CLITHEROE’S woes at home continued with this loss to Ossett Town making it three defeats on the spin at Shawbridge. ontinued with this loss to Ossett Town making it three defeats on the spin at Shawbridge.
The Blues were below par all afternoon and substitute Joseph Thornton sealed the win for the visitors late in the second period after Carl Stewart’s first-half opener.
The enforced break over the last few weeks allowed Will James to recover from a lay-off and he replaced the injured Rob Bodie in defence.
Daley Woods retuned to the starting-up and Dean Canning made his debut while fellow new recruit Isaac Kusaloka – signed from AFC Fylde – also made his first appearance from the bench.
Neither side was able to establish any sort of rhythm or momentum in the opening exchanges with goalmouth action at a premium.
The home side had the first real chance of the game in the 23rd minute but Woods blasted over after Marcus Calvert’s flick created space in the penalty area.
Five minutes later the hosts were indebted to Hakan Burton for keeping the scores level as he denied Stewart who was clear on goal after being found by Keir Hannity.
Danny Mahoney tested Ossett keeper Matthew Convey from distance and the former Bradford City stopper saved Canning’s low driven effort after a sweeping Connor Smith pass.
However, that was as much as Clitheroe could muster in a lacklustre first-half and ten minutes before the break Ossett had the lead.
Stewart found the net after meeting Luke Sharry’s corner from the left to head past Burton.
Matters could have been worse for Paul Moore’s side shortly before the interval with Sharry firing over from inside the box following a swift counter-attack.
The second half continued in a similar vein with the Blues unable to create any clear-cut chances of note.
At the other end, Burton saved well from Grant Darley’s glancing header just before the hour mark while Stewart flashed an effort inches wide moments later.
With the Blues rapidly running out of ideas, Thornton’s low effort from the left corner of the penalty on 79 minutes made the game safe for Ossett.
Despite a flurry of late corners, Clitheroe were unable to penetrate the visitors’ defence during an afternoon bereft of any spark as the points returned to West Yorkshire.
While results elsewhere were relatively kind, Moore will be dsperate for his charges to re-capture their early season form which saw them depose many of the division’s leading lights.
The Blues head to Irongate on Saturday (Kick-off 3pm) where Bamber Bridge lie in wait.
Clitheroe: Hakan Burton, Chris Smalley, Will James, Louis Edwards, Jack Higgins, Connor Smith (Isaac Kusaloka 63), Simon Nangle, Danny Mahoney (Adam Birchall 46), Daley Woods, Marcus Calvert (Chris Mason 78), Dean Canning. Subs not used: Danny Bell, Chris Dykes