Clitheroe boss hopes to add three more new faces

Clitheroe FC manager Peter Smith
Clitheroe FC manager Peter Smith

BLUES boss Peter Smith is expecting to add three new faces to his squad in time for Saturday’s trip to Radcliffe Borough.

Smith has been forced into the market after losing the services of key players to higher league opposition. Winger Danny Williams, who had scored nine goals this season for the Shawbridge outfit, was the latest name to abandon the Ribble Valley, as he chose to move up a tier with Kendal Town.

Mark Jackson also departed to the Lakeland Radio Stadium earlier in the campaign, while Kev Brown, Alex Porter, Chris Smalley and Lydon Hodgkiss will all be unavailable in the coming weeks.

Smith said: “We are down to the bare bones, so it’s difficult. I’ve now got Chris Smalley away for two games, and Lydon Hodgkiss is serving a suspension. It’s just one after another, and we can’t cope with it. The loss of these players has taken its toll on us.

“We’ve got plenty of young players, but you need that balance of both youth and experience, but unfortunately our experienced players aren’t playing at the moment.

“It’s been hard work for us. You’re trying to move players about, and it’s not the same. We are missing these lads, and the results are telling with it. You develop these players and other teams come in and take them off you, and unfortunately that’s always going to happen. It’s just a shame we’ve lost key players at a similar time.”

Smith was not forthcoming in giving the names of his targets, but said that he was hoping to bring in a left-sided midfielder, a left full-back and a striker in time for the weekend’s game at Stainton Park.

“We will be signing two or three players this week,” Smith disclosed. “So there will be some new faces for Saturday’s game. We needed to freshen things up a bit, and hopefully they will give us a boost. I’ve been trying to bring players in all week.”

The Blues fell to another disappointing home defeat at the weekend, as they went down to a 70th-minute Sam Walker strike against Woodley Sports. Now Smith wants a response, as a huge game against Chester is on the horizon.

“I was disappointed,” Smith said. “We didn’t open them up or create any chances, so that hoodoo at home continues. We are not performing, which is why our home record is so poor. I want to win as many games as I can, and help Clitheroe finish as high as possible. We’ve got to keep battling away. We’ve got a big game on Saturday, and hopefully, if we can pick up a result there, we can set ourselves up to cause an upset against Chester on Tuesday.”