Hart penalty earns battling Clitheroe hard-fought point

Laquan Esdaille challenges for the ball
Laquan Esdaille challenges for the ball

Clitheroe were held to a third consecutive draw against a resilient Ossett Albion side at Shawbridge.

Once again Simon Garner had to make changes, with Roberto Bonaminio starting his two game suspension and Ross Dent being unavailable. David Lynch returned to the bench after a week’s absence and youth team captain Ryan Cattermole was also on the bench.

The Blues were also dealt a blow before the game even started, as Danny Brady turned his ankle in the warm-up. This meant a late re-shuffle with Seydou Bamba moving to centre half and James Walker came in at left back.

The Blues were close to taking the lead on eight minutes, when Simon Garner’s in-swinging free kick was headed just over by Louis Mayers. On 16 minutes Sefton Gonzales ran with the ball in to the box and his shot skimmed the top of the crossbar.

It was the visitors who took the lead on 34 minutes. Connor Bower’s shot from 30 yards looked harmless enough but it deceived Peter Collinge and ended up in the back of the net.

Sefton Gonzales looked like he took a knock towards the end of the half and he was replaced by David Lynch at half time. Joey Mullen moved to right midfield to let Lynch resume his usual centre midfield role.

Albion had the better of the possession early in the second half with the impressive Bower being instrumental in their attacks. On 59 minutes, he got through the Blues defence on the right and his low ball in to the box had to be quickly cleared by Danny Morton.

Joey Mullen had a good chance on the hour when picking up Garner’s long ball on the edge of the box. He drilled a shot across the goal, which just went the wrong side of the post.

Ryan Cattermole replaced Richard Burns on 66 minutes and filled in impressively at left back, as James Walker was pushed further forward.

The Blues were awarded a penalty on 68 minutes and it came from Cattermole’s long throw which reached Louis Mayers, who was fouled just inside the area. Jason Hart took the kick and hit it straight down the middle to level the scores.

Both teams had chances to win the game in the later stages. The best of which was in stoppage time when Albion’s Bower outpaced the Blues defence, but his shot across the goal went narrowly passed the post.

Clitheroe are away to Scarborough Athletic on Saturday. Kick-off 3pm.