Blues back in the running

Shawbridge chief Simon Garner, pictured left of centre, feels the Blues have got everything to play for

Shawbridge chief Simon Garner, pictured left of centre, feels the Blues have got everything to play for

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Blues boss Simon Garner believes there’s everything to play for as the campaign creeps towards the business end.

Successive 5-1 wins for Clitheroe, against Ossett Town and New Mills, has altered the complexion of the Evo-Stik First Division North table, with Garner’s side clawing their way back in to play-off contention.

Four points currently separate them from fifth place Burscough though the inclement weather prevented any further progression midweek as the fixture against Brighouse Town at Shawbridge was postponed.

“It was good to get back to winning ways, but there’s still plenty for us to improve on,” said Garner.

“There are a lot of teams vying for play-off places, but a couple of wins for us has really changed things. We’ve got games in hand on some of the teams above us too.

“We’ve put ourselves in a good position. We’ve got some big games coming up now against teams in and around us in the table.

“There’s everything to play for. We’ve got 17 games left to play and they’re going to be massive for us.

“If we can win 10 and pick up a couple of draws along the way, it’ll give us a great chance.

“We’ve just got to concentrate on ourselves because it’s really tight.

“The top two are fighting for the title, and then anybody from third to about 11th will feel that they’re in with a chance of a top five finish.”

The Blues travel to Queensgate on Saturday, home of Bridlington Town AFC, where they’ll face struggling Scarborough Athletic.

Goals from Jonny Hession, Jimmy Heywood, Scott Bakkor and David Lynch helped Clitheroe to a 4-2 win over the Seadogs in the Ribble Valley in September.

“It’s a long trip,” said Garner. “They play at Bridlington’s ground, so fingers crossed we get a game in.

“They aren’t doing very well, but I’ve never beaten them there as a manager.

“We beat them at home earlier in the season, so it would be nice to do the double over them and keep this run going.

“It’s quite tough to gauge the table at the moment with teams playing different amount of games.

“It’ll balance itself out eventually, but our focus is on Scarborough and we’ll look to pick up three points.”