Clitheroe too strong as they move through in FA Cup

Clitheroe are led out by skipper Steve Mercer at Shawbridge on Saturday. Picture: Peter Ryan
Clitheroe are led out by skipper Steve Mercer at Shawbridge on Saturday. Picture: Peter Ryan
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Despite an extensive injury list, Clitheroe proved too good for Northern League Seanahm Red Star as they earned a trip to Harrogate Railway a week on Saturday in the FA Cup first qualifying round.

With the injury list lengthening by the week, the team virtually picked itself. Steve Mercer and Roberto Bonaminio both played despite carrying injuries sustained in last Monday’s win at Lancaster.

The Blues controlled the game from the start with Liam Hutchinson, Danny Morton and Sefton Gonzales all having early chances.

On 17 minutes, Danny Brady hit a powerful shot from 25 yards which went inches over the bar.

Mike Aspin hit a decent shot over 10 minutes later, and on 35 minutes, a David Lynch free kick just went wide.

The opening goal came on 38 minutes from a quick throw in.

Aspin sent an inch-perfect pass in to the box for Gonzales to turn and fire home.

Three minutes before the break, Wilkins almost made it two when he hit a curling shot just wide from Lynch’s pass.

Hutchinson was unlucky not to score two minutes after the restart when his curling shot from outside the box came back off the cross bar.

He was in the action again three minutes later when his header from Wilkins’ cross was well saved by Seaham keeper Shaun Newbrook.

Just before the hour, the Blues made it 2-0 when an excellent through ball found Wilkins, who took the ball into the box and placed the ball to the keeper’s left to score.

Richard Burns scored his first competitive goal for the Blues on 70 minutes, when he picked up Aspin’s precise long ball and dribbled past Newbrook to walk the ball into the net.

Seaham responded immediately as they were awarded a penalty within a minute.

Sonny Andrews converted the kick and two minutes later David Palmer was clean through and chipped over Matt Green to make it 3-2.

The Blues managed to keep Seaham at bay for the remainder of the game, and the final blow for the visitors came two minutes from time when keeper Newbrook was shown a red card for handling outside the area, stopping Peter Dunkerley from having a clear shot at goal.

Clitheroe: Green, Mercer, Aspin, Freeland, Brady, Lynch, Burns (Bonamino 90), Wilkins, Gonzales, Morton, Hutchinson (Dunkerley 83). Subs not used; Garner, Palffy.

Attendance 176

The Blues are back in Evo-Stik First Division North action tomorrow night when they entertain New Mills at Shawbridge, kick-off 7-45 p.m.

If you are a season ticket holder at any Football League club, you can gain admission for £5 on production of your season ticket book or card at the turnstile.

And they Clitheroe travel to Harrogate Railway on Monday night, again kick-off 7-45 p.m., in a curtain-raiser for the sides’ FA Cup clash five days later.