Garner in reflective mood

Clitheroe defend their goal in last season's LFA Challenge Trophy Final against Chorley at Bolton Wanderers' Macron Stadium.
Clitheroe defend their goal in last season's LFA Challenge Trophy Final against Chorley at Bolton Wanderers' Macron Stadium.

Clitheroe’s first defeat in seven games has sparked a period of reflection from boss Simon Garner.

Defeat to Farsley Celtic at Shawbridge was a crushing disappointment after the Blues had accumulated 13 points from their previous five league outings.

However, the club is currently occupying its highest ever league position in the football pyramid, and Garner feels that this moment should be enjoyed and celebrated.

“It’s easy to get carried away,” said Garner, whose dad Carl contributed to the club’s most successful season after taking over the reins from Peter Smith in 2011.

“Realistically we are punching well above our weight at this moment in time.

“There’s still a long way to go and nothing is guaranteed in football.

“Defeat is obviously disappointing but if we finish in this position, then we’ll have done better than anybody could’ve ever dreamed of.

“This is the best position that the club has ever been in.

“I want to do as well for this club as I possibly can, but there are teams in this division with much bigger budgets, squads and facilities than us.

“I’ll do what I can to achieve the best for this club.”

Two goals in three first half minutes from Scott Harries and Louis Mayers had given the Blues a two-goal advantage at the weekend, but Ross Daly struck for the visitors on the stroke of half-time to reduce the arrears.

Lewis Nightingale, Paul Walker, Paddy Miller and Aiden Savory then inflicted further damage.

“I’m disappointed that our run has come to an end and the manner of how it ended,” said Garner.

“We started well but it was quite an open game. They had a goal dubiously disallowed, but then they scored with virtually the last kick of the first half which really hit us.

“We were 2-1 up, but we went in at half-time like we were getting beat.

“You wouldn’t have backed against us when we were 2-0 up, but they are a very good side even if the league doesn’t currently show that. They had a lot of experience in their side and it just clicked for them.”

Garner is now challenging his players to respond against Ossett Albion in West Yorkshire on Saturday:

“It’s all about how they react now. It’s quite easy when things are going well for you, but it’s a test of character to respond to that defeat.

“Hopefully it was just a blip and we can embark on another run.

“We know it will be tough because it’s not an easy place to go.

“They’re just below us in sixth spot at the moment and they’ve picked up some good results. We want to try and preserve our position and keep showing the form that will help us stay in the top five.”