Match Reports 2008-09



Sat 25/04/09
- Trafford 4 Clitheroe 0 (UniBond League) Att 138
Jason Jones replaced Dave Hankin in midfield and Chris Scott and Danny Paton replaced Craig Sargeson and Mickey Morrison up front.

Clitheroe ended with another heavy defeat and finish the season in 12th position on 52 points. Chris Scott had the Blues only real goal attempt in the first half but his low shot from the edge of the box went narrowly wide. Trafford took a half time lead with a goal in the 38th minute but they also had 2 efforts that rebounded off the woodwork. Clitheroe were just as shot-shy after the break and further second half goals in the 53rd, 67th and 83rd minutes gave the home side a convincing victory.

Team: Fearon, Paynter, Kavanagh, McManus, Flannery, Reynolds (Kozlowski), Jones, Fisher, Scott, Paton, Brees. Sub not used: Sharples.


Mon 20/04/09
- Curzon Ashton 0 Clitheroe 1 (UniBond League) Att 157
Liam McManus moved to centreback to replace Ollie McGee with Ryan Fisher returning to midfield. Alex Brees made his full debut in place of Mark Sharples in midfield.

Clitheroe put in a more determined performance and matched their play-off hopeful hosts. Ryan Fisher had a couple of good early efforts that fizzed over the bar as the Blues took the game to a subdued Curzon side. The home side stepped up the pace after the interval and flashed a couple of low attempts wide of goal as the Blues defence kept generally on top. Clitheroe matched the increased tempo and after Craig Sargeson's shot was pushed out for a corner they took a 55th minute lead from the resulting flag kick. The ball found its way to Dave Hankin at the back post and his low prod back across the goal area was flicked home by Mickey Morrison. Curzon were reduced to 10 men towards the end and the Blues saw out time to record a hardworked and deserved victory.

Team: Fearon, Paynter, Kavanagh, McManus, Flannery, Reynolds, Hankin (Scott), Fisher, Sargeson, Morrison, Brees. Sub not used: Clarkson.


Sat 18/04/09
- Clitheroe 0 Lancaster City 5 (UniBond League) Att 219
Paul Paynter moved to rightback in place of Jonathan Forbes, Connor Kavanagh returned at left back with Liam McManus moving to midfield in place of Ryan Fisher with Mark Sharples also returning to midfield. Mickey Morrison replaced Chris Scott up front.

The Blues were comprehensively beaten in their final home game of the season by a steady Lancaster City side, the goals coming after 30, 39, 40, 60 and 70 minutes.

Team: Fearon, Paynter (Clarkson), Kavanagh, McGee, Flannery, Reynolds, Hankin (Scott), McManus, Sargeson, Morrison, Sharples (Brees). Subs not used: Hanford.


Mon 13/04/09
- Skelmersdale United 3 Clitheroe 0 (UniBond League) Att 342
Jonathan Forbes replaced Adam Kozlowski in defence with Liam McManus switching to left back in place of Connor Kavanagh and Ian Flannery returning at centre back. Paul Paynter replaced Mickey Morrison and started in midfield leaving Chris Scott as a lone striker.

The Blues were defeated by a strong Skem side who went top of the table with these 3 points. There wasn't much between the sides in the first half with Clitheroe enjoying as many close chances as the hosts. Skelmersdale went in front midway through the first half but a rasping shot from Dave Hankin and a series of goal mouth efforts nearly brought an equaliser before half time. The home side shaded the second half but had to wait until the 81st minute before stretching their lead and an 86th minute penalty gave a comprehensive but flattering scoreline. Clitheroe were denied a late penalty of their own when a defender practically caught the ball on the goal line but the referee dismissed all appeals much to the amusement of the defender and goalkeeper.

Team: Fearon, Forbes (Clarkson), McManus, McGee, Flannery, Reynolds, Hankin, Fisher, Scott (Brees), Paynter, Sargeson. Subs not used: Hanford.


Fri 10/04/09
- Clitheroe 1 Radcliffe Borough 2 (UniBond League) Att 235
Martin Fearon returned from suspension to replace Danny Hanford in goal, Adam Kozlowski returned at right back to replace Ollie McGee who moved to centre back in place of Ian Flannery. Liam McManus returned to centre back after suspension with Ryan Fisher moving to midfield. Mark Sharples withdrew just before kick off with Chris Scott coming in to replace him. Youngster Alex Brees made his debut from the subs bench.

This was a another lacklustre affair that the visitors won with probably their only 2 real chances while the Blues fluffed several very good chances. Clitheroe took the lead after 27 minutes when Dave Hankin received the ball wide on the right and his cross from the corner flag sat up invitingly for Ryan Fisher to power home a strong header from 8 yards. The second half continued with neither side really grabbing the initiative and the Blues paid for their failure to take chances in front of goal when Radcliffe broke away and equalised in the 60th minute. They then became stronger and Martin Fearon produced a stunning save to deny them the lead before they scored a second in the 75th minute and did enough to thwart the Blues until the final whistle.

Team: Fearon, Kozlowski (Paynter (Clarkson)), Kavanagh, McManus, McGee, Reynolds, Hankin, Fisher, Sargeson, Morrison, Scott (Brees). Subs not used: Hanford, Sharples.


Tue 07/04/09
- Clitheroe 2 Trafford 2 (UniBond League) Att 120
Ollie McGee moved to right back in place of Adam Kozlowski with Ryan Fisher moving to centre back with Craig Sargeson coming in to midfield.

This was a largely lacklustre affair with equalising goals towards the end of each half salvaging a point for the Blues. The visitors took the lead after 16 minutes when Clitheroe keeper Danny Hanford became victim of a wicked bobble and failed to connect with an attempted clearance leaving a simple tap-in for a Trafford player. Clitheroe equalised on 40 minutes when Mark Sharples was played into space down the left of the penalty area and he crossed for Mickey Morrison to head home at the far post. The second half saw both sides creating chances before Anthony Johnson was stretchered off with a suspected broken ankle. Trafford regained the lead in the 85th minute before the Blues equalised again into the 6 minutes of added time when Ryan Fisher played a ball into Chris Scott on the edge of the 18 yard box and he turned before taking a couple of steps and then driving the ball home across the keeper.

Team: Hanford, McGee, Kavanagh, Fisher, Flannery, Reynolds, Hankin, Sargeson, Johnson (Clarkson), Morrison (Scott), Sharples (Paynter).


Sat 04/04/09
- Durham City 3 Clitheroe 1 (UniBond League) Att 242
Ollie McGee replaced Ryan Fisher in defence who moved forward to replace Craig Sargeson in midfield. Mickey Morrison replaced Chris Clarkson up front.

The Blues did well to hold the lead at halftime but the league leaders made better use of the strong wind to seal victory after the break. Clitheroe took the lead in the 40th minute when a long range Neil Reynolds shot was parried by the keeper and Anthony Johnson had a follow-up attempt blocked before Ryan Fisher pounced to slot home from an acute angle. After the interval Durham were soon on level terms from a 48th minute penalty after Ian Flannery was harshly judged to have knocked over a forward as he poked the ball out for a corner. There was no controversy over the goal that gave them the lead in the 65th minute though, a superb chipped pass into space inside the penalty box was then despatched coolly over Blues keeper Danny Hanford as he came off his line. Clitheroe were struggling playing into the strong wind while the home side peppered in wind-assisted shots from anywhere, even one from the halfway line that just dropped over the bar. The Blues did have a flurry of goalmouth action late in the game before Durham sealed the points with a well drilled shot inside the near post in the 90th minute.

Team: Hanford, Kozlowski (Scott), Kavanagh, McGee, Flannery, Reynolds, Hankin, Fisher, Johnson, Morrison (Clarkson), Sharples (Sargeson).


Tue 31/03/09
- Clitheroe 3 Garforth Town 1 (UniBond League) Att 193
There was no change to the starting eleven and new striker Michael Morrison from Runcorn Linnets started on the bench.

Clitheroe came from behind to win this match with a much improved 2nd half performance. The Blues started brightly but it was Garforth who took the lead from the penalty spot in the 13th minute and the visitors then dominated the rest of the first half. Clitheroe clawed their way back into the game with a glancing header from Chris Clarkson and a quick double sealed the points. In the 72nd minute Adam Kozlowski released Dave Hankin down the right wing and his cross was knocked home by Mark Sharples at the near post. Just a minute later Dave Hankin was felled as he moved into the penalty area and he fired home the resulting spot kick.

Team: Hanford, Kozlowski, Kavanagh, Fisher, Flannery, Reynolds, Hankin (Painter), Sharples, Johnson, Sargeson (Morrison), Clarkson (Perry-Acton). Subs not used - Scott, McGee.


Sat 28/03/09
- Newcastle Blue Star 1 Clitheroe 1 (UniBond League) Att 117
Young Rochdale goalkeeper Daniel Hanford replaced the suspended Martin Fearon in goal, Ryan Fisher moved to centre back to replace the suspended Liam McManus with Craig Sargeson switching to midfield and Chris Clarkson coming in up front, Mark Sharples replaced Jason Jones in midfield and AFC Fylde striker Paul Paynter took a place on the bench.

The Blues very nearly pulled off a great victory with a tremendous team performance at high-flying Blue Star. Both sides coped well with the blustery conditions and provided some excellent football in a game of end to end football. Rookie keeper Daniel Hanford had a confident opening while Dave Hankin was continuing his good form down the Clitheroe right and it was his cross that led to a goalline scramble in the 16th minute and Craig Sargeson nipped in to force the ball home and give Clitheroe the lead. Goalkeeper Daniel Hanford did well to keep an attempted chip over him out and the Blues reached half time still a goal ahead. Newcastle stepped up a gear after the break and played some neat flowing football that Clitheroe's defence often did well to break down before the final shot could be fired in. Clitheroe were also creating chances and Chris Clarkson got in front of a chasing defender but was slow to get his shot in and the defender recovered to clear the danger. He did better just moments later and fired in an effort that was saved and then connected with a good Mark Sharples cross that brought an acrobatic save from the home keeper. Dave Hankin had the ball laid off to him and he ran on to it and unleashed a bullet of a shot that the keeper glanced over the bar for a corner. Newcastle equalised in the 89th minute to cruelly deny the Blues what would have been an unexpected but very hard-worked for 3 points.

Team: Hanford, Kozlowski, Kavanagh, Fisher, Flannery, Reynolds, Hankin, Sharples, Johnson, Sargeson, Clarkson (Scott). Subs not used - Perry-Acton, Paynter.


Tue 24/03/09
- Clitheroe 1 FC Halifax Town 2 (UniBond League) Att 488
Neil Reynolds and Jason Jones replaced Kenny Mayers and Ashley Parillon in midfield and Craig Sargeson replaced Leon Gierke up front.

The game was played in atrocious weather conditions but both teams featured in a very entertaining match. Clitheroe created numerous early goal chances before Halifax took a 19th minute lead when keeper Martin Fearon parried a hard driven cross onto a player and was helpless as it trundled over the goal line. The game became more even and the visitors doubled their lead in the 35th minute with a stunning strike from the edge of the box that whistled into the top corner. Ian Flannery didn't make it out after the interval so Ryan Fisher moved alongside Liam McManus at centre back and Craig Sargeson dropped into midfield with young striker Chris Clarkson coming on alongside Anthony Johnson up front. The Blues dominated the second half as pitch conditions worsened and Halifax were restricted to a few swift counter-attacks. Clitheroe pulled a goal back in the 73rd minute when a quickly taken free kick found Dave Hankin in space just inside the right-hand side corner of the penalty box and his low driven cross-cum-shot took a couple of slight deflections before sneaking in at the far post. Chris Clarkson had a great chance for the equaliser soon after but his far post header from a right wing cross was glanced rather than met full on and the ball went out for a goalkick. Connor Kavanagh had a strong run from the halfway line, jinking past a few players before crashing in a 20 yard drive that forced the Halifax keeper into a fine low save by the post. The visitors were looking more dangerous with some nippy forward play and Martin Fearon made a superb save to deny them a third goal and despite a couple of other late chances the Blues couldn't force the second equaliser.

Team: Fearon, Kozlowski (A.Smith), Kavanagh, McManus, Flannery (Clarkson), Fisher, Hankin, Reynolds, Johnson, Sargeson, Jones (Sharples). Sub not used - Scott.


Sat 21/03/09
- Rossendale United 2 Clitheroe 2 (UniBond League) Att 194
Ian Flannery replaced Jonathan Smith in defence, new signing Ashley Parillon replaced Mark Sharples in midfield and Leon Gierke replaced Andy Smith up front.

The Blues returned with a point from an entertaining local derby and they made a bright start with Liam McManus firing a shot onto the post and forcing Rossendale to defend in numbers. It was the home side though who broke the deadlock with a smart finish in the 32nd minute but Clitheroe equalised in the 44th minute when a Dave Hankin cross was cleared towards the edge of the penalty box and new signing Ashley Parillon drove the ball home for a debut goal. The second half was more even and a high ball forward by Connor Kavanagh fell just behind the Rossendale back line and Anthony Johnson was first to latch on to it and raced into the box before driving the ball across the keeper to give the Blues a 55th minute lead. Rossendale equalised in the 78th minute when a cross from the left was finished off in front of goal and in the closing stages Clitheroe sub Chris Clarkson was again unlucky in seeing a shot come back off the post after nudging the ball past the advancing keeper.

Team: Fearon, Kozlowski, Kavanagh, McManus, Flannery, Mayers, Hankin, Fisher (Reynolds), Johnson, Gierke (Clarkson), Parillon (Jones). Sub not used - A.Smith.


Tue 17/03/09
- Clitheroe 1 Curzon Ashton 0 (UniBond League) Att 171
Adam Kozlowski and Liam McManus replaced Joel Pilkington and Kieron Fletcher in defence while Kenny Mayers and Mark Sharples replaced Neil Reynolds and Craig Sargeson in midfield. Jason Jones started on the subs bench.

Clitheroe played with more urgency and won this tight affair with a solitary goal on the stroke of half time. An even first half looked to be ending goalless when Dave Hankin's left wing corner found it's way though the goalmouth to be knocked home from close range by Anthony Johnson to give the Blues a 44th minute lead. The second half followed the same pattern of some decent approach work from both sides but ultimately not really testing the keeper. Towards the final quarter Clitheroe saw sub striker Chris Clarkson do well to hold off a challenge as he chased a long ball into the penalty area and was unlucky to see his poke past the oncoming keeper go narrowly wide. Ryan Fisher had a point blank header saved brilliantly and Chris Clarkson forced another save from the visiting keeper. Curzon Ashton piled on the pressure during the final minutes but fired high or wide with their final strikes on goal and the Blues held on to secure a hardworked victory.

Team: Fearon, Kozlowski, Kavanagh, McManus, J.Smith (Clarkson), Mayers, Hankin, Fisher, Johnson, Sharples (Jones), A.Smith (Gierke). Subs not used - Scott, Fletcher.


Sat 14/03/09
- Clitheroe 0 Skelmersdale United 6 (UniBond League) Att 250
Martin Fearon returned in goal and Joel Pilkington replaced Liam McManus in defence.

Clitheroe were reduced to 9 men and were soundly beaten by a back-to-form Skelmersdale side. The visitors took a 1st minute lead but the Blues then had three superb chances, Ryan Fisher had a shot saved before drilling another narrowly wide and Dave Hankin blazed a shot high over the bar. Skem then scored another goal in the 22nd minute to take a 2-0 interval lead. They added a superb solo-effort third after 48 minutes and then Clitheroe had Kieron Fletcher and goalkeeper Martin Fearon sent off within minutes of each other. Jonathan Smith took over between the sticks and it was a surprise that it took until the 74th minute before Skem scored their fourth goal. They added a fifth after 79 minutes and a sixth in the 80th minute and only some fortunate blocks in the 6 yard box kept further goals from being added.

Team: Fearon, Pilkington, Kavanagh, Fletcher, J.Smith, Reynolds (Kozlowski), Hankin (Sharples), Fisher, Johnson, Sargeson, A.Smith (Gierke). Subs not used - Mayers, Clarkson.


Wed 11/03/09
- Clitheroe 2 Woodley Sports 3 (UniBond League) Att 132
Goalkeeper Gavin King from Runcorn Linnets replaced the suspended Martin Fearon in goal and Ryan Fisher replaced Kenny Mayers in midfield.

Clitheroe were twice in the lead and had plenty of other chances but lost out to an improving Woodley Sports side. The Blues made a great start and took a 3rd minute lead when Jonathan Smith headed in at the far post and had further chances to increase the advantage before the visitors equalised on 20 minutes. Clitheroe regained the lead after 30 minutes when Ryan Fisher broke free and hammered in a shot that was saved but he was able to knock in the rebound and reached the interval still in front. Woodley equalised again after 50 minutes and took the lead themselves after 60 minutes. Clitheroe contuinued to create good chances but the equaliser wouldn't go in and Liam McManus was sent off towards the end of the match as time ran out and the Blues fell to their third home league defeat of the season.

Team: King, McManus, Kavanagh, Fletcher, J.Smith, Reynolds, Hankin, Fisher, Johnson, Sargeson, A.Smith. Subs - Sharples, Scott, Mayers. Not used - Parry-Acton, Stopforth.

Sat 07/03/09
- Chorley 0 Clitheroe 2 (UniBond League) Att 370
New assistant manager Kenny Mayers made his Clitheroe debut in place of Ryan Fisher in midfield and Anthony Johnson replaced Leon Gierke up front.

Clitheroe scored an away win at Chorley thanks to headed goals from Jonathan Smith at the very end of either half. The Blues had good chances for Dave Hankin and Anthony Johnson before the hosts had a very brief spell of pressure to fire in a couple of wayward shots. The first half was heading for a 0-0 scoreline when in the 45th minute Jonathan Smith rose to direct a header from a corner goalwards and it somehow found its way through a crowd of players to nestle in the net. The second half saw Chorley improve but the Clitheroe defence worked hard to keep them out while at the other end the Blues were finding an equally stern defensive line to break down. The second goal came in the 89th minute when Craig Sargeson floated in a freekick and once again it was Jonathan Smith who got his head to the ball first to place it firmly inside the far post.

Team: Fearon, McManus, Kavanagh, Fletcher, J.Smith, Reynolds, Hankin, Mayers (Sharples), Johnson (Scott), Sargeson, A.Smith (Parry-Acton). Subs not used - Pilkington, Gierke.


Sat 28/02/09
- Clitheroe 4 Ossett Albion 2 (UniBond League) Att 236
Liam McManus moved to right back to replace Joel Pilkington with Jonathan Smith returning at centre back. Dave Hankin returned to midfield in place of Gary Stopforth and Leon Gierke replaced Anthony Johnson up front.

Clitheroe gained a welcome 3 points over high-riding Ossett Albion with a dominant second half display. The opening 45 minutes was very even and the Blues took the lead after 32 minutes when Dave Hankin burst through the middle of the park before playing Andy Smith in on the left of goal. He instead chose to control the ball and come inside to make room to unleash a superb 20 yard strike that left the visitors keeper rooted to the spot. Ossett equalised in the 42nd minute following a defensive error and Clitheroe almost restored their advantage on the stroke of half time when Ryan Fisher chased a through ball and his first time effort just curled the wrong side of the far post. Both sides were knocking the ball about well after the break and Clitheroe took the lead again in the 65th minute when Dave Hankin picked the ball up on the right wing and jinked his way into the area before firing home into the far corner with a low placed shot. The lead was increased almost with the next attack in the 66th minute when again Dave Hankin had a strong run before his neat pass into the box was latched onto by Anthony Johnson who took the ball around the keeper before slotting home. Ossett pulled another goal back in the 76th minute with a well drilled shot to set up a tense final 15 minutes but the match was sealed in the 90th minute when Anthony Johnson received the ball and played it across the edge of the box for Dave Hankin to run onto and fire home with a crisp low effort that the keeper couldn't hold and could only watch it roll over the line.

Team: Fearon, McManus, Kavanagh, Fletcher, J.Smith, Reynolds, Hankin, Fisher (Pilkington), Gierke (Johnson), Sargeson, A.Smith (Stopforth). Subs not used - McGee, Scott.


Tue 24/02/09
- Woodley Sports 1 Clitheroe 0 (UniBond League) Att 77
Joel Pilkington replaced Liam McManus at rightback who moved to centreback in place of Jonathan Smith. Ryan Fisher replaced Dave Hankin in midfield and Andy Smith replaced Ben Perry-Acton to start up front.

Clitheroe again performed as well as the opposition but again lost out to a solitary goal. The Blues started positively on the artificial surface and pinged the ball about with confidence but the game plan changed after 12 minutes when keeper Martin Fearon was sent off for handling the ball outside the area as the Woodley striker chased a ball over the top. Liam McManus donned the goalkeeper top with Ryan Fisher reverting to a centreback. Woodley only tempted the replacement keeper with a couple of tame shots and a weak header in the remainder of the first half as Clitheroe continued to match their hosts for commitment. The second half was more even but Woodley took the lead in the 51st minute when a free header at the far post was headed home. The match was end to end but unfortunately the Blues attacking play again failed to test the keeper and after 85 minutes Joel Pilkington became the second Clitheroe player to be sent off as be felled their striker just inside the Blues half as he went to chase another through ball. There's nothing wrong with much of Clitheroe's play and I wouldn't say we play defensively...we're just lacking in front of goal.

Team: Fearon, Pilkington, Kavanagh, Fletcher, McManus, Reynolds (Sharples), Fisher (Gierke), Stopforth, Johnson (Hankin), Sargeson, A.Smith. Subs not used - J.Smith, Scott.


Sat 21/02/09
- Mossley 1 Clitheroe 0 (UniBond League) Att 194
Craig Sargeson replaced Leon Gierke alongside Anthony Johnson up front.

The Blues lost out to a superb last minute strike after again having the majority of possession and territorial advantage for much of a dogged game. Clitheroe played with the wind behind them in the first half but were generally restricted to long range efforts that were well off target. Mossley appeared to create some decent chances at the other end but again the finishing was poor and it was no surprise that halftime arrived goalless. The second half again saw both defences holding firm and Clitheroe's best chance came to Liam McManus whose header from a corner whistled past the post. Craig Sargeson had a good run through the middle and shot from distance but that also went the wrong side of the upright. A poor playing surface restricted any decent control in front of goal and any goal looked likely to come from a mistake rather than be skilfully produced. However, in the 90th minute the decisive goal came from a right wing cross that found its way to just inside the box on the left and it was volleyed home with pace past the otherwise immaculate Martin Fearon. Having scored 5 goals in the previous game at Bamber Bridge Clitheroe have now failed to score in 6 out of the last 9 away league games.

Team: Fearon, McManus, Kavanagh, Fletcher, J.Smith (Pilkington), Reynolds, Hankin (A.Smith), Stopforth, Johnson, Sargeson, Perry-Acton (Gierke). Subs not used - Scott, Sharples.


Mon 16/02/09
- Clitheroe 1 Durham City 3 (UniBond League) Att 214
Jonathan Smith replaced Ollie McGee at centrehalf and Anthony Johnson replaced Craig Sargeson up front.

Clitheroe fell to their first home league defeat since the opening game of the season against a classy Durham side who went to the top of the table with this victory. The Blues started the game brightly but it was the visitors who almost opened the scoring after another speedy counter attack with the ball hitting both posts before being cleared to safety. They did take the lead though on 43 minutes with a low drilled shot from the impressive Tommy English but otherwise the first half was fairly even. Both sides continued the good football after the interval and Clitheroe equalised after 65 minutes when Anthony Johnson headed a freekick into the path of Ryan Fisher who ran on to slot across the Durham keeper. Anthony Johnson also saw a shot well saved by the keeper after being played through on a 1 v 1. The visitors retook the lead on 70 minutes and added a third after 80 minutes to seal a hard worked win over a bubbling Clitheroe side who almost snatched a late second goal when Chris Scott's effort bounced back of the bar.

Team: Fearon, McManus, Kavanagh, Fletcher, J.Smith, Reynolds (Fisher), Hankin (Scott), Stopforth, Gierke (A.Smith), Johnson, Perry-Acton. Subs not used - Pilkington, Sharples.


Sat 14/02/09
- Bamber Bridge 0 Clitheroe 5 (UniBond League) Att 143
Craig Sargeson moved inside to replace Andy Smith in attack with Ben Perry-Acton making his full debut on the left wing.

Clitheroe returned to action with a stunning victory at high riding Brig. They took the lead in the 7th minute when Dave Hankin's right wing cross somehow made its way across the box to be drilled back in by Ben Parry-Acton and this time Leon Gierke made no mistake in prodding it home from 6 yards. The lead was doubled in the 16th minute when a corner was headed clear and Ollie McGee calmly lofted the ball back over the crowded area and keeper to drop in just under the bar. A third goal arrived after 19 minutes when a Gary Stopforth corner could only be helped home by a Bamber Bridge defender on the goalline. The Blues were well on top and sealed a very comfortable half time lead with another goal on 45 minutes, Dave Hankin again having a strong run forward and his shot was diverted home by Leon Gierke. The home side gradually began to come into the game as the second half progressed but fell further behind in the 72nd minute when a great cross from Ben Perry-Acton was glanced home by the head of Craig Sargeson. This was a terrific team performance that was rewarded by 5 goals and a clean sheet.

Team: Fearon, McManus, Kavanagh, Fletcher, McGee, Reynolds (Sharples), Hankin (Fisher), Stopforth, Gierke (A.Smith), Sargeson, Perry-Acton. Subs not used - Pilkington, Scott.


Sat 31/01/09
- Clitheroe 1 Chorley 1 (UniBond League) Att 325
Connor Kavanagh and the re-signed Kieron Fletcher replaced Scott Redhead and Ian Flannery in defence, Craig Sargeson reverted to left wing in place of Connor Kavanagh and Andy Smith returned for a further loan spell and replaced suspended Anthony Johnson up front alongside Leon Gierke who made his full debut.

Clitheroe took a share of the spoils against an improving Chorley side in a decent local derby game. The visitors shaded the first half and the woodwork and a terrific save from Blues keeper Martin Fearon kept the scoreline goalless at half time. It looked increasingly like one goal would win the game and Clitheroe gradually took hold of the game as the second half progressed. They went in front in the 70th minute through a Craig Sargeson penalty after he had been felled as he jinked in the box. Chorley equalised in the 80th minute though to take a share of the points.

Team: Fearon, McManus, Kavanagh, Fletcher, McGee, Reynolds, Hankin (Pilkington), Stopforth, Gierke (King), A.Smith (Wilkes), Sargeson. Subs not used - Fisher, Perry-Acton.


Sat 24/01/09
- Clitheroe 3 Rossendale United 2 (UniBond League) Att 280
Scott Redhead returned to defence in place of Connor Kavanagh who moved forward to replace Ryan Fisher in midfield. Neil Reynolds replaced Bernard Morley in midfield and Dave Hankin returned on right wing in place of Craig Sargeson who moved forward to replace Chris Scott up front. Leon Gierke started on the subs bench.

Clitheroe returned to winning ways against local rivals Rossendale but had to withstand a nervy final few minutes before taking the points. The Blues took an 11th minute lead when Ollie McGee headed in Connor Kavanagh's corner at the back post. The lead was doubled in the 30th minute when Craig Sargeson's low angled pass into the penalty area was stroked home by Dave Hankin. Clitheroe were comfortably on top but a penalty for the visitors after 43 minutes saw Martin Fearon save the initial spot kick only for the loose ball to be fired home to give a 2-1 interval scoreline. The second half was more even and when Dave Hankin was felled in the 60th minute as he raced into the box Craig Sargeson made no mistake with a retaken penalty to open up the 2 goal difference again. A series of substitutions and a flurry of bookings for both sides led to Rossendale have a good spell and they pulled a goal back in the 82nd minute to set up a frantic finish to the game and the Blues defending in numbers to ensure victory.

Team: Fearon, McManus, Redhead (Fisher), Flannery (Morley), McGee, Reynolds, Hankin (Gierke), Stopforth, Johnson, Sargeson, Kavanagh. Subs not used - Perry-Acton, Scott.


Sat 17/01/09
- Harrogate Railway 1 Clitheroe 0 (UniBond League) Att 120
Liam McManus and Connor Kavanagh replaced Joel Pilkington and Scott Redhead in defence, Ryan Fisher dropped back to midfield replacing Dave Hankin and 17 year old reserve Chris Scott started his first game up front. Ben Perry-Acton started on the subs bench.

Clitheroe again had the better of territorial advantage, pressure and possession but came away with nothing to show for it, largely due to a great display from the Harrogate keeper. The Blues played with the wind behind them in the first half but this led to many forward passes going beyond the front players. The best chance of the half was created by Craig Sargeson who jinked his way into space on the edge of the box and curled a great effort just the wrong side of the far post. Clitheroe played into the wind in the second half but within seconds of restarting the game were a goal behind as the ball was intercepted and the Harrogate centre forward was played through to fire home past the advancing Martin Fearon. Some good play down either wings created chances and the Harrogate keeper made a superb save to deny a close range Anthony Johnson header. He also saved a well-struck long distance shot from Bernard Morley and then thwarted him when Bernard was played through on a one-v-one. Both sides picked up needless bookings towards the end of the game as it fizzled out with another narrow away defeat.

Team: Fearon, McManus, Kavanagh, Flannery, McGee (Redhead), Morley, Sargeson, Stopforth, Johnson, Scott (Hankin), Fisher (Parry-Acton). Subs not used - Sharples, Reynolds.


Fri 26/12/08
- Lancaster City 1 Clitheroe 0 (UniBond League) Att 260
Dave Hankin and Craig Sargeson returned to midfield with Scott Redhead dropping back into defence to replace Connor Kavanagh and Ryan Fisher moving up front to replace Andy Smith who has been recalled by Accrington Stanley.

A lacklustre game was won by a solitary strike from the home side after 59 minutes.

Team: Fearon, Pilkington, Redhead, Flannery, McGee, Morley, Hankin (Sharples), Stopforth, Johnson (Toronczak), Fisher (Scott), Sargeson. Subs not used - Kozlowski, McManus.


Sat 20/12/08
- Clitheroe 3 Newcastle Blue Star 3 (UniBond League) Att 148
Joel Pilkington, Connor Kavanagh and Ollie McGee replaced Adam Kozlowski, Jonathan Forbes and Jonathan Smith in defence. Danny Toronczak has returned to the club from Salford City and started on the subs bench.

Both sides contributed to a very entertaining match and both arguably deserved more than a point from the game. Clitheroe enjoyed most of the early exchanges but fell behind in the 27th minute to an absolutely stunning strike from 30 yards that gave keeper Martin Fearon no chance at all. The Blues equalised in the 35th minute when Andy Smith stole the ball from the feet of a Blue Star player just inside their half and ran to just inside the penalty area before driving firmly past the advancing keeper. Clitheroe took the lead in the 40th minute when Ryan Fisher's low drive across the goal area was despatched cleanly from close range by the supporting Connor Kavanagh. The visitors equalised in the 43rd minute with another superb strike from distance than Martin Fearon got a hand to but couldn't keep it out of the top left hand corner. Clitheroe scored their third goal on 45 minutes when Ryan Fisher headed the ball down in the 6 yard box and watched it bounce up and past the helpless Newcastle keeper to secure the interval lead. The entertainment continued in the second half although Clitheroe were restricted to mostly long range efforts and Martin Fearon had to make a couple of smart saves to keep the visitors out. Newcastle always looked dangerous going forward and they equalised again in the 84th minute with another well struck shot through a crowded penalty area. Both sides continued to look for the winner and Martin Fearon made another superb save to secure a deserved share of the spoils at the final whistle.

Team: Fearon, Pilkington, Kavanagh, Flannery, McGee, Morley, Fisher (Kozlowski), Stopforth (Sharples), Johnson (Toronczak), A.Smith, Redhead. Subs not used - Scott, Forbes.


Sat 13/12/08
- Clitheroe 3 Bamber Bridge 3 (UniBond League) Att 250
Andy Smith replaced Hyde United-bound Carl Lomax up front and young reserve Chris Scott was named on the subs bench.

Clitheroe made the best possible start when Andy Smith was released down the right wing and his superb cross was flicked home from the head of Ryan Fisher for a 1st minute lead. The lead was short lived when sloppy defending was punished by a Brig equaliser in the 8th minute and they took a half time lead with a smart volleyed goal on 38 minutes. The Blues were much more determined in the second half and after sustained early pressure they equalised after 53 minutes when Adam Koslowski knocked in a great Conor Kavanagh cross from close range. Clitheroe were on top for much of the second half though the visitors looked tricky when they attacked and had chances themselves. After another good spell of pressure Clitheroe took the lead in the 84th minute when Conor Kavanagh latched on to a poor headed back pass and rounded the keeper before drilling the ball in at the near post. Former-Blue Jamie Nay was then sent off after receiving his 2nd yellow card and 10-man Brig were awarded an 88th minute penalty which was fired home to finish the scoring in an entertaining local derby.

Team: Fearon, Kozlowski, Forbes (McGee), Flannery, J.Smith, Morley, Fisher (Scott), Stopforth, Johnson, A.Smith, Redhead (Kavanagh). Subs not used - Sharples, Higgins.


Sat 06/12/08
- Wakefield 3 Clitheroe 2 (UniBond League) Att 131
Adam Kozlowski replaced Joel Pilkington in defence and Ryan Fisher, Bernard Morley and Scott Redhead replaced Andy Smith, Dave Hankin and Craig Sargeson in midfield.

The Blues were reduced to 10 men on the stroke of halftime but battled well in the second half and were unfortunate not to come away with a point. The game started quietly but livened up once Clitheroe took a 37th minute lead when Carl Lomax smartly volleyed home from 15 yards. Jonathan Smith was sent off just before the interval and Wakefield equalised with a headed goal after 50 minutes. Blues keeper Martin Fearon made a great save from another header but the home side took the lead after 73 minutes with a hard driven shot from 12 yards. Clitheroe equalised in the 82nd minute when substitute Joel Pilkington made space on the edge of the box before coolly firing home. Wakefield restored their lead in the 87th minute with a close range effort that wrongfooted Martin Fearon and they did enough to hold on for the final whistle and the 3 points

Team: Fearon, Kozlowski, Forbes, Flannery, J.Smith, Fisher (Pilkington), Morley, Stopforth, Johnson (A.Smith), Lomax, Redhead (Hankin). Subs not used - Kavanagh, Higgins.


Sat 29/11/08
- Clitheroe 4 Harrogate Railway Athletic 3 (UniBond League) Att 216
Joel Pilkington replaced Conor Kavanagh in defence, Andy Smith and Craig Sargeson replaced Neil Reynolds and Ridicio King in midfield and Carl Lomax returned after suspension in place of Andy Smith up front. Adam Kozlowski made his first appearance of the season on the subs bench.

Clitheroe left it late to beat their lowly visitors who surprised a fog-bound Shawbridge by twice holding a 2 goal lead. Harrogate opened the scoring in the 7th minute and doubled their lead in the 16th minute before the Blues pulled a goal back in the 35th minute when Jonathan Smith looped a header from Craig Sargeson's cross over the keeper from the edge of the box. Harrogate again took a 2 goal advantage with an own goal in the 46th minute but from then on it was Clitheroe who dominated the game. In the 65th minute and for the second week running Craig Sargeson fired home a superb 25 yard free kick that left the home keeper rooted to the spot. Several other chances were created and another great cross from Craig Sargeson was somehow missed by the heads of both Anthony Johnson and Carl Lomax as they attacked the ball. There was no repeat though in the 85th minute when once again Craig Sargeson delivered a tempting free kick into the box and Anthony Johnson headed home the equaliser. The Blues continued to look for a late winner and it came in added-on time when Anthony Johnson controlled the ball on the edge of the penalty area before turning and shooting home with a low drive.

Team: Fearon, Forbes (Kozlowski), Pilkington, Flannery, J.Smith, Stopforth, Hankin (Fisher), A.Smith (Higgins), Johnson, Lomax, Sargeson. Subs not used - Sharples, Reynolds.


Sat 22/11/08
- Salford City 1 Clitheroe 1 (UniBond League) Att 153
New signing Jonathan Forbes, Ian Flannery, Jonathan Smith and Conor Kavanagh replaced Joel Pilkington, Paul Osborne, Ollie McGee and Scott Redhead in defence, Dave Hankin, Gary Stopforth and Ridicio King replaced Mark Sharples, Bernard Morley and Matt Edgington in midfield, loan signing Andy Smith replaced suspended Carl Lomax up front.

The Blues put in an improved overall performance but had to rely on a superb set piece delivery to rescue a point at bottom of the table Salford. Three new signings made the starting eleven alongside several players returning after injury including Gary Stopforth who started his first game since 19th August. Clitheroe opened the game brightly and had several good chances towards the end of the first half as Andy Smith saw his close range effort flicked onto the bar, Dave Hankin had a snap shot saved and Neil Rynolds had a blistering drive pushed over for a corner. Clitheroe had much of the second half possession and territorial advantage but fell behind when Danny Toronczak finished from an angle. The Blues continued to press and scored a deserved equaliser when Craig Sargeson fired home a 25 yard free kick that left the home keeper rooted to the spot. They had a great chance to nick all three points when Andy Smith had a strong run through the middle before being tackled and Anthony Johnson latched on to the loose ball to go wide before twisting the ball back across goal only to see it go agonisingly wide of the far post.

Team: Fearon, Forbes, Kavanagh, Flannery, J.Smith, Reynolds (Sharples), Hankin (Sargeson), Stopforth, Johnson, A.Smith, King (Redhead). Subs not used - McGee, Higgins.


Tue 18/11/08
- Rossendale United 2 Clitheroe 1 (Lancashire Cup) Att 96
Joel Pilkington, Scott Redhead and Ollie McGee replaced Liam McManus, Conor Kavanagh and Jonathan Smith in defence, Neil Reynolds and Mark Sharples replaced Joel Pilkington and Dave Hankin in midfield, Anthony Johnson replaced Ashley Higgins up front.

Clitheroe went out of the Lancashire Cup as the current losing streak was extended to six games at struggling Rossendale United. The Blues took the lead in the 26th minute when Bernard Morley stretched to prod the ball through to Carl Lomax who ran on to slot the ball home. Clitheroe were good value for the slender interval lead but came up against a more determined home side in the second half and the scores were levelled in the 54th minute when Rossendale broke free and fired home past keeper Martin Fearon. The Blues had some good chances without making the most of them with some long range efforts lacking the power or accuracy to trouble the home keeper. Slack play by Clitheroe in the 82nd minute gave possession to Rossendale and they played the ball into the penalty area to score a second goal, a lead which they kept until the final whistle.

Team: Fearon, Pilkington, Redhead, Osborne, McGee, Reynolds (Maden), Sharples (Paton), Morley, Johnson, Lomax, Edgington (McManus). Subs not used - Ainsworth, P. Smith.


Sat 15/11/08
- Colwyn Bay 3 Clitheroe 0 (UniBond League) Att 301
Loan signing Conor Kavanagh made his debut in defence in place of Scott Redhead, Joel Pilkington replaced Ollie McGee in midfield and new signing Ashley Higgins made his debut up front in place of the suspended Anthony Johnson. Craig Sargeson was injured just before the game and was replaced in midfield by Matt Edgington.

The Blues were soundly beaten but they gifted Colwyn Bay two of the goals, the first after just 2 minutes when a poor pass let the home striker clear in on goal to slide the ball past Martin Fearon. A further poor pass after 22 minutes saw the ball again finish up in the Clitheroe net and the Blues only real chance of a dour first half display fell to a late effort that Dave Hankin put over as he tried to curl it left-footed around a mass of players into the top corner. Having already lost Jonathan Smith to injury during the first half Clitheroe then lost Dave Hankin during the interval and in the 51st minute Colwyn Bay extended their lead with a well taken goal. The Blues had to wait until just before the final whistle to seriously test the home keeper when Ashley Higgins' fierce 30 yarder was only palmed down but the keeper recovered to collect the ball.


Team: Fearon, McManus, Kavanagh, Osborne, Smith (McGee), Pilkington (Sharples), Hankin (Redhead), Morley, Higgins, Lomax, Edgington. Subs not used - P. Smith.


Sat 08/11/08
- Warrington Town 1 Clitheroe 0 (UniBond League) Att 162
Martin Fearon replaced James Mann in goal, Liam McManus and Paul Osborne replaced Joel Pilkington and Russ Clarke in defence, Dave Hankin, debutant Oliver McGee and Bernard Morley replaced Mark Sharples, Steve Maden and Neil Reynolds in midfield, Anthony Johnson replaced Chris Ward up front.

Clitheroe lost to lowly Warrington by the narrowest of margins in a disappointing game littered with bookings for the Blues. The only goal of the game came after 25 minutes with a well struck shot across keeper Martin Fearon and while Clitheroe had plenty of crosses into the Warrington box they were not able to capitalise on them before the break. They started the second half well and had a good spell on top leading to Carl Lomax volleying narrowly over and then a low cross from Anthony Johnson somehow making its way across the goal area and no-one getting the final touch to force the ball home. Warrington held on to their lead to the final whistle and resigned the Blues to a second successive away league defeat without scoring.

Team: Fearon, McManus, Redhead, Osborne, Smith, McGee, Hankin (Edgington), Morley, Johnson (Ward), Lomax, Sargeson (Sharples). Subs not used - Clarke, Pilkington.


Tue 04/11/08
- Clitheroe 2 Garforth Town 4 (UniBond League Cup) Att 122
James Mann replaced Martin Fearon in goal, Russ Clarke replaced Ian Flannery in defence, Mark Sharples, debutant Steve Maden and Neil Reynolds replaced Dave Hankin, Paul Osborne and Bernard Morley in midfield, Chris Ward replaced Anthony Johnson up front.

Clitheroe made six changes for this League Cup tie and faced a Garforth side generally made up of reserves plus two Leeds United juniors - one which pulled the strings superbly in midfield and one which shepherded the defence well. The visitors were nothing like we've come to expect from Garforth teams and they played some crisp attacking football to stun the Blues. Clitheroe took a 5th minute lead when Carl Lomax was fouled in the penalty area as he spun to strike at goal and Craig Sargeson slotted home the spotkick. Garforth equalised with a glancing header in the 7th minute and took the lead in the 22nd minute when a superb 50 yard diagonal cross was volleyed home at the far post. The visitors increased their lead in the 25th minute and added a fourth after 30 minutes to take a commanding 1-4 halftime lead. Two Clitheroe substitutions for the second half didn't upset Garforth's rhythm and they continued their assault with pace, firing in a long range effort that keeper James Mann did well to push against the post and then missing an absolute sitter as their player rounded James Mann only to fire over the bar with an open goal beckoning. The Blues did have a purple patch for the last 15 minutes and created several chances before scoring again in the 85th minute when Craig Sargeson's freekick was puched into the air by their keeper and Jonathan Smith nodded home unchallenged as it dropped down. The pressure continued for the five minutes of added time but Garforth withstood it and progressed in this cup leaving the Blues to concentrate on the league.

Team: Mann, Pilkington, Redhead, Clarke, Smith, Maden (Osborne), Sharples (Edgington), Reynolds (Hankin), Ward, Lomax, Sargeson. Subs not used - Flannery, Fearon.


Sat 01/11/08
- Clitheroe 2 Boston United 4 (FA Trophy 2nd Qualifying Round) Att 359
Paul Osborne replaced Ryan Fisher in midfield in the only change from the previous match

Clitheroe's FA Trophy campaign was ended for another season by some clinical finishing from the opposition. Martin Fearon made an excellent save only to see the rebound fired home to give Boston a 5th minute lead. They doubled their advantage in the 16th minute before the Blues pulled one back in the 28th minute when Craig Sargeson's cross was diverted home by the visitor's keeper for an own goal. Both sides had chances early in the second half before a good spell of pressure brought Clitheroe's equaliser in the 58th minute when Jonathan Smith was able to side foot the ball home as it dropped from a corner. Now that they were level the Blues looked the more likely to score next but instead it was Boston who regained the lead in the 68th minute with another follow up goal from a decent save. They went further ahead in the 76th minute with a well struck finish and did enough in the remaining time to frustrate Clitheroe and progress to the next round.

Team: Fearon, Pilkington (Edgington), Redhead, Flannery, Smith, Osborne (Sharples), Hankin, Morley, Johnson, Lomax, Sargeson (Ward). Subs not used - Clarke, Reynolds.



Sat 25/10/08
- FC Halifax Town 4 Clitheroe 0 (UniBond League) Att 1228
Bernard Morley replaced Paul Osborne in midfield, Scott Redhead moved to left back in place of Barry Shuttleworth with Craig Sargeson coming in in midfield.

The Blues unbeaten league run came unstuck at an impressive Shay stadium against a well organised team now running into form themselves. Halifax took the lead in the 14th minute with a well struck 20 yarder but Carl Lomax had a chance to equalise minutes later when played through the middle only for the keeper to save his attempted lob. Scott Redhead hit the bar with a 20 yard drive and that single home goal was all there was to show between the two sides in an otherwise even first half. Clitheroe started the second half on the attack but in the 47th minute Halifax doubled their lead with a clinical finish. Substitute Matt Edgington had a low drive deflected onto the bar before the home side scored their third in the 62nd minute. Having used all 3 subs the Blues went down to 10 men when Anthony Johnson was stretchered off and then went down to 9 men when Ian Flannery limped off. Unsurprisingly Halifax scored a fourth goal in the 86th minute to complete a decisive victory and move themselves into contention near the top of the table.

Team: Fearon, Pilkington, Redhead, Flannery, Smith, Fisher (Sharples), Hankin (Ward), Morley, Johnson, Lomax, Sargeson (Edgington). Subs not used - Clarke, Mann.


Tue 21/10/08
- Clitheroe 3 Warrington Town 2 (UniBond League) Att 195
Ryan Fisher replaced Bernard Morley in midfield in the only change from the previous match.

This was the proverbial game of 2 halves and Warrington will be disappointed not to have taken at least a point as they belied their lowly league position with some fine attacking football. The visitors took a 3rd minute lead with a sublime long range chip over keeper Martin Fearon but the Blues equalised after 10 minutes when Paul Osborne fired home in a crowded goal area. Warrington took the lead again in the 23rd minute and went in at half time looking good value for their slight advantage. Clitheroe made 2 substitutions for the second half and played with much more urgency and accuracy in passing the ball. After a couple of good attempts on goal they equalised again in the 60th minute when Craig Sargeson rifled home Anthony Johnson's drilled cross from 10 yards. The Blues dominated the second half and took all 3 points thanks to a headed goal from close range by Jonathan Smith in the 85th minute.

Team: Fearon, Pilkington, Shuttleworth, Flannery, Smith, P.Osborne (Sharples), Hankin, Fisher (Ward), Johnson, Lomax, Redhead (Sargeson). Subs not used - Clarke, Mann.


Sat 18/10/08
- Bradford Park Avenue 1 Clitheroe 2 (FA Trophy 1st Qualifying Round) Att 294
Clitheroe named an unchanged team from the previous match.

The Blues progressed to the next round of the FA Trophy with a superb team performance at their Premier Division hosts. Clitheroe started brightly and took an early 8th minute lead when a poor back pass saw Carl Lomax close in on goal before calmly slotting home past the advancing keeper. Further chances fell in a dominant first half showing with Anthony Johnson's fierce drive saved and then he was unlucky after winning a race to a loose ball and his lob over the keeper bounced up to hit the bar and then cleared. As expected Bradford made a couple of substitutions for the second half but Clitheroe were matching them for effort and creating chances. Bradford then had a good spell of pressure and they equalised in the 80th minute from a close range header in a packed goal area to set up a tense final 10 minutes. The Blues took the lead in the 85th minute when sub Chris Ward advanced through the middle before passing to Carl Lomax out wide on the right and his low cross was met by Scott Redhead at the far post to fire home. Four minutes of added time were played and sub Mark Sharples was felled in the box but Barry Shuttleworth's penalty was well saved by the keeper and Clitheroe did enough to the final whistle to secure a great victory.

Team: Fearon, Pilkington, Shuttleworth, Flannery, Smith, P.Osborne, Hankin (Clarke), Morley (Sharples), Johnson (Ward), Lomax, Redhead. Subs not used - Reynolds, Mann.


Sat 11/10/08
- Clitheroe 3 Colwyn Bay 0 (UniBond League) Att 275
Joel Pilkington replaced Russ Clarke in defence and Dave Hankin and Bernard Morley replaced Craig Sargeson and Mark Sharples in midfield.

Clitheroe had to be patient before securing victory by a comfortable margin. The visitors had the two best chances of the goalless first half but failed to take them when it looked easier to score. The Blues finally got on top and opened the scoring in the 71st minute when a neat little delivery into the box by Mark Sharples was glanced home by the head of Bernard Morley. The second goal arrived in the 74th minute when Anthony Johnson finished with a low drive from just inside the penalty area. A good run from sub Matt Edgington took him close to goal and his ball along the goal line was knocked in at the far post by Carl Lomax in the 82nd minute and sealed the points against a decent side.

Team: Fearon, Pilkington, Shuttleworth, Flannery, Smith, P.Osborne (Sharples), Hankin (Ward), Morley, Johnson, Lomax, Redhead (Edgington). Subs not used - Reynolds, McManus.


Sat 04/10/08
- Clitheroe 4 Grantham Town 1 (FA Trophy Prelim Round) Att 195
Martin Fearon replaced James Mann in goal, Russ Clarke replaced the suspended Liam McManus in defence and Craig Sargeson and debutant from the reserves Mark Sharples replaced Dave Hankin and Ryan Fisher in midfield.

Clitheroe eventually won this game with goals to spare after a spirited fightback from the visitors. The first half was fairly even but the Blues had a slender halftime lead thanks to a well taken goal in the 17th minute from Carl Lomax who fired home into the top corner after being played in by Paul Osborne. Grantham took advantage of some slack play early in the second half and equalised in the 62nd minute with a good finish that gave keeper Martin Fearon no chance. Their joy was short lived though as in the 64th minute Craig Sargeson's low cross was hammered home from close range by the on-rushing Ryan Fisher. Substitute Chris Ward did well to latch on to a through ball and hold it up before passing squarely to Craig Sargeson who drilled home from the edge of the penalty area in the 75th minute. The fourth goal came out of nothing in the 80th minute when Carl Lomax closed a defender down and forced the ball home under pressure from the visiting keeper. Clitheroe now travel to face Bradford Park Avenue in the next round on Saturday 18th October.

Team: Fearon, Clarke (Ward), Shuttleworth, Flannery, Smith, P.Osborne (Morley), Sargeson, Sharples (Fisher), Johnson, Lomax, Redhead (Ward). Subs not used - Pilkington, Mann.


Sat 27/09/08
- Frickley Athletic 1 Clitheroe 0 (FA Cup 2nd Qualifying Round) Att 271
James Mann returned in place of Martin Fearon in goal, Liam McManus replaced Russ Clarke in defence, Ryan Fisher and Scott Redhead replaced Bernard Morley and Craig Sargeson in midfield and Anthony Johnson replaced Chris Ward up front.

Clitheroe had the better of the early exchanges without really testing the home keeper. Some wayward finishing at the other end didn't trouble James Mann either but the Blues were comfortbly in the game as the first half ended goalless. Both sides increased the tempo after the break and Scott Redhead had a shot from the edge of the box strike the foot of the far post before being cleared to safety. Soon after that Frickley forced a corner after breaking down another Clitheroe attack and this led to them taking a 61st minute. The cross was met with a fierce volley from 15 yards and although the diving James Mann got a hand to it he couldn't keep the ball out of the net. A couple of freekicks in a central position 25 yards from goal saw first Carl Lomax place one narrowly over the bar and then Barry Shuttleworth fire his into the defensive wall. Clitheroe had plenty of late pressure as Frickley defended their slender lead and Dave Hankin saw a cross-cum-shot strike the bar before again being cleared to safety. Time ran out on the Blues and a second cup exit within a week should now see them playing league games and looking to move back up the table.

Team: Mann, McManus (Ward), Shuttleworth, Flannery, Smith, P.Osborne, Hankin , Fisher (Sargeson), Johnson, Lomax, Redhead (Paton). Subs not used - Pilkington, Clarke, Reynolds, Fearon.


Tue 23/09/08
- Chorley 1* Clitheroe 1 (UniBond President's Cup) Att 159
(*Chorley win 3-2 on pens)
Martin Fearon replaced James Mann in goal, Russ Clarke and Barry Shuttleworth replaced Liam McManus and Scott Redhead in defence, Paul Osborne replaced Ryan Fisher in midfield and Chris Ward replaced Anthony Johnson up front.

A much changed Blues side went out of the UniBond President's Cup on penalties following a 1-1 scoreline after extra time with Martin Fearon saving a penalty with virtually the last kick of the game. Clitheroe thought they had taken an early lead when Jonathon Smith's header from a corner looped over the keeper and bounced off the post before being cleared off the line but a largely uneventful first half ended 0-0. Chorley took the lead after 65 minutes when a low cross was slotted home and Clitheroe equalised in the 87th minute when Craig Sargeson's low cross was directed into his own net by a home defender. Chorley had a couple of late chances to win the game in normal time but they were cleared and extra time was played. Martin Fearon made several good saves while Carl Lomax went close at the other end. Chorley were awarded a penalty in the 120th minute that was well saved by Martin Fearon to set up the penalty shoot-out. Martin Fearon saved 2 of the spotkicks but the Blues also had 2 saved and a third struck the bar thus giving the home side victory and a home tie with Lancaster City in the next round.

Team: Fearon, Clarke, Shuttleworth (Pilkington), Flannery, Smith (McManus), Morley, Hankin (Johnson), P.Osborne, Ward, Lomax, Sargeson. Subs not used - Reynolds, Mann.


Tue 16/09/08
- Leek Town 0 Clitheroe 1 (FA Cup 1QR replay) Att 224
Clitheroe named an unchanged line up from the previous match.

The Blues played the last 35 minutes with 10 men and battled well to secure victory and a tie against Frickley Athletic in the 2nd Qualifying Round of the FA Cup. Clitheroe started the match brightly and forced a few early corners before the home side came into game to create a few chances of their own without seriously threatening keeper James Mann. An even halftime scoreline of 0-0 was looking likely until Dave Hankin forced his way to the line and played the ball back for Anthony Johnson to slot in from 10 yards to give the Blues a 45th minute lead. The second half was only 10 minutes old when Liam McManus received a 2nd yellow card and was duly sent off, with Russ Clarke immediately replacing Ryan Fisher to slot in at right back. Leek were now throwing everything at the Blues but the defence did their job while at the other end Carl Lomax powered in a freekick that the keeper could only parry with the loose ball being cleared. Another Leek attack saw them certain to score from the spare man at the back post but Scott Redhead superbly got across and blocked the goal bound drive. As the game neared the end of injury time the Leek keeper joined every other player in the Clitheroe box for a corner but he had to scamper back as the ball was cleared but was relieved as Anthony Johnson's goal attempt from the halfway line went wide of the net.

Team: Mann, McManus, Redhead, Flannery, Smith, Morley, Hankin (P.Osborne), Fisher (Clarke), Johnson, Lomax (Jones), Sargeson. Subs not used - Pilkington, Paton, Reynolds, Fearon.


Sat 13/09/08
- Clitheroe 1 Leek Town 1 (FA Cup 1QR) Att 258
Clitheroe named an unchanged line up from the previous match.

The two sides shared the spoils in a good cup tie and now meet again in a replay on Tuesday night. The Blues had good early chances for Anthony Johnson and Carl Lomax who saw his lob go narrowly the wrong side of the upright before the visitors had two good chances themselves. Leek Town had a series of corners that came to nothing and the first half ended evenly. The second half saw both sides again looking to get a result on the day and the Blues took the lead in the 66th minute when a sublime Craig Sargeson pass found Anthony Johnson in the penalty area and he controlled and fired home with a smart finish. A series of substitutions gave Leek Town renewed inpetus and they equalised in the 84th minute with a low drive across keeper James Mann to take the tie to a replay.

Team: Mann, McManus, Redhead, Flannery, Smith, Morley, Hankin (Ward), Fisher (P.Osborne), Johnson, Lomax, Sargeson (Pilkington). Subs not used - Clarke, Paton, Sharples, Fearon.


Tue 09/09/08
- Radcliffe Borough 0 Clitheroe 1 (UniBond League) Att 215
Scott Redhead returned to the defence after suspension in place of Joel Pilkington in the only change from the previous match.

The Blues won their fifth league game on the trot and went joint top of the league going into this weekend's FA Cup match. They started brightly and forced several corners without seriously threatening the home goal and James Mann was the quieter of the two keepers as the first half ended goalless. Clitheroe withstood some early second half pressure from Radcliffe before Ryan Fisher's 18 yard drive came back off the foot of the post and Craig Sargeson smashed the loose ball against the crossbar. They took the lead in the 62nd minute when Carl Lomax received the ball deep on the left before moving inside and firing home a hard, low shot. Radcliffe saw a good near post header come back off the post but Clitheroe were now having a good spell on top and Ryan Fisher's fierce 15 yard volley produced a great save from the keeper. Good work from Dave Hankin saw him win the ball before crossing to the unmarked Carl Lomax in front of goal but his hurried shot sailed over the bar. Paul Osborne was found with a precise through ball in the 18 yard box but again the finish was not good enough to find the back of the net and four added minutes were played before the final whistle went.

Team: Mann, McManus, Redhead, Flannery, Smith, Morley, Hankin, Fisher, Johnson (Pilkington), Lomax, Sargeson (P.Osborne). Subs not used - Clarke, Reynolds, Fearon.


Sat 06/09/08
- Clitheroe 3 Wakefield 0 (UniBond League) Att 315
Joel Pilkington replaced the suspended Scott Redhead in defence in the only change from the previous match.

Clitheroe continued their winning run and kept their first clean sheet of the season as they coasted to victory over Wakefield. A poor defensive clearance by the visitors fullback gave the ball straight to Liam McManus and he was felled as he made his way into the goal area. Craig Sargeson thumped home the resulting spotkick to give the Blues a 2nd minute lead. Clitheore doubled their lead in the 17th minute when Liam McManus forced the ball home in a crowded 6 yard box following a header down from a corner. The third goal came in the 19th minute from a cross that was headed back to Carl Lomax and he turned and struck a terrific effort across the keeper into the top corner from 10 yards. Wakefield had their chances but failed to take them and Clitheroe had a comfortable 3 goal lead at halftime. The second half saw the visitors improve and they did force a superb diving save at the foot of the post from James Mann. The Blues created several good openings and were unlucky not to increase the score but the excellent first half display was enough to take the 3 points.

Team: Mann, McManus, Pilkington, Flannery, Smith, Morley (P.Osborne), Hankin, Fisher (Ward), Johnson (Paton), Lomax, Sargeson. Subs not used - Reynolds, Fearon.


Sat 30/08/08
- Penrith 1 Clitheroe 3 (FA Cup Preliminary Round) Att 153
Ian Flannery returned to defence in place of Russ Clarke in the only change from the previous match.

Clitheroe were pushed all the way by a lively Penrith side before sealing victory and a place in the next round of the FA Cup. The Blues started brightly and saw an effort cleared off the line before the home side settled and began to apply their own pressure. Penrith took the lead in the 28th minute when a corner was headed in at the far post and Clitheroe equalised in the 38th minute when Craig Sargeson's freekick was headed home by Carl Lomax. The woodwork came to the Blues rescue just before half time and the scores stayed level at 1-1. Clitheroe took the lead in the 48th minute when Jonathan Smith headed on from a corner and Ian Flannery scored from close range. The third goal came after 65 minutes when an attempted back-header fell short of the keeper and Carl Lomax nipped in to finish from 12 yards. Clitheroe now have a home tie in the 1st Qualifying Round on September 13th against Leek Town.

Team: Mann, McManus, Redhead, Flannery, Smith (Clarke), Morley (P.Osborne), Hankin, Fisher, Johnson, Lomax, Sargeson (Pilkington). Subs not used - Ward, Fearon.


Sat 23/08/08
- Clitheroe 4 Salford City 1 (UniBond League) Att 309
Russ Clarke replaced the injured Ian Flannery in defence in the only change from the team that started the previous match at Ossett Albion.

Clitheroe were good value for their thumping win against UniBond new boys Salford City. The Blues had a couple of good scoring chances before the visitors took a shock 7th minute lead with a low drilled shot. The equaliser came in the 23rd minute when Craig Sargeson made his way into the box and fired home across the Salford goalkeeper and they took the lead in the 38th minute when Dave Hankin was released down the right wing and his superb cross was matched by the strike from Craig Sargeson which found the top corner. The third goal came after 42 minutes when Carl Lomax robbed the keeper of the ball after some slack defensive play to stroke home into the empty net and the fourth came in the 43rd minute from a header by Anthony Johnson from Scott Redhead's teasing cross. The second half saw the visitors battling to get back into the game but Clitheroe coasted to their first home victory of the season.


Team: Mann, McManus (Pilkington), Redhead, Clarke, Smith, Morley, Hankin (Ward), Fisher (P.Osborne), Johnson, Lomax, Sargeson. Subs not used - Reynolds, Fearon.


Sat 23/08/08
- Ossett Albion 1 Clitheroe 2 (UniBond League) Att 134
Gary Stopforth suffered a pre-match knee injury and was replaced in midfield by Ryan Fisher in the only change from the team that started the previous match at Garforth.

Clitheroe were thankful for an improved second half performance that brought victory over perennial early pace setters Ossett Albion. The home side broke quickly down their left wing and took a 3rd minute lead with a low drive at the back post. The Blues saw an Anthony Johnson header strike the bar and Ryan Fisher failing to connect properly on a high loose ball in the penalty area as they went in search of the equaliser. Ossett also hit the woodwork before the break as they reached half time with their slender lead intact. Clitheroe started the second half brightly and were intercepting several poor passes as Ossett played the ball around at the back. The pressure paid off in the 62nd minute when Jonathan Smith's goalward header from a pinpoint Craig Sargeson corner led to a scramble in the goal area and Anthony Johnson forced the ball home. Clitheroe took the lead in the 69th minute when another Craig Sargeson corner saw the ball ending back at his feet and this time his cross was headed home at the back post by Ian Flannery. Ossett had a player sent off for receiving 2 yellow cards and Scott Redhead followed him towards the end as he received his second yellow card. Ian Flannery suffered a facial inury that saw him substituted but the Blues held strong to the final whistle to record their second away win in a week.


Team: Mann, McManus (Pilkington), Redhead, Flannery (Paton), Smith, Morley, Hankin , Fisher, Johnson (Clarke), Lomax, Sargeson. Subs not used - Reynolds, Fearon.


Tue 19/08/08
- Garforth Town 3 Clitheroe 4 (UniBond League) Att 172
Liam McManus made his debut and replaced Russ Clarke at right back, Scott Redhead returned at left back in place of Owen Roberts, Craig Sargeson replaced Chris Ward in midfield and Anthony Johnson started in place of Danny Toronczak up front. Young reserve striker Danny Paton made his debut from the subs bench.

Clitheroe responded to Saturday's disappointing defeat with a battling performance to deservedly win this bruising encounter. Teams have come to know what to expect from Garforth and they met a Blues side that didn't roll over and worked hard to secure victory. Anthony Johnson scored the first goal in the 9th minute when he controlled a ball played low into the box and turned his marker before drilling home. Garforth equalised from the penalty spot in the 16th minute following an Olympic-style fallover (a repeat of which later earned him a yellow card for diving) but Carl Lomax restored the lead in the 19th minute when he broke clear and slotted home with a low drive from 20 yards past the advancing keeper. Garforth equalised again in the 60th minute with a free header but just 2 minutes later Craig Sargeson controlled a ball out to the left and jinked past 3 defenders before stroking the ball past the keeper. The lead was increased in the 80th minute when Carl Lomax's controlled header into the path of Ryan Fisher saw him force the ball home form 8 yards. Scott Redhead made a goal line clearance before Garforth pulled a goal back in the 89th minute but the Blues remained focused until the final whistle to take the 3 points.


Team: Mann, McManus, Redhead, Flannery, Smith, Morley (Pilkington), Hankin (Paton), Stopforth, Johnson (Fisher), Lomax, Sargeson. Subs not used - Clarke, Fearon.


Sat 16/08/08
- Clitheroe 0 Mossley 2 (UniBond League) Att 260
From the team that finished last season's final game Russ Clarke switched to rightback in place of Adam Kozlowski, Owen Roberts returned for his second stint at Shawbridge and started at leftback, Bernard Morley made his Clitheroe debut in place of Paul Osborne in midfield, Danny Toronczak started up front in place of Anthony Johnson and Chris Ward returned from his long absence to start in place of Scott Redhead in midfield. Goalkeeper Martin Fearon started as one of the five subs following his release from Accrington Stanley.

This was a disappointing start to the new league campaign with visitors Mossley withstanding an improved second half performance and taking the points thanks to 2 first half goals. The first came after 21 minutes when a Blues attack was turned into a Mossley breakaway and keeper James Mann was given no chance with a crisp finish. The second came in the 41st minute when another counter-attack gave the visitors a two goal advantage at the interval. There was more urgency to the Clitheroe play in the second half and sub Anthony Johnson put a header narrowly over the bar before Carl Lomax struck the foot of the post after shooting across the keeper. Dave Hankin also narrowly fired wide as Mossley defended their lead to the final whistle to take the 3 points..


Team : Mann, Clarke (Pilkington), Roberts, Flannery, J.Smith, Morley, Hankin, Stopforth, Toronczak, Lomax (Johnson), Ward (Sargeson). Subs - Sargeson, Johnson, Pilkington. Not used - Fearon, Reynolds.

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