Cup tie on Clitheroe boss Garner’s mind

Action from Saturday's Evo-Stik First Division North clash between Scarborough Athletic and Clitheroe FC at Queensgate
Action from Saturday's Evo-Stik First Division North clash between Scarborough Athletic and Clitheroe FC at Queensgate

Simon Garner can’t envisage a better time for his Blues to improve their home form.

With a Lancashire FA Challenge Trophy semi-final just around the corner the club’s build up to the tie with Atherton Collieries includes two league games at Shawbridge.

Clitheroe have won just four of their 13 league fixtures on home soil but have the opportunity to address that when Kendal Town and Scarborough Athletic provide the opposition in coming weeks.

Garner, whose side face the North West Counties First Division leaders in Leyland on February 24th, said: “We’ve got back-to-back home games now. It’s a funny month because we play them both (Kendal and Scarborough) twice in a short space of time.

“We want to go in to our cup semi-final on the back of some good form and two home games before it gives us that chance. We’re facing opposition that we feel we can beat.

“Our home form hasn’t been as good as our away form so we can address that as well. It’s a big month for the club with three cracking games coming up. We want to go in to the cup game high in confidence.”

The Blues lost for the first time since New Year’s Day at the weekend as they fell to the Seadogs at Queensgate. A Gary Bradshaw free-kick and a Thomas Corner penalty gave the hosts the advantage at the interval before Ross Dent replied late on for the away side, who had Danny Morton dismissed early on.

“It was frustrating,” Garner said. “We were up against it from the word go with the sending off and the early goal but it’s gone now. There’s a good chance for us to clear the air soon when we play them again at our place.

“Some of the decisions were farcical; I just couldn’t get my head around them.

“The second penalty was one of many. To give another penalty within 10 seconds of the first being missed was incredible.

“There was slight contact but not enough to force the player to the floor and give a foul. That really deflated us. We’d gone from the elation of seeing a penalty saved to keep it at 1-0 to conceding a second.”

Garner added: “We haven’t tasted defeat since the start of January so they’ll look to bounce back now. We haven’t won for a while either so I want them to show me some character.”