Clitheroe boss eager to succeed after suffering second cup final loss in five years

Former Clitheroe striker James Dean slots home a penalty for Chorley's second goal in their 3-0 win over Clitheroe at the Macron Stadium. Picture: Greig Bertram
Former Clitheroe striker James Dean slots home a penalty for Chorley's second goal in their 3-0 win over Clitheroe at the Macron Stadium. Picture: Greig Bertram

Blues boss Simon Garner has been a losing finalist at the Macron Stadium twice in five years.

But the latest defeat to his former side Chorley has galvanised the midfielder’s hunger to succeed.

That will give the lads a taste for it and from a personal level I want to get to any final I can. I want to be pushing up the league too

Simon Garner

First half goals from Magpies trio Andrew Teague, James Dean and Paul Jarvis eased the Conference North outfit to victory in the Lancashire FA Challenge Trophy final.

“That’s got to hurt watching the Chorley lads lift the trophy,” he said. “I’ve done it once myself before. Both my medals, with all respect to the Lancashire FA, go in the bin.

“I don’t want to be a runner-up. That will give the lads a taste for it and from a personal level I want to get to any final I can. I want to be pushing up the league too.”

Garner, who was in Peter Smith’s starting XI when the Blues lost 4-0 to Southport in the competition in 2010, added: “The club has come on leaps and bounds.

“It’s always been a great club. It is only little but we’ve got a great nucleus of fans.

“It’s a stepping stone and that’s the way I’ve got to look at it. I want to keep that group of players together and add to it. We need to strengthen which is obvious because we’re only 12th in the league.

“They are a great set of lads. It’s a learning curve and if they get here again, which hopefully they will, that will stand them in good stead.

“I want to try and push on for the play-offs. I don’t want to be a mid-table team. The quality is there. Hopefully that will be an eye-opener for them.”

Having conceded from a set-piece, a penalty and a breakaway, Garner feels his players were the perpetrators of their own downfall.

“I’m disappointed to lose but I’m more disappointed in the way we played,” Garner said. “We let ourselves down really with the start we had and conceding so early.

“Our worst nightmare came to fruition really because some of the lads froze.

“There’s a few inexperienced lads at this level and unfortunately it did count. There were a few rabbits in the headlights.

“I’m disappointed with the manner of the goals we gave away. They’re blooper type ones. It’s horrible defending and you can’t justify it.”