Match Reports 2007-08

Sat 26/04/08
- Clitheroe 2 Bamber Bridge 2 (UniBond League) Att 320
Ian Flannery replaced Russ Clarke at centre half, Russ Clarke replaced Scott Redhead at left back who moved forward to replace Craig Sargeson in midfield.

The Blues took a 10th minute lead when Anthony Johnson turned in the box to drill a shot towards the far post and it was deflected home by a Brig defender from a yard out. Carl Lomax fired a freekick from outside the box against the upright and Clitheroe reached half time with the slender lead. Bamber Bridge equalised in the 59th minute with a well struck low free kick but Clitheroe regained the lead in the 62nd minute when Jonathan Smith forced the ball across the line after the keeper spilled a low ball in. Carl Lomax had a couple of good chances to increase the lead before Bamber Bridge scored their second equaliser in th 82nd minute to seal their play-off place.

Team : Mann, Kozlowski, Clarke, Flannery, J.Smith, P.Osborne, Hankin (Toronczak), Stopforth (Pilkington), Lomax, Johnson (P.Smith), Redhead. Subs - Toronczak, Pilkington, P.Smith.

Sat 19/04/08
- Curzon Ashton 2 Clitheroe 2 (UniBond League) Att 148
Russ Clarke replaced Ian Flannery at centre half in the only change from the last match.

The Blues twice came from behind to earn a point against title challengers Curzon in another wind affected game. The home side had the advantage in the first half and took a 17th minute lead when a low cross from the right was firmly slotted home from 15 yards. Clitheroe soon equalised in the 19th minute when a Gary Stopforth freekick was met by Jonathan Smith and his header down was lashed home from close range by Anthony Johnson. Curzon took the lead again in the 34th minute when Scott Redhead was dispossessed of the ball and prolific striker Norton was released on a run on goal and he fired home past keeper James Mann. The Blues made the most of the wind in the second half and equalised again in the 71st minute when a great pass forward by Craig Sargeson released sub Danny Toronczak on an identical run on goal and he too made no mistake with a firm low shot into the corner. Both sides had late chances to sneak a win but the final whistle blew with the scores still level and Clitheroe's improved end of season form saw them taking another good point away from home.

Team : Mann, Kozlowski, Redhead (Pilkington), Clarke, J.Smith, P.Osborne, Hankin (Toronczak), Stopforth, Lomax, Johnson, Sargeson. Subs - Toronczak, Pilkington, Flannery (not used).

Sat 12/04/08
- Clitheroe 2 Newcastle Blue Star 3 (UniBond League) Att 207
Jonathon Smith replaced Russ Clarke at centre half on his return from suspension.

The Blues missed out on a share of the spoils from an entertaining game when a late freekick found its way in at the far post. Clitheroe created some excellent early chances on goal before the visitors took the lead in the 23rd minute with a good run and shot under keeper James Mann, who then denied them another with a superb save soon after. Further chances fell to the Blues and they equalised in the 44th minute when Dave Hankin fed the ball to Carl Lomax just inside the box and he turned before crossing for Anthony Johnson to flash home a diving header from 6 yards. The Blues opened the second half brightly and had a couple of close efforts on goal but it was Newcastle next to score again when some fine individual skill controlled a cross and slotting home from close range in the 55th minute. Dave Hankin had a good run to the byeline before firing the ball across the face of goal but unfortunately there wasn't a Clitheroe player close enough to prod it across the goal line. The second equaliser finally came in the 86th minute when Carl Lomax sent Anthony Johnson racing in on a ball played over the Newcastle back line and he chipped the advancing keeper from just inside the penalty area. Clitheroe continued to search for the winner and Carl Lomax forced a smart save with a 25yard shot before Danny Toronczak was thwarted by the keeper's toes as he was put through on a one-on-one. Newcastle were awarded a freekick wide on the right on the stroke of full time and the teasing cross found its way over everyone and went in off the woodwork at the far post to deny the Blues another hard earned point.

Team : Mann, Kozlowski, Redhead, Flannery (Jones), J.Smith, P.Osborne (Pilkington), Hankin, Stopforth, Lomax, Johnson, Sargeson (Toronczak). Subs - Toronczak, Pilkington, Jones.

Tue 08/04/08
- Chorley 2 Clitheroe 3 (UniBond League) Att 202
Russ Clarke replaced the suspended Jonathon Smith at centre half and Paul Osborne replaced the injured Ryan Fisher in midfield. Jason Jones made a return on the subs bench.

The very bobbly pitch didn't help either side and Chorley took a 10th minute lead when James Mann made a decent save but the loose ball was fired home from close range. Clitheroe equalised in the 14th minute when Carl Lomax chased a ball that looped over the defence and he lobbed the home keeper with confidence. The Blues took the lead themselves in the 38th minute when the ball found its way to an unmarked Carl Lomax at the far post and he rifled a shot into the opposite top corner. Chorley equalised in the 43rd minute with an unstoppable drive from 25 yards to level the scores at half time. The second half wasn't as entertaining with many stray passes on the unpredictable surface and the home side wasted some good chances with shots that sailed high behind the goal. A triple substitution saw the Blues have some late pressure and the winner came in the 90th minute when Jason Jones laid the ball back for Gary Stopforth to prod it forward to Anthony Johnson inside the box and he laid it off superbly for Paul Osborne to fire home from 15 yards to steal the points and earn a 4th consecutive away win.

Team : Mann, Kozlowski (Pilkington), Redhead, Flannery, Clarke , P.Osborne, Hankin (Jones), Stopforth, Lomax, Johnson, Sargeson (Toronczak). Subs - Toronczak, Pilkington, Jones.

Sat 05/04/08
- Skelmersdale United 3 Clitheroe 5 (UniBond League) Att 258
Clitheroe named an unchanged starting eleven for this game.

The Blues started brightly and unluckily fell behind to a deflected shot in the 9th minute. Skelmersdale doubled the lead with a header in the 18th minute and they looked like consolidating their position at the top of the table. However, Clitheroe continued to press forward and were awarded a 19th minute penalty when Paul Osborne was fouled in the box and Craig Sargeson stroked home the spot kick. In the 25th minute some good approach work down the left saw the ball played back to Craig Sargeson and he twisted and turned to make space before curling in a peach of a shot for 25th minute equaliser. The home side almost took a halftime lead when a lob over Blues keeper James Mann saw him scampering back and he managed to just hook it clear before it crossed the line. Clitheroe were awarded a freekick on the right and Scott Redhead's cross somehow evaded everyone to sneak in at the far post to give the Blues a 53rd minute lead. A freekick awarded in a similar position after 77 minutes was this time headed home by Jonathon Smith and the score became 2-5 in the 83rd minute when Carl Lomax saw his great volley saved at close range and Danny Toronczak reacted quickest to head home the loose ball at the back post. Skelmersdale had a good late spell and pulled a goal back in the 87th minute but a superb team peformance had already done enough to secure the points for Clitheroe.

Team : Mann, Kozlowski, Redhead, Flannery, J.Smith , Fisher (P.Osborne), Hankin (Pilkington), Stopforth, Lomax, Johnson (Toronczak), Sargeson. Subs - Toronczak, Pilkington, P.Osborne.

Sat 29/03/08
- Clitheroe 1 Radcliffe Borough 1 (UniBond League) Att 245
Adam Kozlowski moved to replace Russ Clarke at right back with Gary Stopforth returning in midfield.

The UniBond League sanctioned a postponement of the morning under-19s game on Shawbridge to enable this fixture to go ahead but the morning bright sunshine gradually gave way to showers and then heavy rain as kick off approached. The sodden pitch conditions were poor to start with and another mudbath was in prospect once the game got underway. The ball was rolling sure enough but before long the long ball game was the better option to avoid the worsening centre of the pitch. A long ball down the left wing found Craig Sargeson who chested it down into space and ran along the Radcliffe Borough back line before firing home a low shot from 20 yards to give the Blues a 22nd minute lead. The visitors equalised after 28 minutes when another huge punt from their keeper wasn't dealt with by the Clitheroe defence and the ball was slotted home with a crisp first time shot. The rain continued during the interval and the inevitable mudbath worsened as the second half went on. It wasn't condusive to attractive football with both sides opting to hit the ball long as best as they could and hoping someone would be able to control and run with it enough to get a shot away. Clitheroe had most of the pressure but by now the ball was stopping rolling and neither team was able to convert chances before the defences were able to clear the danger. Both sides did well to complete the fixture in conditions even worse at fulltime than against Curzon Ashton 3 weeks earlier.

Team : Mann, Kozlowski, Redhead, Flannery, J.Smith (Pilkington), Fisher, Hankin (Toronczak), Stopforth, Lomax, Johnson, Sargeson (Heap). Subs - Toronczak, Pilkington, Heap

Mon 24/03/08
- Clitheroe 0 Bradford Park Avenue 1 (UniBond League) Att 447
Adam Kozlowski moved into midfield to replace Gary Stopforth with Russ Clarke coming in at right back.

Clitheroe will rue a number of missed chances in the first half as they more than matched the on-form visitors in a generally entertaining game. Carl Lomax and Anthony Johnson both spurned excellent first half chances while Blues keeper James Mann kept up his good form to keep out the Bradford attack. The visitors took the lead in the 43rd minute with a well placed low strike to gain the interval advantage. The referee missed a handball in the Bradford Park Avenue box as a dangerous right wing cross was helped out illegally and a goalkick was awarded instead. Soon after the Blues were reduced to 10 men when Jonathan Smith was sent off for what looked like an unfortunate accidental block and then a series of substitutions and positional changes kept up the pressure to the end. It was Bradford though that took the points from the single goal that they then defended and ran the clock down for 47 minutes with James Mann having to be alert for the odd occasion that they did break forward.

Team : Mann, Clarke, Redhead, Flannery (P.Osborne), J.Smith, Fisher (Pilkington), Hankin, Kozlowski, Lomax, Johnson, Sargeson (Toronczak). Subs - Toronczak, Pilkington, P.Osborne

Fri 21/03/08
- Lancaster City 0 Clitheroe 1 (UniBond League) Att 328
Ian Flannery replaced Russ Clarke at centre back and Scott Redhead switched to left back in place of John Osborne with Craig Sargeson coming in in midfield.

This group of players is gelling into a decent side and another fine team performance earned a 4th consecutive victory for the Blues. They started brightly playing with a deceptive wind behind them and an overhead centre-cum-shot from Scott Redhead almost led to a bizarre opening goal. Clitheroe took the lead in the 14th minute when a great chip forward by Craig Sargeson was smartly controlled on the edge of the box by Carl Lomax and he set up a stunning strike from Anthony Johnson that flew in just under the bar. Lancaster's attacks were being thwarted by a strong Clitheroe defence and keeper James Mann made a fantastic reflex save to push a close range effort over the bar before the attempt was flagged for offside. Both sides created chances in the second half without really troubling the keepers but the Blues did enough all over the park to keep hold of their lead until the final whistle blew after 5 added-on minutes.

Team : Mann, Kozlowski, Redhead, Flannery, J.Smith, Fisher, Hankin, Stopforth (P.Osborne), Lomax, Johnson (Toronczak), Sargeson (Pilkington). Subs - Toronczak, Pilkington, P.Osborne

Sat 15/03/08
- Clitheroe 1 Bridlington Town 0 (UniBond League) Att 247
Jonathon Smith returned at centre back with John Osborne reverting to left back and Scott Redhead to left midfield.

Sterling work during the week made the pitch playable but the heavy surface made for a dour encounter against an ordinary Bridlington side that played much of the game with 10 men. Clitheroe put some good early flowing moves together and Carl Lomax flashed a freekick from the edge of the box narrowly over. A tussle with Anthony Johnson saw their player receive a harsh red card before half time. The second half saw much of the midfield area bypassed and the visitors rarely attacked with any numbers which made it difficult for the Blues to break down the 10 men. Their were a couple of scrappy close chances in front of the Bridlington goal before another blocked goal attempt from Scott Redhead saw the ball fired home by Craig Sargeson near the far post in the 75th minute. Dave Hankin had a strong 70 yard surge before striking the ball across the keeper from just inside the penalty area and unluckily saw it hit the far post and bounce to safety. This wasn't the best of recent games but the team did enough to take the 3 points in another battle against a team reduced by a sending off.

Team : Mann, Kozlowski, J.Osborne (Toronczak), Clarke, J.Smith, Fisher (Sargeson), Hankin, Stopforth (Pilkington), Lomax, Johnson, Redhead (Pilkington). Subs - Toronczak, Pilkington, Sargeson

Wed 12/03/08
- Harrogate RA 1 Clitheroe 3 (UniBond League) Att 86
Jonathon Smith was missing through illness so Craig Sargeson came into the line up at left midfield with Scott Redhead dropping to left back and John Osborne moving across to centre back.

Both sides struggled with the windy conditions in the opening period and struggled to complete simple passes, a Clitheroe one went astray and led to Harrogate taking the lead in the 16th minute with a close range prod past James Mann. The Blues equalised in the 27th minute when Ryan Fisher had a goal bound shot saved and Russ Clarke pounced to fire home the loose ball as it parried off the home keeper. Clitheroe took the lead in the 34th minute with a stunning goal, Carl Lomax crossed from the right wing for Craig Sargeson to nip in front of his marker, juggle the ball a couple of times over the defender and then volley home high into the net from 10 yards. Harrogate forced Clitheroe to defend for long spells and every one in the ground expected an equaliser as their player homed in on goal but he somehow fired wide from about 6 yards with only James Mann to beat. They forced the Clitheroe keeper to make some shot blocking saves as he had another excellent game in goal. A strong right wing run from Dave Hankin forced an 83rd minute corner and Gary Stopforth's cross was firmly headed home from 6 yards by Dave Hankin for his first goal for the club and ultimately seal the first back-to-back league wins this season.

Team : Mann, Kozlowski, Redhead, J.Osborne, Clarke, Fisher, Hankin (Heap), Stopforth, Lomax, Johnson (Toronczak), Sargeson (Pilkington). Subs - Toronczak, Pilkington, Heap.

Sat 08/03/08
- Clitheroe 2 Curzon Ashton 1 (UniBond League) Att 192
Russ Clarke moved to centre back to replace the injured Paul Osborne with Adam Kozlowski returning at right back. New signing Anthony Johnson replaced Mickey Saunders up front.

Clitheroe put in another tremendous, hardworking team performance and a late goal sealed victory on the heaviest Shawbridge pitch for a long, long time. Driving rain and a strong wind into their faces made things hard for the Blues defence and a well worked goal in the 20th minute gave Curzon the lead, the ball slipping from keeper James Mann's grasp and apparently squirming over the line. The visitors were defending well enough but the equaliser came in the 40th minute when Carl Lomax turned and drove a low left footed shot in from the edge of the penalty area. Although the rain eased for much of the second half, the conditions under foot were trying for everyone but Clitheroe were the more determined and lay siege to the Curzon goal. The referee was making some allowances for the conditions but fullback John Osborne was unlucky when he was adjudged to have deliberately brought down a player and received a red card. The 10 men continued to press forward and Carl Lomax pushed a shot wide and a low Dave Hankin cross flashed along the goalline without getting the slightest touch that would have turned it in. The winner came in the 90th winner when an attempted back pass slowed in the muddy conditions and Danny Toronczak rounded the keeper and slotted home from a narrow angle to seal a great comeback for the Blues.

Team : Mann, Kozlowski, J.Osborne, Clarke, J.Smith, Fisher, Hankin (Sargeson), Stopforth (Pilkington), Lomax, Johnson (Toronczak), Redhead. Subs - Toronczak, Pilkington, Sargeson.

Tue 04/03/08
- Clitheroe 0 Skelmersdale United 0 (UniBond League) Att 195
John Osborne replaced Joel Pilkington at leftback, Dave Hankin replaced Adam Kozlowski in midfield and Mickey Saunders replaced Danny Toronczak up front.

The Blues gave table toppers Skem a difficult match in an entertaining goalless draw with keeper James Mann pulling off a string of superb saves to deny the visitors. Clitheroe again had plenty of the ball and the Skelmersdale defence was put under much pressure but the final effort on goal didn't make their keeper work as hard as James Mann had to. Both sides were reduced to 10 men midway through the first half with Russ Clarke receiving his marching orders for a second yellow card. Jonathon Smith was superb at the heart of the Blues defence in an excellent team performance that had to withstand some late Skem pressure to secure a valuable point.

Team : Mann, Clarke, J.Osborne, P.Osborne (Pilkington), J.Smith, Fisher, Hankin, Stopforth, Lomax (Sargeson), Saunders (Heap), Redhead. Subs - Heap, Pilkington, Sargeson.

Wed 27/02/08
- FC United of Manchester 3 Clitheroe 0 (UniBond League) Att 1624
Gary Jackson replaced Danny Toronczak in attack in the only change from last Saturday's side.

Clitheroe played Paul Osborne, Jonathon Smith and Russ Clarke as centrebacks in an attempt to thwart the pacy FC United attack and it had some effect as the home side were restricted to just an early 8th minute goal in the first half. The Blues had chances themselves with Gary Jackson, Scott Redhead, Carl Lomax and Joel Pilkington seeing efforts well saved or blocked on the line. The second half was again even until FC United doubled their lead in the 60th minute with a blistering 20 yard freekick that was fired home straight past the Blues wall into the net. Clitheroe then pushed men forward and were caught out a couple of times but smart saves from James Mann kept them at bay until the 90th minute when a loose ball was pushed home from 2 yards. The scoreline flattered the home side and they didn't win the game as easily as the winning margin may suggest.

Team : Mann, Clarke, Pilkington (Hankin), P.Osborne, J.Smith, Fisher (J.Osborne), Stopforth, Kozlowski (Saunders), Lomax, Jackson (Toronczak), Redhead. Subs - Toronczak, Hankin, J.Osborne.

Sat 23/02/08
- Rossendale United 2 Clitheroe 2 (UniBond League) Att 170
Clitheroe named an unchanged team for this match with new signing Dave Hankin starting on the subs bench.

Slack defending early on allowed Rossendale to take a very early 2nd minute lead with a low strike past James Mann. The home side were reduced to 10 men after 20 minutes when one of their players received 2 yellow cards in quick succession and the Blues equalised in the 24th minute, a cross from the left wing by Gary Stopforth being headed home by Scott Redhead from 6 yards. A deflected Rossendale shot struck the foot of the post before being cleared to safety just before half time. The second half saw Clitheroe dominate play as Rossendale opted to punt the ball forward for lone striker Mario Daniel to chase and a defensive mix up in the 53rd minute saw him run free to round James Mann and slot the ball home to give them an unlikely lead. The Blues continue to surge forward and Gary Jackson forced 2 very good saves from the home keeper and Paul Osborne saw a header cleared off the line. Some borderline offside decisions were not helping but the pressure again paid off in the 81st minute when Ryan Fisher directed a rebound from a blocked shot home though a crowded area to rescue a point from a game that could easily have been won.

Team : Mann, Clarke, Pilkington (Hankin), P.Osborne, J.Smith, Fisher, Stopforth, Kozlowski (Saunders), Lomax, Toronczak (Jackson), Redhead. Subs - Jackson, Hankin, Saunders.

Mon 18/02/08
- Bradford Park Avenue 1 Clitheroe 1 (UniBond League) Att 288
Joel Pilkington replaced Scott Redhead at left back who moved forward to replace Dave Dempsey in midfield and Adam Kozlowski replaced Craig Sargeson in midfield.

The Blues were good value for this point against a strong team in tricky conditions where all players and officials did superbly as the temperature fell to -6 by full time. Bradford almost took a 3rd minute lead but the ball struck the woodwork before being scrambled clear. Danny Toronczak outpaced his marker to latch onto a ball over the top and his shot whistled narrowly past the left post. Bradford then went straight down the pitch and opened the scoring in the 21st minute with a well worked goal and soon repeated it but a great save by keeper James Mann kept the interval deficit to just one goal. The ref brought the teams out for the second half after a very brief 5 minute break in an attempt to beat the conditions and both sides continued to play some good stuff on the hardening slippy pitch. Clitheroe equalised in the 70th minute when a good run down the right by Gary Stopforth saw his low cross reach Ryan Fisher who laid the ball back for Jonathon Smith to strike low, the keeper parried the shot but Scott Redhead was lurking near the far post and he latched on to the loose ball before firing it into the roof of the net. Carl Lomax, Adam Kozlowski and Gary Jackson all tried shots from distance but they didn't trouble the keeper. A great chance fell to Danny Toronczak but he failed to connect properly on an awkward bouncing ball and the keeper easily saved. Bradford had a couple of late corners but Clitheroe defended well and secured a well deserved point.

Team : Mann, Clarke, Pilkington, P.Osborne, J.Smith, Fisher, Stopforth, Kozlowski, Lomax, Toronczak (Jackson), Redhead. Subs - Jackson, Dempsey (not used). Only 2 subs.

Sat 16/02/08
- Clitheroe 1 Lancaster City 2 (UniBond League) Att 325
Russ Clarke moved back to right back in place of John Osborne, Paul Osborne moved to centre back and was replaced in midfield by Gary Stopforth while David Dempsey returned in a wide midfield role replacing Mickey Saunders.

Clitheroe once again suffered a narrow home defeat but this time two early goals from a good footballing side secured the points. The visitors took a 5th minute lead when shot from a ball played across the goal area was initially saved by keeper James Mann but the rebound was tucked away. Lancaster doubled their lead in the 11th minute when the ball dropped loose from a corner and sat up beautifully to be drilled home through a packed penalty box into the top right hand corner from 15 yards. The Blues tried to find a way back into the game but the visitors defence coped with everything thrown at it. Clitheroe again dominated possession and territory (how many times have I said that!) after the break without really breaching the Lancaster back line while James Mann made a couple of decisive saves to keep Lancaster out. Some persistent late pressure finally brought a goal in the 90th minute when Scott Redhead's left wing cross forced their keeper to back-pedal and reach to keep the ball from sneaking under the bar but sub Gary Jackson was on hand to bundle the loose ball over the line as it dropped down at the near post.

Team : Mann, Clarke, Redhead, P.Osborne, J.Smith, Fisher (Pilkington), Sargeson (Saunders), Stopforth, Lomax, Toronczak (Jackson), Dempsey. Subs - Jackson, Pilkington, Saunders.

Sat 09/02/08
- Clitheroe 1 Garforth Town 2 (UniBond League) Att 243
John Osborne returned at right back in place of Russ Clarke who moved to centre back in place of Ian Flannery. Craig Sargeson started in midfield in place of Scott Redhead who moved to left back in place of Barry Shuttleworth. Mickey Saunders came in to midfield in place of Gary Stopforth.

Clitheroe again dominated a game they lost and Garforth Town showed none of the Brazilian flair they reckon to emcompass with another foul and booking ridden display. The Blues put themselves under early pressure when a needless trip by Paul Osborne just inside their own half saw the ball launched into the area and the ball falling nicely for Garforth to slot home for a 4th minute opener. Carl Lomax had a couple of long range efforts on goal before Jonathon Smith's goalbound header from a corner was blocked on the line by Mickey Saunders. The second half again saw Clitheroe soon on top and the pressure told after 56 minutes when Ryan Fisher released Carl Lomax on a one-v-one with the visiting keeper and he tucked the ball away smartly. Garforth came out of defence more now and had a brief spell on top leading to them regaining the lead in the 75th minute when a free run into the box saw the ball pushed past keeper James Mann. Again the Blues stormed over Garforth but some more cynical foul tackles stopped them in their tracks although Carl Lomax was unlucky with a superb volley that went narrowly wide. Ryan Fisher had a flicked header that was palmed away from the top corner and Peter Smith had a wicked cross pushed over as it looked to be sneaking in. On a day when referees were starting their Respect campaign then this particular one seemed to condone everything they're supposed to be wanting to cut out.

Team : Mann, J.Osborne, Redhead, Clarke, J.Smith, Fisher, Sargeson, P.Osborne (Pilkington), Lomax, Toronczak (P.Smith), Saunders (Reynolds). Subs - Reynolds, Pilkington, P.Smith

Tue 05/02/08
- Bamber Bridge 2 Clitheroe 2 (UniBond League) Att 206
Danny Toronczak replaced Mickey Saunders up front in the only change from the last match at Woodley.

Clitheroe more than matched high flying Brig on their own ground and were unlucky not to come away with all three points after going in 0-2 at halftime. The Blues dominated the first half but fell behind in the 39th minute to a good run and shot and then fell further behind in the 43rd minute when a shot that was going wide struck a Clitheroe player and deflected onto the far post before the rebound was scrambled home. Clitheroe started the second half strongly and pulled a goal back in the 60th minute when Gary Stopforth's driven freekick was fumbled by the Brig keeper and Carl Lomax was on hand to stroke home the loose ball. The home side were forced onto the back foot as Clitheroe searched for the equaliser and it came in the 87th minute when Scott Redhead jinked past a defender near the touchline before pulling the ball back to Craig Sargeson who twisted to make room before firing home from 8 yards. The Blues were now all over Brig and panic in the penalty area led to a high boot catching Mickey Saunders on the jaw and the ref pointed to the spot. The keeper delayed the penalty and a Brig player blatantly lifted the ball and damaged the spot while the ref's back was turned but avoided any action despite both linesmen seeing what had gone on. Danny Toronczak's penalty kick was saved low to the keeper's left and Clitheroe had to settle for a share of the points.

Team : Mann, Clarke, Shuttleworth (Sargeson), Flannery, J.Smith, Fisher, P.Osborne, Stopforth (Saunders), Lomax, Toronczak, Redhead. Subs - Sargeson, Saunders, Reynolds (not used)

Sat 02/02/08
- Woodley Sports 1 Clitheroe 2 (UniBond League) Att 121
Scott Redhead replaced Neil Reynolds in midfield and new signing Danny Toronczak started on the bench.

Clitheroe took their time in creating good chances on goal and then two near-identical shots won them the points. The first half was littered with too many high balls played forward and the towering Woodley back four dealt with them easily enough. The home side took the lead in the 25th minute when a harshly awarded freekick was smartly pumped into the area and a decent header steered the ball home. The Blues were given a helping hand when the usually impressive Woodley keeper fell awkwardly over a couple of their tall defenders while coming for a cross and had to leave the field. Another Woodley injury led to the player being stretchered off and 8 minutes were added on but the stand-in keeper wasn't tested before the halftime whistle went. Clitheroe were having plenty of action in their opponent's half after the break but the cutting edge was just missing and keeper James Mann was instead the busier of the keepers and made a string of fine saves to keep the score down. New signing Danny Toronczak was brought on and he quickly made an impression, holding the ball up to feed Carl Lomax who in turn played a great pass for Ryan Fisher to run into the area and drive home across the keeper to equalise in the 69th minute. The Blues continued to press in search of the winner and it came in the 81st minute when a superb through ball from Craig Sargeson released Danny Toronczak into the area and he too drove the ball low across the keeper and into the far corner to seal the points

Team : Mann, Clarke, Shuttleworth, Flannery, J.Smith, Fisher, P.Osborne, Stopforth, Lomax, Saunders (Sargeson), Redhead (Toronczak). Subs - Toronczak, Sargeson, J.Osborne (not used)

Tue 29/01/08
- Wakefield 2 Clitheroe 1 (UniBond League) Att 84
Russ Clarke replaced John Osborne at right back, Neil Reynolds replaced Scott Redhead in midfield and Mickey Saunders replaced Neil Zarac up front.

The Blues took their improved form from Saturday's win over Ossett Albion into this game and were in control for much of the match before gifting Wakefield an equaliser which then led to them having a spell on top and sneaking the winner themselves. Clitheroe took an early 6th minute lead when Carl Lomax crossed the ball from the right wing and as the ball bobbled loose on the 6 yard line Paul Osborne pounced to fire it home. The home side wasted a few good chances with wayward shots that didn't trouble James Mann while at the other end a series of headers from Jonathon Smith tested the Wakefield keeper. Half time arrived with the Blues playing confidently and looking good value for the slender lead. They carried on the hard work after the break and penned Wakefield back for long periods but couldn't find the second goal that would surely have sealed the points. Instead, the home side equalised in the 74th minute when hesitation with a through ball allowed an easy goal and this led to a spell on top for Wakefield. They took the lead in the 80th minute with a header from a corner although keeper James Mann felt he had been unfairly impeded but his protests to the referee were dismissed. The Blues looked for an equaliser of their own but failed to convert as Wakefield again packed their box with every player when they were under threat. This was another very good performance and confidence within the team looks to be returning with each match.

Team : Mann, Clarke, Shuttleworth, Flannery, J.Smith, Fisher, P.Osborne (Pilkington), Stopforth, Lomax, Saunders, Reynolds (P.Smith). Subs - Pilkington, P.Smith, J.Osborne (not used)

Sat 26/01/08
- Clitheroe 1 Ossett Albion 0 (UniBond League) Att 220
James Mann returned from injury to take over from the suspended Paul Horridge in goal, John Osborne replaced Chris Middleton at right back, Ian Flannery replaced Russ Clarke at centre back, Gary Stopforth and new signing Scott Redhead replaced Craig Sargeson and Joel Pilkington in midfield and new signing Carl Lomax replaced Mickey Saunders up front.

Clitheroe returned to Shawbridge for the first home game since New Years Day and put in a superb performance to grab the three points with a late goal. Both sides created plenty of chances in an entertaining first half but both goalkeepers were in outstanding form and so the interval scoreline remained goalless. The second half was as good as the first and the Ossett goalkeeper continued to keep out everything thrown at him with James Mann doing the same in the Clitheroe goal. The referee signalled 4 minutes of added-on time and midway through it impressive debutant Carl Lomax forced yet another superb save from the visiting keeper but this time Mickey Saunders was quick to pounce and he steadied himself before firing the loose ball home into the net from 4 yards. Ossett failed to convert a very late free kick and the final whistle blew to bring an end to a great game of football, full of impressive personal performances but once again showing the Blues back on form as a team. Brilliant!

Team : Mann, J.Osborne (Clarke), Shuttleworth, Flannery, Smith, Fisher, P.Osborne (Reynolds), Stopforth, Lomax, Zarac (Saunders), Redhead. Subs - Saunders, Clarke, Reynolds

Sat 19/01/08
- Lancaster City 2 Clitheroe 0 (UniBond League) Att 281
Chris Middleton moved to right back in place John Osborne and Jonathan Smith made his debut at centreback. Barry Shuttleworth replaced Russ Clarke at left back who moved to the centre of defence. Ryan Fisher and Paul Osborne replaced Neil Reynolds and Gary Stopforth in midfield while Craig Sargeson started on the wing in place of Matt Atherton. Another young winger Arrom Hussain started on the subs bench.

Clitheroe started brightly but fell behind on 12 minutes when a low cross from the left was finished from 6 yards in front of goal. The Blues final ball was being dealt with too easily by the home defence who hadn't conceded a goal in their previous 6 games and Lancaster looked threatening going forward although debutant Jonathan Smith made more than one important clearance. The Lancaster strike pairing combined well for their second goal on 45 minutes which was drilled low past keeper Paul Horridge. New winger Arrom Hussain replaced injured Neil Zarac for the start of the second half with Craig Sargeson moving alongside Mickey Saunders up front. Adam Kozlowski came on for Chris Middleton but was soon sent off for a lunging tackle leaving the Blues down to 10 men for the second consecutive week. Ryan Fisher saw a good run and goal attempt fly over the bar while Arrom Hussain had a weak shot easily saved. At the other end Paul Horridge made two superb saves to keep the home side out and keep the scoreline respectable.

Team : Horridge, Middleton (Kozlowski), Shuttleworth, Clarke, Smith, Fisher, Sargeson, P.Osborne, Zarac (Hussain), Saunders, Pilkington (J.Osborne). Subs - Kozlowski, Hussain, J.Osborne

Sat 12/01/08
- Ossett Albion 5 Clitheroe 1 (UniBond League) Att 143
John Osborne started at right back in place of Adam Kozlowski, Neil Reynolds and new signing Joel Pilkington replaced Paul Osborne and Ryan Fisher in midfield, new signing Matt Atherton replaced Jason Jones to start on the left wing. Craig Sargeson returned from a long injury layoff to take a seat on the subs bench.

The Blues fielded new signing Matt Atherton on the left wing but were dealt the first piece of bad luck in the 10th minute when keeper Paul Horridge was sent off for handling the ball outside the area and Matt Atherton found himself taking over between the sticks instead of giving the team some width down the left. Ossett were knocking the ball about in their own half confidently and looked to test untried keeper but his handling was fine and their shooting was often wayward. Clitheroe unexpectedly took the lead in the 24th minute when a superb pass from Gary Stopforth released Mickey Saunders down the right and he took the ball to the byline before crossing for the unmarked Joel Pilkington to head home unchallenged from 6 yards. The Blues were equal to anything Ossett could muster and reached the interval still a goal ahead. The home side pressed more in the second half and equalised after 56 minutes when a shot took a deflection and went past the wrongfooted stand-in keeper. They took the lead in the 64th minute from a penalty kick and headed a third at the back post after 69 minutes. Will Exton received 2 yellow cards and was dismissed in his short spell on the pitch before a twice taken penalty in the 79th minute put them 4-1 up and a 90th minute multiple rebound goal finished the scoring. This was an improved showing, especially by 10 men with a stand-in keeper for 80 minutes and Ossett moved up to 2nd place in the table with this victory.

Team : Horridge, J.Osborne (Sargeson), Clarke, Middleton, Flannery (Fisher), Reynolds, Saunders, Stopforth, Zarac (Exton), Pilkington, Atherton. Subs - Fisher, Exton, Sargeson.

Sat 05/01/08
- Bridlington Town 4 Clitheroe 0 (UniBond League) Att 113
Paul Horridge returned in goal to replace James Mann, new signing Chris Middleton started alongside Ian Flannery in defence with Paul Osborne moving into midfield in place of Neil Reynolds and a returning Jason Jones replaced Joel Byrom in midfield.

Clitheroe's poor defending from set pieces was again their downfall at managerless Bridlington who then fired in another 2 very late goals to give them a flattering scoreline. Jason Jones had the only Clitheroe effort on goal in the first half while new signing from Stalybridge Celtic Chris Middleton made some timely interceptions at the other end to keep the interval score at 0-0. Once again the Blues enjoyed a greater share of possesion and territorial advantage after the break but still had few real attempts on goal. They fell behind on 55 minutes when a freekick led to the opening goal, well volleyed in at the back post and then a free header from a 78th minute corner was put past keeper Paul Horridge without challenge. A third was added after 85 minutes before a goal with the last kick of the game sealed a miserable visit to the East coast.

Team : Horridge, Kozlowski (Reynolds), Clarke, Middleton, Flannery (Heap), P.Osborne, Saunders, Stopforth, Zarac (Exton), Fisher, Jones. Subs - Heap, Exton, Reynolds

Tue 01/01/08
- Clitheroe 3 Rossendale United 3 (UniBond League) Att 319
James Mann replaced Paul Horridge in goal, Russ Clarke moved to left back in place of Russ McKenna and was replaced at centre half by Paul Osborne, Ian Flannery replaced Nigel Taylor alongside him, Mickey Saunders replaced Chris Turner on the right wing and Sam Heap replaced Will Exton up front.

A much changed Clitheroe lineup almost gave Joel Byrom a winning last game for the club but never-say-die Rossendale again struck two very late goals to snatch a point for the second consecutive match. The Blues took a 15th minute lead when Mickey Saunders was given two chances to tuck the ball home from close range and a great through ball from Sam Heap led to the second goal after 25 minutes, Mickey Saunders sprinting clear to slot home. The visitors pulled a goal back a minute before half time but the Blues looked in control of the game. They continued to boss the game before Rossendale took the initiative and they then had a good 15 minute spell on top. It ended when a poor challenge outside the box gave Joel Byrom the opportunity to fire in a great free kick which Neil Zarac pounced on to glance a header home in the 84th minute. Rossendale were reduced to 10 men and just as it looked like a 3-1 victory was in sight a ball was played through the Blues back line on 89 minutes and poked past the oncoming keeper James Mann. Three minutes of added time were played and Rossendale snatched a draw with a headed goal coming from another dead ball situation. Clitheroe could and should have taken 3 valuable points from this game but instead had to settle for a share of the spoils.

Team : Mann, Kozlowski, Clarke, Flannery, P.Osborne, Reynolds, Saunders, Stopforth, Zarac, Byrom (Overson), Heap (Dempsey). Subs - Dempsey, Overson, Taylor (not used)

Sat 29/12/07
- Radcliffe Borough 3 Clitheroe 1 (UniBond League) Att 170
Nigel Taylor replaced Ian Flannery in defence, new signing Chris Turner started on the right wing in place of Mickey Saunders and Will Exton replaced Dave Dempsey to play alongside Neil Zarac up front.

Clitheroe continued to dominate a game for prolonged spells without putting the ball in the net but this was the improved performance we expected following the Rossendale show. Joel Byrom peppered in some long range shots and Ryan Fisher had some productive runs forward that finished with a shot narrowly wide. After dominating for much of the first half the Blues fell behind in the 20th minute to a well placed header and although they continued to press they ended the opening period still that goal down. Unfortunately it was Radcliffe who scored the next goal with a scrambled effort in the 46th minute and were well on the way to their first league victory of the season when a third goal was driven home in the 58th minute. Clitheroe then dominated the final 20 minutes and some resolute home defending restricted them to half-chances that were kept out by the Radcliffe keeper. A consolation goal arived in the 90th minute when a superb pass from Gary Stopforth found Sam Heap who finished clinically from 6 yards out.

Team : Horridge, Kozlowski, McKenna (Heap), Taylor, Clarke, Fisher, Turner (Dempsey), Stopforth, Zarac, Byrom, Exton (Overson). Subs - Dempsey, Overson, Heap

Wed 26/12/07
- Rossendale United 2 Clitheroe 0 (UniBond League) Att 228
Adam Kozlowski, Russ Clarke and Russ McKenna replaced Jack Overson, Barrie Shuttleworth and Nigel Taylor in defence, Mickey Saunders started on the right wing and Neil Zarac replaced Sam Heap up front.

The Blues had plenty of pressure and possession but still failed to impress and were beaten by local rivals who converted a couple of their few chances to take the points in this local derby. Mickey Saunders' potential threat down the right was restricted with a heavy early tackle and the direct approach was too easily dealt with by the Rossendale defence. The home side took a 19th minute lead with a low finish under keeper Paul Horridge and doubled it in the 86th minute with another hard, low drive. Stern words were apparently said behind closed doors in the dressing room after the match and the fans will look to an improved showing in the next game.

Team : Horridge, Kozlowski, McKenna, Flannery, Clarke, Fisher (J.Osborne)), Saunders (Exton), Stopforth, Zarac, Byrom, Dempsey (Reynolds). Subs - Exton, J.Osborne, Reynolds

Tue 11/12/07
- Clitheroe 3 Radcliffe Borough 2 (UniBond League) Att 119
Jack Overson and Nigel Taylor replaced Adam Kozlowski and Russ Clarke in defence, Russ McKenna replaced Neil Reynolds in midfield and Sam Heap and Mickey Saunders replaced Neil Zarac and Paul Fildes up front.

This was another of those proverbial games of two halves only this time Clitheroe had to storm back with 3 second half goals after going in at halftime 0-2 down. Radcliffe were knocking the ball about confidently and didn't look like a team at the bottom of the table and caused a few scares for the Blues before they opened the scoring after 35 minutes. Clitheroe created a couple of good chances before falling further behind in the 44th minute when Ian Flannery unluckily deflected the ball into his own net. Some strong words during the interval saw a much improved second half display and the arrears were reduced after 51 minutes when Joel Byrom hit the post from close range and Will Exton picked up the loose ball to slot home at the other post. Clitheroe were on top and the equaliser came after 65 minutes when Will Exton headed in at the far post from a right wing cross. The visitors were not allowed to play as they had in the first half and the Blues gained reward for their superb effort in the 80th minute when Dave Dempsey drove forward in a central position and sidestepped a tackle before firing the ball home low from 20 yards. Radcliffe had a couple of late corners but Clitheroe defended them well and took the 3 points from this vital game.

Team : Horridge, Overson (Dempsey), Shuttleworth (Kozlowski), Flannery, Taylor, Fisher, McKenna, Stopforth, Heap (Exton), Byrom, Saunders. Subs - Kozlowski, Dempsey, Exton

Sat 01/12/07
- Clitheroe 2 Skelmersdale United 3 (UniBond League) Att 255
Russ Clarke returned to centre half in place of John Osborne in the only change from the last match.

This was the proverbial game of two halves with Clitheroe good value for their 2-0 interval lead and then a tremendous second half from the visitors earning them the points with a 2-3 win. The Blues were soon on top and their battling play saw them take the lead on 30 minutes when Joel Byrom finished at the far post with a simple tap in. They doubled the lead after 43 minutes when Joel Byrom caught a ball through the middle of the Skem defence and he nudged it across for Neil Zarac to shoot home from close range to give the interval scoreline a realistic 2-0 difference. Skem started much brighter after the break and some prolonged pressure brought them their first goal after 60 minutes and they equalised after 68 minutes as the Blues struggled to contain them. Clitheroe had a couple of half chances to nick the points themselves before the visitors scored in the 88th minute and held on to the final whistle.

Team : Horridge, Kozlowski (Heap), Shuttleworth, Flannery, Clarke, Fisher, Reynolds (McKenna), Stopforth, Zarac, Byrom, Fildes (Saunders). Subs - Saunders, Heap, McKenna

Tue 27/11/07
- Clitheroe 1 Woodley Sports 1 (UniBond League) Att 177
Barry Shuttleworth replaced John Osborne at leftback who started in place of Russ Clarke at centre half. Paul Fildes started in place of Mickey Saunders up front.

The Blues failed to turn their possession and pressure into a victory over a dogged and determined Woodley Sports side. Clitheroe had a couple of chances before they took the lead in the 24th minute when Neil Zarac controlled a left wing cross before half-volleying it home from 8 yards. The lead didn't last long though as a loose ball was rifled home for a Woodley equaliser just a minute later. Clitheroe created further chances before halftime and although they were on top they went in for the interval still level. It was a similar story after the break but the visitors did have more chances themselves and could have sneaked an unlikely winning goal but for a timely challenge from Blues keeper Paul Horridge. His opposite number made some good saves too and a packed defence blocked many a shot and through ball as the final whistle went with the scores stuck on 1-1

Team : Horridge, Kozlowski, Shuttleworth (McKenna), Flannery, J.Osborne, Fisher, Stopforth, Reynolds (Heap), Zarac, Byrom, Fildes (Saunders). Subs - Saunders, Heap, McKenna.

Sat 24/11/07
- Chorley 1 Clitheroe 1 (UniBond League) Att 223
Neil Zarac replaced Paul Fildes up front in the only change from the last match.

Clitheroe were made to fight for this point against an improved Chorley side and had keeper Paul Horridge to thank for a series of excellent saves to deny the home side, his first vital save coming from a very early freekick. A superb quick-passing move down the right wing led to Mickey Saunders laying the ball off to Joel Byrom as he sped into the Chorley box but unfortunately his shot was lifted over the bar. Paul Horridge then foiled a one-on-one breakaway attempt before another fine save gave Chorley a corner from which they opened the scoring after 33 minutes. The Blues were soon back on level terms when Mickey Saunders fired home from close range after 45 minutes, shooting home across ex-Clitheroe keeper Peter Collinge. The second half saw the home side have the better of the early chances with a couple of well taken freekicks from just outside the penalty area, Paul Horridge palmed the first one away for a corner but the second one beat him and fortunately struck the crossbar. Gary Stopforth tested Peter Collinge with a well struck shot from distance and the resulting corner saw Neil Zarac narrowly head over the bar. Substitute Paul Fildes had an excellent run and shot that forced the keeper to save smartly just before the final whistle as Clitheroe finished the game the stronger of the two sides.

Team : Horridge, Kozlowski, J.Osborne, Flannery, Clarke, Fisher (McKenna), Stopforth, Reynolds, Zarac (Heap), Byrom, Saunders (Fildes). Subs - Fildes, Heap, McKenna.

Sat 17/11/07
- Mossley 1 Clitheroe 3 (UniBond League) Att 216
Ian Flannery replaced Kieran Fletcher at centre half, Neil Reynolds and Joel Byrom replaced Jack Overson and Dave Dempsey in midfield while Mickey Saunders and Paul Fildes replaced Neil Zarac and Gary Jackson up front.

Clitheroe can now concentrate on league matters and returned from old rivals Mossley with a great victory. The home side struck the post in the opening minutes and Paul Horridge made a vital early save as Mossley piled on the pressure. Mickey Saunders had a couple of shots that were easily saved by the Mossley keeper in a shot-shy first half for the Blues. The second half was just a minute old before Mossley took a 46th minute leader with a firm header from a cross. This stung Clitheroe into action and from then on they had the upper hand and equalised in the 60th minute when Russell Clarke headed home a corner in a crowded goalmouth. Mossley were not converting any chances they did create and they fell behind in the 81st minute when Neil Zarac pounced on a loose ball to drive it home. Sam Heap had a glorious chance to make the game safe but fired it over the bar with just the keeper to beat. Mossley went straight down the other end and were unlucky not to equalise before a superb run by Joel Byrom saw him lay the ball off for Neil Zarac to flash home an angled drive from 15 yards in the 90th minute.

Team : Horridge, Kozlowski, J.Osborne, Flannery, Clarke, Fisher, Stopforth, Reynolds, Saunders (Heap), Byrom, Fildes (Zarac). Subs - Zarac, Heap, McKenna (not used).

Tue 13/11/07
- Leigh RMI 4 Clitheroe 2 (Lancashire Cup) Att 77
Kieran Fletcher and Russ Clarke returned from suspension and replaced Ian Flannery and Paul Osborne at centreback, Jack Overson and Dave Dempsey replaced Joel Byrom and Neil Reynolds in midfield and Neil Zarac and Gary Jacskon replaced Mickey Saunders and Paul Fildes up front.

A much changed Clitheroe side created plenty of chances but some unfortunate defending saw Leigh going through to the quarter-finals of the Lancs Cup. The home side dictated play early on and took an 18th minute lead when a deflected shot was headed home past the deceived Paul Horridge. They doubled their lead on 25 minutes when Paul Horridge saved a shot but ex-Blue Owen Roberts was on hand to slot home the rebound. Clitheroe pulled a goal back in the 35th minute when a Gary Stopforth freekick looped into the air off the keeper's foot and Kieran Fletcher headed home in a crowded 6 yard box. The Blues then enjoyed a spell on top but reached halftime still 1-2 down. Leigh increased their lead after 55 minutes when a corner rebounded to a free player who fired home. Clitheroe were looking good going forward and in the 75th minute a cross from the left was headed home by Sam Heap to bring them right back into the game. Unfortunately an 85th minute mixup left a Leigh player with a clear run in on goal to put the score beyond doubt at 4-2 and leaving the Blues to now concentrate on league matters.

Team : Horridge, Kozlowski, J.Osborne, Fletcher, Clarke, Fisher, Stopforth, Overson (Smith), Zarac, Jackson (Heap), Dempsey (McKenna). Subs - McKenna, Heap, Smith.

Sat 10/11/07
- Clitheroe 2 FC United of Manchester 1 (UniBond League) Att 1245
Paul Horridge replaced James Mann in goal, Ian Flannery made his debut at centre back in place of suspended Kieran Fletcher, Paul Osborne played alongside him in place of suspended Russ Clarke with Neil Reynolds starting in midfield and Mickey Saunders made his debut up front in place of Craig Sargeson.

Clitheroe put in a great performance to beat high-riding FC United who could have gone top of the table had results gone their way today. Blues keeper Paul Horridge denied the dangerous Aaron Burns as he raced in on goal on a 1v1 before Clitheroe had a couple of chances of their own cleared off the line. The breakthrough came on the stroke of haltime when Joel Byrom was felled in the box and although his 45th minute spotkick was saved he followed up to slam home the rebound. Early in the second half new signing Ian Flannery made a superb vital tackle to deny the league's top scorer Rory Patterson a clear run on goal. Clitheroe doubled the lead in the 60th minute when Joel Byrom's deep cross was headed home by Paul Fildes at the back post. The visitors were awarded a freekick just outside the penalty area in the 65th minute and keeper Paul Horridge was given no chance with the well struck freekick as it flew into the top corner to reduce the deficit. FC United pressed for the equaliser and Clitheroe had further chances to increase the lead but both sides saw shots fly over the crossbar before the referee blew for fulltime and a great 2-1 home victory.

Team : Horridge, Kozlowski, J.Osborne, Flannery, P.Osborne (Overson), Fisher, Stopforth, Reynolds (Dempsey), Saunders (Jackson), Byrom, Fildes. Subs - Overson, Jackson, Dempsey.

Tue 06/11/07
- Clitheroe P-P Rushall Olympic (FA Trophy replay)
Match postponed pending FA investigation. At a subsequent hearing on Tuesday 13th November Clitheroe admitted a breach of FA Rule E10 and were removed from the competition.

Sat 03/11/07
- Rushall Olympic 1 Clitheroe 1 (FA Trophy) Att 102
James Mann returned in goal in place of Paul Horridge, Adam Kozlowski and John Osborne replaced Jack Overson and Barry Shuttleworth at fullback, Gary Stopforth replaced Adam Kozlowski in midfield and Craig Sargeson started up front in place of Neil Zarac.

Clitheroe gifted Rushall an 11th minute opener when a weak shot bobbled over keeper James Mann as he dropped to collect the ball. Paul Fildes created a great chance to equalise soon after when he lifted the ball over a defender before volleying just wide of the goal but otherwise the Blues were restricted by a strong home back line. Clitheroe started the second half brightly and had a good spell on top which led to a 63rd minute equaliser when Gary Stopforth fired in a bouncing shot from just outside the penalty box and it found its way home through a crowded area. More chances were being created with Sam Heap having a well struck shot saved by the home keeper after he was played in by a great ball from Joel Byrom. Rushall had a series of corners and freekicks towards the end but the Blues held firm to secure the draw which will see Rushall visiting Shawbridge for Tuesday's replay.

Team : Mann, Kozlowski, J.Osborne, Fletcher, Clarke, Fisher (Reynolds), Stopforth, P.Osborne, Sargeson (Heap), Byrom, Fildes (Jackson). Subs - Jackson, Reynolds, Heap.

Tue 30/10/07
- Rossendale United 3 Clitheroe 2 (UniBond League Presidents Cup) Att 171
New signing Barry Shuttleworth started at left back in place of John Osborne and Adam Kozlowski started in midfield in place of Gary Stopforth.

The Blues bowed out of the Presidents Cup at rival Rossendale to the odd goal in five. The match was evenly contested until the 27th minute when Paul Fildes played the ball across goal for Joel Byrom to tap over the line. Clitheroe soon had a great chance to double the lead when Neil Zarac struck the bar and the next goal was an equaliser for the home side in the 30th minute. Rossendale took the lead in the 37th minute and held on until halftime. The Blues started the second half well enough but fell further behind in the 75th minute before creating a series of chances as they tried to rescue the game. In the 87th minute Gary Jackson was impeded in the box and Joel Byrom pulled a goal back from the penalty spot. Paul Osborne received a red card for a foul on their midfielder whose own "tackles" had somehow gone unpunished by the ref. There was still time for a flurry of late chances but the final whistle went without any further addition to the scoreline.

Team : Horridge, Overson, Shuttleworth (Reynolds), Fletcher, Clarke, Fisher (Jackson), Kozlowski, P.Osborne, Zarac, Byrom, Fildes (Heap). Subs - Jackson, Reynolds, Heap.

Sat 27/10/07
- Clitheroe 5 Chorley 1 (UniBond League) Att 294
Paul Horridge took over from James Mann in goal, Gary Stopforth returned to midfield in place of Craig Sargeson and new signing Paul Fildes started alongside Neil Zarac up front in place of Sam Heap.

Clitheroe returned to form in style as they completely overran Chorley and the final scoreline could easily have had a wider margin. Neil Zarac glanced an early header wide from just 4 yards before he made amends in the 24th minute when his deep cross from the right found new signing Paul Fildes at the back post and his header across goal was forced home by Joel Byrom. Further chances were created as the Blues reached halftime well on top but with a slender lead to show for it. The lead was doubled early in the second half when a poor back pass was pounced on by Neil Zarac and he made no mistake in slotting past ex-Clitheroe keeper Peter Collinge. The third goal followed soon after when a great cross from Jack Overson found an unmarked Paul Fildes and he headed home. Both strikers were then substituted but their replacements kept the pressure on the visitors defence and Sam Heap clipped the ball past Peter Collinge but saw it pass agonisingly wide of the far post. Chorley scored a headed consolation goal before Sam Heap raced clear to notch his 6th goal of the season. The scoring was completed in injury time when Ryan Fisher jinked into the box and fired home to round off a superb team effort with a resounding 5-1 win.

Team : Horridge, Overson, J.Osborne, Fletcher, Clarke (Kozlowski), Fisher, Stopforth, P.Osborne, Zarac (Heap), Byrom, Fildes (Jackson). Subs - Jackson, Kozlowski, Heap.

Tue 23/10/07
- Lancaster City 1 Clitheroe 2 (FA Trophy) Att 170
Jack Overson came into the defence in place of Michael Donnelly with John Osborne reverting to left back. Sam Heap started up front alongside Neil Zarac with Joel Byrom replacing Neil Reynolds in midfield.

Clitheroe defended well in this replay and notched a winning goal in injury time to go through to meet Rushall Olympic in the next round of the FA Trophy on November 3rd. The Blues made a steady start and took a 12th minute lead when Craig Sargeson released Ryan Fisher on a run down the right and his low cross took a deflection off a defender and back for Neil Zarac to stroke home from 10 yards. Lancaster had a good spell on top without getting past the Clitheroe defence and Joel Byrom had a great turn and shot that went narrowly wide. The Blues controlled the second half and seemed to have done enough when the home side had a defender sent off for fouling Gary Jackson as he burst through on goal. The resulting freekick was fired just over the bar by Joel Byrom and then a series of freekicks around the Clitheroe box led to an equaliser in the 86th minute when James Mann couldn't hold on to a firmly struck shot and the rebound was forced in from close range. Extra time looked likely but Gary Jackson was again felled, this time close to the left touchline and John Osborne's freekick was delivered beautifully for Neil Zarac to glance home a 90th minute header into the net.

Team : Mann, Overson, J.Osborne, Fletcher, Clarke, Fisher, Sargeson (Kozlowski), P.Osborne, Zarac, Byrom, Heap(Jackson). Subs - Jackson, Kozlowski, Reynolds. Not used - Reynolds.

Sat 20/10/07
- Clitheroe 0 Lancaster City 0 (FA Trophy) Att 245
Michael Donnelly replaced Adam Kozlowski at left back and Neil Reynolds came into midfield with Joel Byrom starting up front alongside Neil Zarac in place of Gary Jackson.

The Blues will have to travel to Lancaster on Tuesday for a replay after a goalless draw in this FA Trophy match. Few chances were created by either side in an even first half and the second half continued in the same vein until Clitheroe were reduced to 10 men late in the second half. Kieran Fletcher was sent off for pulling down a Lancaster player as he ran clear on goal and the resulting free kick was easily saved by keeper James Mann. A series of substitutions then followed and the Blues stormed forward and had plenty of goal mouth action but could not get the ball in the net. The visitors had a couple of good chances on the break to nick the game themselves but a late drive flew narrowly over the bar and the sides will have to meet again on Tuesday evening.

Team : Mann, J.Osborne, Donnelly (Overson), Fletcher, Clarke, Fisher, Sargeson (Heap), P.Osborne, Zarac, Byrom, Reynolds (Smith). Subs - Overson, Heap, Smith

Tue 16/10/07
- Clitheroe 0 FC United of Manchester 3 (UniBond League) Att 834
Kieran Fletcher returned at centreback in place of Gregg Anderson who has moved on to Buxton and new signing Neil Zarac started up front in place of Sam Heap.

Clitheroe had as many first half chances as FC United but the early goal for the visitors was the only difference between the sides at half time. The Blues started the second half brightly but fell further behind to a penalty and then the visitors dominated the game and added a third.

Team : Mann, J.Osborne, Kozlowski (Heap), Fletcher, Clarke, Fisher, Sargeson, P.Osborne, Jackson (Exton), Byrom, Zarac. Subs - Exton, Heap, Reynolds. Not used - Reynolds

Sat 13/10/07
- Harrogate Town 2 Clitheroe 0 (FA Cup 3QR) Att 516
James Mann replaced Paul Horridge in goal. Adam Kozlowski, John Osborne and Russ Clarke replaced Jack Overson, Mick Donnelly and Kieran Fletcher at the back, Joel Byrom replaced Neil Reynolds in midfield and Gary Jackson replaced Will Exton up front.

Clitheroe gave a good account of themselves against the unbeaten Conference North leaders on their own ground. The Blues forwards got very little out of the Harrogate defence and struggled to make a clear chance on goal in the first half but the Clitheroe defence were keeping the prolific Town striker quiet too and the interval arrived with the score still goalless. Harrogate made a substitution at the start of the second half and besides the threat down the right they now also used the quick winger down the left. Sam Heap created a great opening for himself when he turned the right back before moving into box and fired in a low shot that went narrowly wide. The home side then scored with their next attack to take a 55th minute lead with a superb swerving shot from distance. They continued to create more chances as they took hold of the game but their attempts on goal went wide of the mark. In the 81st minute the ref awarded Harrogate a penalty for a push in the area and this time the prolific striker Holland converted the spot kick. Clitheroe moved Joel Byrom further forward and his run into the box was ended with a foul and the ref pointed to the spot. A late consolation goal would have been fair reward for the Blues efforts but Joel uncharacteristically pushed the ball high over the bar. Five minutes of added time were played before the final whistle went on this season's FA Cup campaign.

Team : Mann, Kozlowski, J.Osborne (Fletcher), Clarke, Anderson, Fisher, Sargeson, P.Osborne, Jackson (Exton), Byrom, Heap (Smith). Subs - Smith, Exton, Fletcher.

Wed 10/10/07
- Padiham 0 Clitheroe 3 (Lancashire Cup) Att 230
Keeper Paul Horridge replaced James Mann in goal. Jack Overson, Mick Donnelly and Kieran Fletcher replaced Adam Kozlowski, John Osborne and Russ Clarke at the back. Ryan Fisher replaced Joel Byrom in midfield and Will Exton replaced Gary Jackson up front.

The Blues progressed to the next round of the Lancashire Cup after a bruising encounter and two late goals gave a comfortable scoreline to this victory. Padiham had chances throughout the game but failed to take them while Clitheroe made the most of theirs. They took the lead in the 20th minute when a strong run forward by Jack Overson saw him pick up a final pass into the box and he drove the ball home past the keeper. The second half saw chances at both ends but it wasn't until the 80th minute that the next goal came when Kieran Fletcher headed a corner goalwards and Gary Jackson headed it firmly home from close range. In the 85th minute a great pass from Craig Sargeson released Joel Byrom on a run on goal and he rounded the keeper and stroked the ball home.

Team : Horridge, Overson, Donnelly, Fletcher, Anderson (Kozlowski), Dempsey (Byrom), Sargeson, Reynolds, Exton (Jackson), Fisher, Heap. Subs - Jackson, Kozlowski, Byrom.

Sat 05/10/07
- Clitheroe 2 Ossett Albion 1 (FA Trophy) Att 197
Dave Dempsey and Neil Reynolds replaced Ryan Fisher and Paul Osborne in midfield. New signing Jack Overson took a place on the subs bench.

Clitheroe beat the team currently sitting second in the league to progress to the FA Trophy 1st Round and a home tie against Lancaster City. The Blues started brightly and took a 16th minute lead when Craig Sargeson's superb right wing cross was firmly headed home from 15 yards by Gary Jackson. Just a minute later and Adam Kozlowski's ball forward found Gary Jackson free on a run on goal and he placed his shot under the out-rushing keeper to double the lead. Further chances were created as the Blues dominated the first half but it was Ossett who scored next just before halftime to reduce the interval deficit to just a single goal. The visitors stepped up their game in the second half and forced Clitheroe keeper James Mann into making many saves. Clitheroe didn't trouble the Ossett goal as much but the team did enough to earn a third successive victory and a place in the next round of the Trophy.

Team : Mann, Kozlowski, J.Osborne, Clarke, Anderson, Dempsey (Fletcher), Sargeson, Reynolds, Jackson (Exton), Byrom (Overson), Heap. Subs - Overson, Exton, Fletcher.

Tue 02/10/07
- Clitheroe 3 Mossley 2 (UniBond League) Att 186
Adam Kozlowski started at rightback allowing Russ Clarke to move to centreback in place of Nigel Taylor.

Clitheroe picked up their first league victory of the season against a decent Mossley side that seemed to have done enough to take the points themselves! The Blues were given a great start when Joel Byrom played a ball in which Sam Heap ran on to and lashed home from close range after just 4 minutes. Both sides had chances that either hit the woodwork or went narrowly wide and Clitheroe hung in to their slender lead at the interval. Mossley were soon increasing the pressure after the break and equalised in the 52nd minute with a cruel deflection off Gregg Anderson's leg. Their dominance led to them taking the lead in the 63rd minute when a ball that bounced back off the crossbar was headed home by one of their tall centrebacks. The game took a bizarre twist soon after when the ref stopped the game due a calf injury and an appeal was made for a volunteer to step in and run the line. A Mossley fan with the necessary qualifications came forward but he was not allowed to make any decisions other than offsides and throw-ins and he was soon involved in a controversy. A high boot connected with Will Exton's head just inside the penalty area but ref gave it outside the box. Had he been able to make such decisions then I'm sure that the sub liner would have signalled a penalty but no blame can be laid on him as the decision making was taken away from him by the ref. The resultant freekick flew narrowly wide and Mossley were relieved while the Blues felt hard done by. However, this increased the tempo in Clitheroe's play and in the 85th minute Joel Byrom squared the ball to an unmarked Will Exton and after his initial shot was well saved he followed up to crash home the free ball. A series of late corners saw Mossley pull every man back and in the 90th minute Paul Osborne was on hand to head home from close range to seal a very welcome but at times unlikely 3 points.

Team : Mann, Kozlowski, J.Osborne (Reynolds), Clarke, Anderson, Fisher, Sargeson (Dempsey), P.Osborne, Jackson (Exton), Byrom, Heap. Subs - Reynolds, Exton, Dempsey.

Sat 29/09/07
- Clitheroe 8 Spennymoor Town 2 (FA Cup 2nd Qualifying Round) Att 330
John Osborne replaced Mick Donnelly at left back and his brother Paul replaced Russ McKenna in midfield.

A flurry a late goals saw Clitheroe cruise comfortably into the FA Cup 3rd Qualifying Round in this victory over their Northern League opposition. The Blues were gifted the lead in the 5th minutes when Sam Heap's low cross was cushioned by a defender for Gary Jackson to fire home from just 2 yards. Further chances fell to Clitheroe as they dominated the half but Spennymoor also had their chances and equalised after 45 minutes with a superb 30 yard strike that fizzed into the top corner before Craig Sargeson released Sam Heap on a run on goal and he shot home from the edge of the box to restore the Blues lead going into the interval. Spennymoor were still shooting from distance in the second half but fortunately they were off target and Clitheroe started to get the better of the visitors back line. They increased the lead in the 59th minute when Gary Jackson again outpaced the defence and he lifted the ball over the keeper as he came off his line. The game was made safe in the 75th minute when Craig Sargeson dinked his way to the angle of the penalty area and superbly chipped the keeper at the far post. In the 78th minute it was Will Exton's turn to beat the defence and slot home before fellow sub Dave Dempsey struck home from the edge of the penalty area. Spennymoor notched a second goal just a minute later before Will Exton scored his second of the game in the 88th minute with another ball lifted over the advancing keeper. In the 90th minute Joel Byrom played in a high right wing centre that almost dropped in at the back post and as the ball was cleared to the edge of the box Ryan Fisher fired it back through a crowd of players and into the net to cap a fine goal scoring display from the Blues.

Team : Mann, Clarke, J.Osborne, Taylor (Kozlowski), Anderson, Fisher, Sargeson, P.Osborne, Jackson (Dempsey), Byrom, Heap (Exton). Subs - Kozlowski, Exton, Dempsey.

Tue 25/09/07
- Clitheroe 4 Colwyn Bay 4* (UniBond League Cup) Att 165
(*Colwyn Bay win 4-2 on pens)
Russ Clarke returned to the side at right back and new signing Mick Donnelly started at left back in place of John Osborne. Nigel Taylor replaced Kieran Fletcher at centre back, Russ McKenna moved to centre midfield and Sam Heap started up front.

The Blues staged a superb comeback in an entertaining game and were unlucky to go out on penalties. The visitors took the lead in the 6th minute with a clear volley in front of goal and doubled it from the penalty spot after 36 minutes. The 0-2 interval scoreline didn't give a true reflection on play as Clitheroe were more than equal to Colwyn Bay and were on top for long spells but didn't get any luck in front of goal after creating numerous chances. The action continued in the second half after the visitors scored again in the 50th minute but the Blues refused to lie down and played some neat passing football and continued to create chances. They pulled a goal back in the 75th minute when Gregg Anderson pounced on a loose ball in the area to drive the ball home from 10 yards. Sam Heap was having an excellent game and got his rewards in the 84th minute when he rounded the keeper and slotted the ball home. The amazing comeback was completed on the stroke of full time when Sam Heap again got in behind the defence to score his second goal of the game to take the tie into extra time. The visitors were awarded a second penalty early in the first period to take a 4-3 lead but in the 115th minute a great forward ball from Ant Daniels was nudged past the keeper by Dave Dempsey to take the game to penalties. Ant Daniels scored the Blues first one to even things up and then James Mann saved the second Colwyn Bay penalty...only for the assistant referee to order it be retaken for him coming off his line and this time he was beaten for a second time. Joel Byrom levelled the scores again before Nigel Taylor and Russ McKenna saw their penalties saved by a keeper that came forward as much as James Mann had but this time the assistant referee saw no infringement. Colwyn Bay scored with their next spot kick to win the tie 4-2 on penalties. This was a much improved performance by Clitheroe and they deserved the appreciation of the crowd at the end.

Team : Mann, Clarke, Donnelly (Dempsey), Taylor, Anderson, Fisher (Daniels), Sargeson, McKenna, Jackson (Exton), Byrom, Heap. Subs - Daniels, Exton, Dempsey.

Sat 22/09/07
- Clitheroe 2 Harrogate RA 3 (UniBond League) Att 223
Ant Daniels started in midfield in place of Paul Osborne, John Osborne switched to left back with Russ McKenna playing left midfield and Craig Sargeson on the right.

A poor first half display cost the Blues dearly and they now enter the third month of the campaign still looking for their first league win. Harrogate took an easy 4th minute lead when a weak cross somehow found its way across the box to be poked home at the far post. Craig Sargeson struck a 30yard freekick against the foot of the post before the equaliser came in the 17th minute. Joel Byrom's freekick released Craig Sargeson on a run into the box and he fired home from 12 yards. The visitors regained the lead in the 30th minute with a free volley in front of goal and were gifted a penalty soon after when the referee deemed an innocuous challenge as a foul. James Mann got a hand to the powerful spotkick but couldn't keep it out. Joel Byrom had a mazy run into the box but his deftly placed shot just went wide of the far post. Clitheroe were much more threatening after the interval and lay almost constant siege on the Harrogate goal. This paid dividends in the 52nd minute when Ryan Fisher followed up to force home the rebound after Joel Byrom's shot had been parried. Harrogate cleared a corner off the line and sub Sam Heap then broke clear and rounded the keeper before firing his shot wide of the target. Joel Byrom was impeded on the edge of the box as he burst through on goal and Craig Sargeson struck the bar from the freekick before his final effort of the game from distance sailed the wrong side of the post.

Team : Mann, Kozlowski, J.Osborne (Exton), Fletcher, Anderson, Fisher, Sargeson, Daniels (Smith), Jackson (Heap), Byrom, McKenna. Subs - Smith, Heap, Exton.

Tue 18/09/07
- Clitheroe 1 Chorley 1* (FA Cup 1QR replay) Att 300
(*Clitheroe win 4-3 on pens)
Ryan Fisher returned to midfield after injury so Russ McKenna reverted to left back and John Osborne started on the right wing. Gary Jackson replaced Chris Ward up front.

Craig Sargeson was hero and villain in a dour match that was eventually settled on penalties. He uncharacteristicly missed an open goal in the second half of normal time in an opening 90 minutes of very few chances for either side, a Chorley free kick from distance that was well saved by James Mann being the pick of the efforts. Chorley took the lead early in extra time when another fierce long range free kick bounced off the keeper's chest as he dropped to collect the ball and the loose ball was flicked home from close range. At last the game livened up and the Blues piled on the pressure in search of an equaliser. A good move between Sam Heap and Joel Byrom saw the latter's close shot pushed out for a corner and eventually those two had a hand in the equaliser in the second period of extra time. A superb Joel Byrom cross into the box was glanced home by sub Sam Heap in front of the visiting keeper. Clitheroe fired some long range efforts over the bar and Chorley spurned a great chance to win the tie just before the final whistle. Anthony Daniels scored the first of Clitheroe's penalties before James Mann saved the second Chorley one. Joel Byrom scored his penalty and then John Osborne saw his spot kick saved to make it 2-2 from 3 each. Russ McKenna slotted his penalty home before Chorley fired their fifth one wide giving Craig Sargeson the chance to score and win the tie for Clitheroe...which he duly did. The Blues now face Spennymoor Town on Saturday 29th September at home.

Team : Mann, Kozlowski, McKenna, Fletcher, Anderson, Fisher (Exton), J.Osborne, P.Osborne (Daniels), Jackson (Heap), Byrom, Sargeson. Subs - Daniels, Heap, Exton.

Sat 15/09/07
- Chorley 2 Clitheroe 2 (FA Cup 1QR) Att 345
John Osborne replaced Russ Clarke at left back for his first start of the season in the only change to the starting lineup.

Clitheroe twice had to come from behind to force an FA Cup replay at Shawbridge on Tuesday 18th September. Chorley opened the scoring in the 14th minute when a long free kick from inside their own half into the Blues box was headed backwards by Keiron Fletcher and over his keeper for an unfortunate own goal. Craig Sargeson had Clitheroe's first real effort on goal when a curling shot from the right edge of the box was tipped over the bar. Shortly before half time he was felled as he jinked his way into the penalty area and Joel Byrom easily slotted the spot kick home for the equaliser. There was time for Chorley to regain the lead before the interval when a swift move ended with a close range header beating keeper James Mann. The Blues improved after the break and scored their second equaliser when a great ball from Craig Sargeson found Peter Smith in space down the right and he advanced on goal before sliding the ball under the outrushing keeper. Clitheroe were enjoying spells on top but were also given a few anxious moments at the back with a fierce free kick being well saved by James Mann. A draw was a fair result and both sides go again in Tuesday's replay, kick off at 7.45pm.

Team : Mann, Kozlowski, J.Osborne (Dempsey), Fletcher, Anderson, McKenna, Smith (Daniels), P.Osborne, Ward (Jackson), Byrom, Sargeson. Subs - Jackson, Daniels, Dempsey.

Tue 11/09/07
- Clitheroe 1 FC United of Manchester 1 (UniBond League) Att 952
(Abandoned 57 mins)
James Mann took over in goal from the injured Peter Collinge, Adam Kozlowski replaced Ant Daniels at right back, Kieran Fletcher came in at centre-half with Russ Clarke moving to left back and Russ McKenna moving into midfield to replace Paul Stansfield. Peter Smith started in place of Gary Stopforth with Chris Ward replacing Will Exton up front.

Clitheroe made five changes from the previous match and they paid dividends with a much improved and committed performance that looked capable of springing a surprise until the game was abandoned after 57 minutes due to floodlight failure. The Blues enjoyed a good spell on top in the first half but fell behind to a clinical close range finish after 37 minutes. They responded well and a good Joel Byrom surge forward ended with his shot being parried and Craig Sargeon followed up to fire home the loose ball after 42 minutes for a deserved equaliser. The second half was only 12 minutes old when a partial floodlight failure led to a delay before the game was abandoned. Clitheroe were playing better against a cautious FC United side and will be disappointed with the early finish to the game. No new date has been decided yet for the re-arranged fixture but the club have issued an Official Statement indicating that a significant donation has been made to the FCUM Development Fund and there will be reduced admission prices for that game.

Team : Mann, Kozlowski, Clarke, Fletcher, Anderson, McKenna, Smith, P.Osborne, Ward, Byrom, Sargeson. Subs - Jackson, Daniels, Stansfield.

Sat 08/09/07
- Newcastle Blue Star 3 Clitheroe 1 (UniBond League) Att 220
Will Exton returned up front with Adam Kozlowski taking a place on the bench in the only change to the starting 11 from the previous match.

The Blues didn't play particularly well as a team but they had the chances that would have perhaps changed the course of the game had they gone in. Craig Sargeson was played in very early by Joel Byrom but the keeper saved as the ball was drilled low across him. Peter Collinge made a superb reactive save to a ball that went right across the goalmouth and was prodded goalwards at the back post. Newcastle got the all important breakthrough in the 20th minute when the ball was played back from a narrow angle and then driven home from the edge of the penalty box. The hosts doubled the lead in the 33rd minute with a placed shot past Peter Collinge from a central position. Clitheroe finished the half strongly and Will Exton was denied by another fine save as he was put through on a one-v-one with their keeper. Peter Collinge was taken to hospital to have a hip injury looked at and was replaced in goal for the second half by Russ Clarke. Newcastle didn't test him as much as they could have done and the Blues created another great early chance when a superb Gary Stopforth pass released Joel Byrom and he became the third player to be thwarted by a fine one-v-one save from the Newcastle keeper. The Blues did pull a goal back on 55 minutes when Craig Sargeson was played in down the left and his great cross evaded the tall Blue Star centre back and was headed home by Gary Jackson. Newcastle scored a third goal in the 60th minute and while Pete Smith made another 20 minute substitute appearance and again provided a fresh impetus going forward, ultimately Clitheroe didn't really bother the home keeper too much for the rest of the game.

Team : Collinge (Kozlowski), Daniels, McKenna (Smith), Clarke, Anderson, Stansfield, Sargeson, P.Osborne, Exton (Jackson), Byrom, Stopforth. Subs - Jackson, Smith, Kozlowski.

Sat 01/09/07
- Clitheroe 3 St Helens Town 2 (FA Cup Prelim Round) Att 210
Will Exton was out injured and Paul Osborne returned to the starting lineup following his holiday.

Clitheroe made hard work of this FA Cup game against their NWCFL opponents and only an improved second half performance saw them through to the next round. Without a recognised out-and-out striker the Blues struggled to peg the visitors back and were punished when St Helens took the lead from a penalty after 42 minutes. The shocked Blues equalised almost straight away though when a Craig Sargeson drive was weakly saved and Joel Byrom followed in to head the loose ball home from very close range. Substitute Gary Jackson was brought on for the start of the second half and the Clitheroe attack was more threatening and put the visitors under the expected pressure. A few chances went agonisingly wide before Joel Byrom outpaced the defence and finished with a low drive under the keeper. Clitheroe took a strong hold of the game and increased the lead when a move down the left finished with a drive across the box which Gary Jackson and Paul Stansfield allowed to run through to the unmarked Peter Smith and he fired the ball home. There was just time for St Helens to grab a late second goal before the ref blew the whistle for full time. This was not a convincing victory but the first win of the season has now been obtained.

Team : Collinge, Daniels, McKenna, Clarke, Anderson, Stansfield, Sargeson (Smith), P.Osborne, Stopforth (Dempsey), Byrom, Kozlowski (Jackson). Subs - Jackson, Smith, Dempsey.

Mon 27/08/07
- Garforth Town 1 Clitheroe 1 (UniBond League) Att 205
Ant Daniels moved to right back in place of Kieran Fletcher allowing Craig Sargeson to return on the right wing. Russ McKenna moved to left back in place of Dave Dempsey with Adam Kozlowski taking his midfield slot. Paul Stansfield replaced the injured Ryan Fisher in midfield.

The Blues put in the performance we know they are capable of and returned from an impressive visit to Garforth with their first point of the season. Clitheroe were at their hosts from the start and completely dominated the first half but just had a solitary 42nd minute goal to show for it at half time. A wicked raking ball diagonally across the box from Craig Sargeson was forced home at the far post by Paul Stansfield. Garforth obviously received an ear-bashing during the interval and were a much more competitive side for the second half. This time it was the Blues who were under constant pressure and the equaliser came after 55 minutes when a corner was headed home. Gradually though Clitheroe weathered the storm and by the end it was end to end stuff with both sides having chances to take the three points.

Team : Collinge, Daniels, McKenna, Clarke (Fletcher), Anderson, Stansfield, Sargeson, Stopforth, Exton (Jackson (Dempsey)), Byrom, Kozlowski. Subs - Jackson, Dempsey, Fletcher.

Sat 25/08/07
- Clitheroe 1 Wakefield 2 (UniBond League) Att 205
Peter Collinge replaced James Mann in goal, Kieran Fletcher made his Blues debut at right back enabling Ant Daniels to move forward and replace Craig Sargeson wide on the right of midfield, Dave Dempsey and Russ McKenna switched their defence / midfield starting positions from the previous match, Gary Stopforth replaced Paul Stansfield in midfield and Will Exton started in place of Chris Ward up front.

Clitheroe improved on the midweek performance against Bamber Bridge and created several second half chances but still failed to register the first win of the season against a dogged but beatable Wakefield side. The visitors took the lead on 18 minutes with a free header from a corner and the Blues equalised when Gary Stopforth's cross from a left wing corner was headed goalwards by Ryan Fisher and found its way home. The Blues second half performance was much improved and the Wakefield keeper pulled off several good saves to keep the scores level. The visitors regained the lead when a strong right wing run finished with a great cross to the back post and the ball was looped over Peter Collinge into the net. Clitheroe tried to find a second equaliser but the Wakefield defence held firm to register another win that takes them to the top of the league.

Team : Collinge, Fletcher, Dempsey (Kozlowski), Clarke, Anderson, Fisher, Daniels, Stopforth, Exton, Byrom (Sargeson), McKenna. Subs - Sargeson, Stansfield, Kozlowski.

Tue 21/08/07
- Clitheroe 0 Bamber Bridge 2 (UniBond League) Att 265
Ant Daniels replaced Adam Kozlowski at right back, Ryan Fisher came in for Paul Osborne in midfield, Chris Ward started in place of Gary Jackson up front and Dave Dempsey took a place on the wing instead of Gary Stopforth.

The Blues home campaign began in front of a decent midweek crowd of 265 but stumbled to defeat against a decent and lively Bamber Bridge side. Ryan Fisher knocked a very early close range header over the bar as Clitheroe signalled their intent but after that too many balls into the box were found wanting. Brig took the lead in the 28th minute when a freekick from the right of the penalty area found its way home. Clitheroe had some fine approach play but the visitors defence were coping easily enough in front of goal. The second half was pretty much like the first with the Brig keeper not being given much to do while the visitors broke with pace and in numbers to cause some confusion in the Blues defence on a few occasions. Nigel Taylor and a Brig player received late red cards and the match was put beyond doubt when a stunning run and shot after 85 minutes doubled Brig's advantage. Clitheroe are capable of much more than this and will have to match the desire of the opponents to win every ball as well as the game.

Team : Mann, Daniels, McKenna (Taylor), Clarke, Anderson, Fisher, Sargeson, Stansfield, Ward (Jackson), Byrom (Stopforth), Dempsey. Subs - Taylor, Jackson, Stopforth.

Sat 18/08/07
- Woodley Sports 1 Clitheroe 0 (UniBond League) Att 113
James Mann started in goals ahead of the returning Peter Collinge (Leek Town), Adam Kozlowski (Rossendale United) and Gary Stopforth (ex-Blackburn Rovers) made their debuts and the returning pair of Russell Clarke (Rossendale United) and Paul Stansfield (Ossett Town) restarted their Blues careers. Gary Jackson made his first start since November 1st 2005 following his lengthy lay off through injury. Nigel Taylor (Kendal Town) made his debut from the subs bench.

Clitheroe started the new campaign with a narrow defeat on the artificial surface which was not made any easier with almost constant drizzle. Both sides struggled to control any passes made with pace while anything short was soon closed down. Woodley perhaps had the better chances of an even first half though Gary Jackson will feel he could have done better with a close range effort that went high and wide. The Blues shaded the second half on pressure in the opponents half but again Woodley had the better chances as they broke at speed. A long Nigel Taylor freekick into the box deserved a firm header home but instead it was cleared by the home defence. Woodley were awarded a freekick in a similar position and this time the ball fell loose for it to be drilled home low across keeper James Mann to give them an 82nd minute lead. Clitheroe pushed for the equaliser but time ran out without further serious attempts on goal.

Team : Mann, Kozlowski, McKenna (Taylor), Clarke, Anderson, P.Osborne, Sargeson (Dempsey), Stansfield, Jackson (Ward), Byrom, Stopforth. Subs - Taylor, Ward, Dempsey.

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