, Sargeson (Dempsey), Avery, Dean, Lamb, Johnson (Oates). Subs Underwood, Oates, Dempsey.

Sat 16/09/06
- Clitheroe 0 Marine 2 (FA Cup 1st Qualifying Round) Att 345
Clitheroe striker James Dean was absent due to a kickboxing British-title fight and Ben Stanford and Yakoob Khan were not quite ready to return from injury so Paul Lamb was forced to make a return to the starting lineup when he himself was not quite 100%. Darrell Avery kept his place ahead of Jason Jones while Kris Matthews returned in place of Shaun Gray who parent-club Morecambe did not want cup-tied.

The Blues were again soon on the attack and put their Premier Divison opponents under plenty of early pressure, winning a succession of corners and creating plenty of chances to take the lead. However, that all changed after 20 minutes when keeper Alan Fitzpatrick raced out of his area in a race to the ball with a Marine player and the forward's attempted lob struck the keeper on the arm. The referee produced a straight red card and Clitheroe were reduced to 10 men. Simon Garner took over in goal and Jamie Nay was sacrificed in favour of Jeff Underwood as the Blues went to just three at the back. The momentum was now with Marine and they peppered the Clitheroe box with high balls but Simon Garner was well protected by his defence and also made a superb double point-blank save to keep the visitors out. The Blues continued to threaten on the break and were still very much in the game until the 42nd minute Marine took the lead. A pinpoint right wing centre found the head of the impressive Peter Cumiskey and he clinically headed home into the top corner giving Simon Garner no chance at all. Clitheroe continued to match Marine after the break but were often restricted to long range efforts that were saved by the keeper. The visitors scored again in the 73rd minute when a defensive error allowed a run-in on goal and the Marine player slipped the ball past stand-in keeper Simon Garner. The Blues continued to press in search of a goal right up to the final whistle and were once again applauded of the pitch by a healthy Shawbridge crowd of 345.

Team : Fitzpatrick, Nay (Underwood), Roberts, Daniels, Anderson, Matthews, Sargeson, Avery (Jones), Oates (Johnson), Lamb, Garner. Subs Underwood, Johnson, Jones.

Tue 12/09/06
- Goole 0 Clitheroe 3 (UniBond League) Att 179
Clitheroe striker Paul Lamb pulled up in the pre-match warm up and opted to sit this game out, James Dean again starting alongside Michael Oates up front. Darrell Avery kept his place while Anthony Daniels came in for Jason Jones in midfield. Kris Matthews took his place on the bench after returning from injury.

The Blues made a bright start to the game and pumped plenty of early balls into the box. A foul wide on the left before another one could be sent in saw the resulting freekick cleared but a follow up shot was cleared over the bar by a Goole player's arm. He was sent off and Owen Roberts fired home the resultant spotkick after 15 minutes. The lead was doubled soon after when a superb cross-field pass by Owen Roberts was headed back by Michael Oates into the path of James Dean. He took one touch then slotted home from 10 yards. A high clearance from keeper Alan Fitzpatrick seemed to deceive the players and as James Dean caught sight of the ball and jumped to head it he was judged to have deliberately elbowed a Goole player in the head and was dismissed. Clitheroe continued to drive forward and some superb play down the right by Simon Garner saw him make space to pull the ball back for Darrel Avery just outside the box. He rode one tackle, made room to shoot and the ball sailed over the keeper from the edge of the box to give the Blues a very healthy 3-0 halftime lead. As was to be expected, Goole were more determined in the second half and forced Alan Fitzpatrick into some smart saves. Clitheroe matched them and created their own chances at the other end and at the final whistle ran out comfortable winners.

Team : Fitzpatrick, Nay, Roberts (Matthews), Avery, Anderson, Gray, Sargeson, Daniels, Oates (Johnson), Dean, Garner. Subs Matthews, Johnson, Lamb.

Sat 09/09/06
- Clitheroe 2 Gresley Rovers 0 (UniBond League) Att 246
Clitheroe rested striker Paul Lamb and gave a start to James Dean alongside Michael Oates up front while Darrell Avery replaced Anthony Daniels in midfield.

The visitors have had a poor start to the season and didn't look like kick-starting their campaign at Shawbridge. The Clitheroe defence was rarely threatened and the Gresley keeper made some fine saves to keep the Blues attack out and the scores goalless at halftime. Clitheroe continued to control the game after the break and again it was the Gresley keeper that was keeping his team in the game with more good saves. Acting-manager Chris Stammers made a telling substitution when replacing the hard-running Michael Oates with Ian Johnson who played a supporting midfielder role rather than an out-and-out striker. This unsteadied the Gresley defence and The Blues opened the scoring on 86 minutes when Simon Garner played a superb ball deep into the goal area where James Dean controlled it before firing the ball home. The lead was doubled after 89 minutes when Ian Johnson played the ball forward into close to the keeper where James Dean controlled it then swivelled a few times before firing the ball home from close range.

Team : Fitzpatrick, Nay, Roberts, Avery, Anderson, Gray, Sargeson (Underwood), Jones (Dempsey), Oates (Johnson), Dean, Garner. Subs Underwood, Johnson, Dempsey.

Tue 05/09/06
- Clitheroe 2 Cammell Laird 4 (UniBond League) Att 214
Clitheroe gave a home debut to new keeper Alan Fitzpatrick and recalled Shaun Gray at the back. Michael Oates started up front alongside Paul Lamb.

The Blues again made a dream start with a goal from the penalty spot after just 4 minutes. Michael Oates headed on a kick from the keeper into Paul Lamb's path, his superb cross into the box was about to be slammed home by Simon Garner when he was felled by the Laird's centre half. The ref then made the first of a series of mystifying decisions by taking no action other than pointing to the spot. Owen Roberts duly slotted home the spotkick and the visitors restarted the game with 11 players still on the pitch. Their equaliser came after 10 minutes when a huge kick from the keeper was allowed to bounce into space behind the Clitheroe defence and it was expertly flicked over keeper Alan Fitzgerald. The Blues were then denied retaking the lead by a hugely controversial sequence of events. Shaun Gray forced a goal-bound effort over the line with his torso, the ref was close enough to see what had happened but maybe didn't have a clear view in a crowded area. He looked to the liner for assistance and she signalled a goal and joined the Clitheroe players and the ref making their way back for the restart. The Laird players then surrounded the liner en-masse and the ref went over to see what the commotion was. Bizarrely, the actions of the Laird players were successful and the ref disallowed the goal! Clitheroe did take the lead in the 42nd minute when Simon Garner drove the ball under the visitor's keeper from 10 yards to give the Blues a well-earned 2-1 halftime lead. Cammell Laird made a double substitution before the start of the second half and after 52 minutes were themselves awarded and converted a penalty for a foul just inside the area. Both sides were creating chances but the ref spoiled a great game with his inconsistent decisions and led to a tense final 10 minutes. Jason Jones received a second yellow for foul play (while the visitors were simply spoken to for repeated fouls by the same players) and Lairds were awarded a freekick on 83 minutes when Jamie Nay was harshly judged to have fouled wide on the left. The resulting freekick was powerfully headed home at the back post to put the visitors ahead for the first time. Simon Garner was also dismissed after 2 non-foul bookings before Lairds made the game safe with a well taken 4th goal after 90 minutes.

This was potentially a great game between two very good sides but was ultimately spoiled by weak and inconsistent officials. Mass confrontation of an official was seen to have the desired effect and a goal that the ref and liner both deemed to be OK was ruled out after the visitors successfully changed the liner's mind for her. That should not be allowed to happen - will we see it again this season?

Team : Fitzpatrick, Nay, Roberts, Daniels (Johnson), Anderson, Gray, Sargeson (Underwood), Jones, Oates (Dean), Lamb, Garner. Subs Underwood, Johnson, Dean.

Sat 02/09/06
- Atherton LR 0 Clitheroe 3 (FA Cup Preliminary Round) Att 94
Clitheroe were denied permission by Morecambe to play on-loan Shaun Gray in the FA Cup so Simon Garner played alongside Gregg Anderson again and Michael Oates came into the side.

The Blues made a dream start when Jamie Nay freed Michael Oates down the right wing, his cross found Craig Sargeson in the box and he was bundled over as he shaped up to shoot. Owen Roberts stepped up to fire home the penalty to give Clitheroe a 1st minute lead. The lead was doubled in the 17th minute when Jason Jones prodded the ball home from close range in a crowded goalmouth - the ball being judged to have crossed the line by the liner. Clitheroe dominated the half and should have had a healthier lead come half time. Atherton LR were a different team in the second half and took the game to the Blues and for spells were on top. Clitheroe created chances but the clinical finishing was missing and eventually the home side's pressure paid off when they were awarded a late penalty. New keeper Alan Fitzpatrick capped a fine debut display by saving the shot and the Blues wrapped the game up moments later. A superb through ball after 90 minutes by Anthony Daniels released sub James Dean through the middle and he clipped the ball over the advancing keeper from the edge of the box.

Clitheroe started brightly and a big score seemed on the cards. Credit to LR for coming back at them but in the end a 3-0 scoreline was comfortably achieved and the Blues now face Marine at home in the next round.

Team : Fitzpatrick, Nay (Underwood), Roberts, Daniels, Anderson, Garner, Sargeson, Jones (Avery), Johnson (Dean), Lamb, Oates. Subs Underwood, Avery, Dean.

Mon 28/08/06
- Buxton 1 Clitheroe 0 (UniBond League) Att 468
Clitheroe were able to name an unchanged team for the first time this season as they visited 4th placed and unbeaten Buxton.

Buxton started the stronger of the teams and forced the Blues onto the back foot for the first time this season as they struggled to control the ball in the windy conditions. The home side took the lead after 13 minutes when a free kick from their left side found its way across the Clitheroe box and was firmly slammed home from close range at the far post. The Blues were playing with the wind behind them and forced 14 corners in the first half but were not able to capitalise on the pressure and went in at halftime still one goal behind. Buxton struggled playing with the wind in the second half and Clitheroe were frustrated with several refereeing decisions which were eventaully given in their favour, but the indecisiveness caused a few unnecessary bookings for the team. The Buxton keeper made some fine saves and their number 5 gave Paul Lamb his toughest game yet and his one clearcut chance was easily saved from close range near the final whistle. This was a hard game that was narrowly lost and the team will undoubtedly learn from a setback to a team that was to take their place at the top of the table with this win.

Team : Fearon, Nay (Dempsey), Roberts, Daniels, Anderson, Gray, Sargeson, Jones (Avery), Johnson (Oates), Lamb, Garner. Subs Dempsey, Avery, Oates.

Sat 26/08/06
- Clitheroe 3 Bridlington Town 0 (UniBond League) Att 185
The Blues recruited first year professional Shaun Gray from Morecambe on a short-term loan and he lined up alongside Gregg Anderson at the back, releasing Simon Garner back to his left wing slot. Ben Stanford was injured in the Chorley game and his place up front was taken by Ian Johnson.

Clitheroe again made a glorious start when after just 3 minutes Simon Garner drove in a long range effort and Ian Johnson did enough to ensure the ball ended up in the back of the net, being credited with the goal. There was no mistaking the scorer of the second goal after 26 minutes though, Owen Roberts floated in a freekick from the right, Gregg Anderson rose to head back across goal and Ian Johnson was on hand at the far post to power the ball home. The Blues didn't quite reach the dizzy heights of the previous game but were still too much for Bridlington and took a comfortable 2-0 interval lead. The visitors tried to get into the game from the restart but eventually the Blues took control again and could have increased the lead before Paul Lamb notched the third goal after 78 minutes, latching on to a fine pass from Craig Sargeson that released him in on goal and he made no mistake from the edge of the box. This was another fine team performance and gave Clitheroe a superb 9-point table-topping total from the opening 3 games.

Team : Fearon, Nay, Roberts, Daniels, Anderson, Gray, Sargeson, Jones (Dempsey), Johnson (Oates), Lamb, Garner. Subs Dempsey, Priestley (not used), Oates.

Tue 22/08/06
- Clitheroe 3 Chorley 0 (UniBond League) Att 244
Clitheroe lost big Kiwi defender Kris Matthews to a dislocated shoulder before the match so Simon Garner slotted in alongside Gregg Anderson at the back and Michael Oates played on the wing.

The Blues made another dream start after Shaun Teale conceeded a freekick just outside the area on 6 minutes. Owen Roberts stepped up and fired a stunning freekick firmly past the young Chorley keeper. Clitheroe were playing superbly and creating chance after chance but somehow they only had the one goal to show for it at halftime. The lead was doubled early in the second half when battling midfielder Anthony Daniels latched on to a ball played inside and stroked it home from the edge of the box. Chorley could not cope with the rampant Blues and had their young keeper to thank for keeping the score down with some fine saves. The third goal came after 73 minutes when Jason Jones played a great ball forward that released Craig Sargeson and he made no mistake, running on and slotting the ball home under the keeper. This was a fantastic team performance with every single player fully deserving of the rich applause from the crowd at the final whistle.

Team : Fearon, Nay (Priestley), Roberts, Daniels (Dempsey), Anderson, Garner, Sargeson, Jones, Stanford (Johnson), Lamb, Oates. Subs Dempsey, Priestley, Johnson

Sat 19/08/06
- Kidsgrove Athletic 1 Clitheroe 3 (UniBond League) Att 175
Clitheroe started the new season with only Owen Roberts, Craig Sargeson and Simon Garner left from the squad that faced Bamber Bridge in the final game last season. Goalkeeper Peter Collinge signed a short-term contract with Bury during the week and Martin Fearon was quickly enrolled from Accrington Stanley. Jamie Nay joined from Fleetwood Town, Kiwi Kris Matthews lined up alongside Gregg Anderson at the back and Jason Jones returned to Shawbridge from Ramsbottom United. Ben Stanford came in from Radcliffe Borough, Michael Oates arrived from Stalybridge Celtic, Paul Lamb from Marine and Anthony Daniels and Ian Johnson from Burscough.

Kidsgrove were reputed to have spent quite a lot of money during the close and were highly rated by the bookies - a tough start to the season then. The Blues (or oranges ashey are in the new away kit) made a dream start when Paul Lamb controlled and twisted on a ball pushed up to him and he played Ben Stanford in to run on and drive the ball low past the keeper after 8 minutes. The lead was doubled after 20 minutes when Paul Lamb controlled a high ball played up to him, turned and fired home from the edge of the box. Clitheroe were playing some neat football and fully deserved a shock 2-0 interval lead. As was to be expected, Kidsgrove came out all guns blazing in the second half and pulled a goal back on 57 minutes. Clitheroe continued to play good football and soon restored the 2 goal cushion when after 61 minutes Simon Garner drove home a loose ball in the box. Kidsgrove reverted to route-1 football and while the giant striker Matt Rhead won almost every header, his team-mates could not pick up the flick ons. The Blues continued to press and ran out worthy 3-1 winners in a very difficult opening fixture.

Team : Fearon, Nay, Roberts (Johnson), Daniels, Matthews, Anderson, Sargeson (Dempsey), Jones, Stanford, (Oates) Lamb, Garner. Subs Dempsey, Oates, Johnson.

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