Boss Haworth hoping Blues end season with a big bang

Kurt Willoughby scored twice in the 4-3 win at Ramsbottom United on Tuesday night
Kurt Willoughby scored twice in the 4-3 win at Ramsbottom United on Tuesday night
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Blues boss Simon Haworth is praying that his players get the finale that they deserve this season.

Clitheroe have been simply scintillating this term, exceeding all expectations placed on them at the beginning of the campaign, and now they’ve put themselves in a great position to culminate 2016/17 in glory.

A thrilling 4-3 victory away at Ramsbottom United on Tuesday night pushed the Ribble Valley side into the Evo-Stik First Division North play-off places, leap-frogging local rivals Colne.

Ryan Salmon had given the hosts an early lead, but the Blues engineered a two-goal advantage before the hour as Accrington Stanley loanee Luke Wall scored either side of Kurt Willoughby’s strike.

Paul Linwood and Gareth Seddon brought the game level with a quarter-of-an-hour remaining, but Willoughby secured maximum points with a free kick nine minutes from time.

“It’s remarkable what they are doing; they’ve been phenomenal and the lads deserve all the credit they’ve been getting,” said Haworth.

“It was a big three points for us and it’s another game ticked off. We made hard work of it but we played really well in patches.

“They showed a lot of character to go on and win it and that’s testament to them, because they got back hold of the game.

“It was crazy, end-to-end, and they come at you in a 4-2-4 at times, but we can counter attack as well as anybody in this league. We were red hot in spells.”

The Blues entertain Bamber Bridge at Shawbridge on Saturday and Haworth is determined to eliminate their opponents from the play-off equation.

“If we win our next three games then we’ll be in a very good position,” he said. “We went to Bamber Bridge earlier in the season when they were flying but we beat them.

“They’ll want revenge for that. They’ve still got a chance to get among it but it’s another team that we can eliminate from chasing us should we win.”

The league isn’t the only success that the club has been enjoying on a domestic front.

Clitheroe have an Integro League Cup quarter-final to look forward to and on Tuesday they take on Radcliffe Borough at the County Ground, based at the Lancashire FA headquarters, for a place in the LFA Challenge Trophy final at the Macron Stadium.

“The semi-final is massive for us,” said Haworth. “The lads are playing to their full potential, they keep growing and long may that continue.

“It’s big for the club and the players and it would be a huge achievement. To make the play-offs and a cup final would give the lads something to show for their efforts.

“I want the boys to have their night at the Macron because they deserve their moment in the spotlight for all their efforts, their heart, quality and the results.

“They would feel like professionals for a night. Some of the lads will never get the chance to do that so we want to get there and make it special for them.

“I’ve had my time playing at places like that so this would be for them. It would be an incredible occasion for them and some deserved recognition.”