BLUES boss Paul Moore lauded his high-flying squad following the 1-0 triumph at Ossett Albion at the weekend.
Clitheroe’s character has been tested on a number of occasions this term, bouncing back from defeats to Marine in the Lancashire FA Trophy and Farsley, but that strength and determination was heightened at Dimple Wells as Moore’s men rectified the 7-1 drubbing they had previously suffered at the hands of Skelmersdale United.
Danny Mahoney’s first-half strike was enough for Clitheroe to seal maximum points and retain their place in the First Division North top three.
Clitheroe were on top for most of the first half, keeping the ball well and largely controlling play.
Chris Smalley fired over from the edge of the area as the full-back took a return pass from Daley Woods in his stride.
Mahoney had the ball in the net after 20 minutes but was offside as he converted Mark Buchan’s throughball.
But nine minutes later, the former Bamber Bridge forward gave Clitheroe the lead, crashing a right-footed shot past keeper Jody Barford from the corner of the six-yard box.
Mahoney’s finish followed a period of quality possession with Simon Nangle spraying the ball out to Smalley, who pulled the ball back to the striker at the near post.
Lee Pugh, Woods and Ollie Devenney all had further efforts before the latter came very close to extending the lead shortly before the break– the skipper’s ferocious 25-yard drive cannoning off the bar before bouncing down and away to safety.
Clitheroe were not as fluent in the second half but showed their resilience as Ossett too were restricted to very few chances.
Albion’s best chance to equalise came with six minutes left as Simon Poole blazed over from just inside the box.
Carl Rendell had Clitheroe’s most presentable chance but he slipped and failed to make the most of the opportunity presented to him by Bell.
“We’ve bounce back every time,” declared Moore.
“It was a freaky result against Skelmersdale, but I’m glad we’ve bounced back at the first attempt again.
“I’m full of praise for the players. They are very young and we’ve only had a few months together but I’m absolutely over the moon with them.
“They’re a fantastic group to work with. Their attitude is brilliant and they are a credit to themselves and the club.”
The Blues host mid-table Curzon Ashton at Shawbridge on Saturday, kick-off 3 p.m., and Moore is demanding more of the same as the Blues bid to consolidate their place in the top five.
The Tamesiders, who had been tipped for the title prior to the 2012/13 campaign, have Kristian Dennis, the division’s second highest goalscorer, as well as former Blues striker Tony Evans in their ranks.
“It’s going to be a tough game on Saturday against Curzon,” said Moore.
“They are not doing well so far this season but they are a very good side.
“We’ve had a tremendous start. The table is starting to take shape and there’s only a couple of teams that can push us out of the top five with games in hand.”
Meanwhile the Ribble Valley club, who finished runner-up in the Fair Play table for October after winning the Jungledrum Award in August/September, is top of the attendances table with an average of 206 spectators.
Moore said: “The fans are fabulous and it’s getting better every time. The lads love it – they can hear them all the time cheering us on”
Clitheroe have also organised a friendly against West Lancs League outfit Hurst Green which will be played next Tuesday, November 13th, at 7-45 p.m. Admission is £2.