Big win gets Blues back on track

Clitheroe on the attack against Radcliffe Borough at the County Ground last Wednesday. See report on page 70						Picture: Pete Gray
Clitheroe on the attack against Radcliffe Borough at the County Ground last Wednesday. See report on page 70 Picture: Pete Gray

Simon Haworth escaped for a few days to get over the disappointment of Clitheroe’s crushing Lancashire FA Challenge Trophy semi-final defeat.

The Blues boss opted for Cheltenham, one of the most popular festivals in the racing calendar, as his therapeutic Eden of choice as he hoped to remedy the 2-1 reversal against Radcliffe Borough.

Like many of the horses involved, Clitheroe have struck a few obstacles on their way around the circuit in recent times with defeats against Glossop North End and Mossley slowing their finish.

However, while some stumble, fall or pull up after hitting the fences, the Blues overcame their biggest hurdle by beating league leaders Farsley Celtic.

With the County Ground heartache still fresh in the mind, Haworth’s men showed the strength to regain their composure, get back on the saddle and edge their noses in front of their title-chasing opponents.

Ahead of the fixture at Throstle Nest, against a side that had won 13 of 18 games at home in the Evo-Stik First Division North, the Blues faced the threat of their season petering out in to nothing.

But Charlie Russell’s double either side of the interval steered the visitors ahead after Ian Rowlands’ own goal had gifted the hosts the advantage inside the opening 10 minutes.

Bradley Carroll extended the lead just after the hour before Richard Marshall’s late strike set up a nervy finish.

The home side pressed for a point but in stoppage time Kurt Willoughby put the game to bed when making it 4-2.

“Against Farsley we went in to the game wanting to keep the season alive. I wanted them to express themselves and they took it to them.

“It was one of our best performances of the season, if not the best. The result gives us something to keep fighting for and again they’ve demonstrated their ability to bounce back.

“There was the threat that our season could’ve fizzled out but they didn’t allow that to happen.

“There probably hasn’t been a better performance this season. Farsley were the best team that I’d seen at Shawbridge so to go there, score four goals and win as comfortably as we did is massive credit to the lads.”

Haworth added: “They could’ve lost their way but they’ve come back and made a statement. They keep proving a point and there was no better way to get over a semi-final defeat. Hopefully we’ve come through our sticky spell now.

“Hopefully last night kickstarted the remainder of our season. We’ll just see how many points we can get in that time and see where it takes us.

“I just didn’t want their season to fade away because they deserve more than that. Our season is still alive and it would have been a travesty to lose everything so late on. That win was as important for morale and team spirit as it was for the three points.”

Clitheroe, now four points short of the play-off places, entertain Mossley on Saturday with kick off at 3 p.m.