Clitheroe secure league status

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DYNAMIC duo Lee Sculpher and Dave Burgess have secured Clitheroe’s Evo-Stik League First Division North status.

Five consecutive defeats from the beginning of February had nestled the Blues right in the mire, but the interim management team, who have experienced success at the club previously, made an immediate impact and have consequently succeeded in their rescue mission.

Victories over Salford City and the stalemate with Ossett Albion in March had pushed the Ribble Valley outfit closer to survival.

And their safety was confirmed after Easter Monday’s 2-1 win over Lancaster City.

The Blues are nine points clear of Wakefield who have three games remaining.

However, Ronnie Glavin’s side face 20th-placed Harrogate Railway Athletic on Saturday.

“Wakefield play Harrogate this weekend so points have to be dropped there,” said Sculpher.

“That means we are mathematically safe so we’re delighted.

“In the brief spell myself and Dave Burgess have been here together, we’ve won two and drawn one at Shawbridge, so we want to sign off in the right manner.

“It sets a good platform for next season. We want our home ground to be a fortress.

“The players and the committee have put a lot of hard work in, so it’s great for everyone.

“It took a number of years to get the club promoted to this level, so we don’t want to go back to where we came from.

“It’s a wake up call for everyone involved at the club, and we’ve got to up our game for next season.”

On Saturday, Clitheroe lost 2-1 to Garforth Town despite taking the lead through Joe Roberts in the 17th minute.

But they showed grit and determination to beat play-off hopefuls Lancaster on Monday after trailing to Max Rothwell’s strike, as Roberts and Glodi Kuba-Kuba’s last-minute strike sealed maximum points for the Blues.

“It’s been hectic with the two games over the Easter period,” Sculpher said.

“But we’ve got the result that mattered and that’s the main thing. We are delighted.

“We felt slightly aggrieved on Saturday with the way the game conspired against us and the poor decisions that were made when we were in the ascendency.

“The pressure on us could have been alleviated there, but it wasn’t to be.

“But we picked up a fantastic result on Monday. To come from a goal behind which was very pleasing.

“Heads could have dropped but all credit to the lads because they stuck at it until the end, and they were rewarded with a last-minute winner.

“There’s no better time to score.”

Clitheroe entertain Woodley Sports in the penultimate game of the campaign this Saturday. Kick-off at Shawbridge is 3 p.m.