Blues hammer the Bloods to go fourth

Jonny Hession, pictured in action for former club Nelson, netted twice for Clitheroe on Saturday
Jonny Hession, pictured in action for former club Nelson, netted twice for Clitheroe on Saturday

A terrific team performance saw the Blues come back from a goal down to hammer Droylsden 6-1 and climb to fourth place in the Evo-Stik First Division North table.

Simon Garner’s men recovered from William Hasler-Cregg’s fifth-minute opener to lead 2-1 at half-time, before turning the power on after the break, adding four more goals for a fourth win in five games.

The Bloods claimed the early initiative when former Colchester United and Crewe Alexandra striker Dom Smith fed Hasler-Cregg, who was clinical with the chance.

But the lead lasted only seven minutes as Sefton Gonzales – looking back to his best – showed his pace and power, levelling matters after a superb run and finish.

Clitheroe thought they had the lead on 19 minutes when Scott Harries’ turned in the ball after the visiting keeper parried a shot, but his effort was chalked off for off-side.

Clitheroe continued to press, and Louis Mayers forced a fine save from a header, before Harries got his name on the scoresheet, rounding off a flowing team move.

Mayers flipped a free kick over the top 10 minutes before the break, but it wasn’t all Clitheroe, and Droylsden had a great chance to level matters when Smith again turned provider, but this time, Hasler-Cregg couldn’t apply the finishing touch.

Clitheroe went in ahead, and they could have added to their lead just three minutes after the interval when Danny Brady’s header hit the bar from a corner.

The third goal arrived 11 minutes into the second half as substitute Michael Hampson, on for James Walker moments earlier, headed in a cross at the far post.

The Bloods had two efforts blocked as they looked for a way back into the game, but Clitheroe put the points beyond them midway through the second half when Jonny Hession added a fourth goal.

And five minutes later, the former Nelson man netted his second as the Blues went nap.

They weren’t finished there, as Hampson also claimed a double, hitting the sixth in the last minute after rounding the keeper.

In front of their biggest attendance of the season, with 270 at Shawbridge, Clitheroe had hit six in a seventh home win, and climbed above Spennymoor Town into fourth place – with a gap of six points between the Blues and sixth place.

It also meant Garner’s exuberant young side are the top scorers in the Evo-Stik First Division North, with 42 goals.

Clitheroe look to extend their five-game unbeaten league run with Farsley Celtic next up at Shawbridge in the league on Saturday, before a trip to Bacup Borough in the LFA Challenge Cup on Wednesday.