Clitheroe rail-roaded at Harrogate by late goal

David Lynch was on target in Clitheroe's 2-2 draw at home to New Mills on Friday night. Picture: Peter Ryan

David Lynch was on target in Clitheroe's 2-2 draw at home to New Mills on Friday night. Picture: Peter Ryan

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Clitheroe lost to a stoppage time goal at Harrogate Railway Athletic on Monday night in a dress-rehearsal of Saturday’s FA Cup tie between the sides.

The Blues started the game on the front foot, winning four corners in the first three minutes.

Simon Garner’s men had early sights of goal, as David Lynch shot narrowly over. while Liam Hutchinson jinked his way free and Sefton Gonzales flicked a header just wide.

Gonzales sent another header the wrong side of the post from a Hutchinson header, while the Blues comfortably soaked up some route one stuff from the hosts.

Just after the half hour, Lynch and Hutchinson exchanged passes before the resulting shot was blocked.

Just before half-time, Danny Brady slid the ball agonisingly wide, and Clitheroe thought they had scored when Seydou Bamba’s free kick was parried by the keeper, who then saved from Danny Morton, and Zach Clark finished, but was deemed off-side.

The chances continue to fall to Clitheroe after the break as Clark shot wide before Gonzales headed over from a corner.

Just after the hour, Lynch slid in and was foiled by a brave save.

It was not until the last quarter of the game that the home side showed any enterprise.

On 79 minutes, a clumsy challenge by Adam Freeland on top scorer Nathan Cartman saw a penalty awarded.

Cartman took the kick, but was denied by Matt Green.

However, Cartman had the last word a minute into injury time when he burst down the wing, cut inside and drove the ball across Green into the goal.

On Friday night, Clitheroe had to settle for a point after taking a two-goal lead at home to New Mills.

A rare Friday evening game at Shawbridge saw a thrilling end to end game.

With Steve Mercer serving one game suspension, Brady replaced him at centre half and Bamba returned at left back, for his first League start. New signings Clark and Jimmy Heywood were on the bench.

The Blues took the lead on eight minutes, when Hutchinson hit a superb shot which gave former Clitheroe keeper Peter Collinge no chance.

And the hosts doubled their lead on 36 minutes when Lynch started and finished an excellent passing move.

New Mills got back into the game three minutes before the break when Carl Fitton’s free kick eluded everybody and crept into the bottom corner of the net.

New Mills levelled the game on 52 minutes when the Blues defence failed to clear and Daniel Douglas-Pringle scored from close range.

Clark’s cheeky back heel came back off the post on 77 minutes, but the defences held firm as the sides claimed a deserved point apiece.

Clitheroe travel to Harrogate Railway Athletic again on Saturday for their FA Cup first qualifying round tie.