Jay’s ‘Hart’ beats for Clitheroe

Off the mark: Jay Hart (right) celebrates his first Clitheroe goal against Salford City with Steve Mercer at Shawbridge on Saturday''''                     Picture: Peter Ryan
Off the mark: Jay Hart (right) celebrates his first Clitheroe goal against Salford City with Steve Mercer at Shawbridge on Saturday'''' Picture: Peter Ryan

New Blues signing Jay Hart has taken the bull by the horns since his step up to the Evo-Stik First Division North.

The 24-year-old striker ended a three-year affiliation with North West Counties Premier Division outfit Colne to sign on at Shawbridge, via a brief stint playing alongside former Southampton and Blackpool hitman Brett Ormerod at Padiham.

Hart was awarded the man of the match accolade following his debut in a 2-1 win over Harrogate Railway Athletic on home soil and opened his account for the club at the weekend in a spectacular triumph over the Class of 92’s Salford City.

The former Red scored his first goal in two months to break the deadlock in the 34th minute against the Ammies when his sweet strike beat goalkeeper Sam Guthrie and cannoned in off the inside of the upright.

“Last time I scored was September 6th in the cup against Penrith for Colne,” he said. It felt amazing to finally get back on the scoresheet, especially against a team like Salford. I’d have taken a tap-in from two yards but I ended my drought with a beauty.

“It was class to score a goal in the way I did. A massive weight was lifted off my shoulders when it went in. Hopefully now that’s the start of something good here at Clitheroe and I look forward to taking on the challenge.”

Hart is adjusting well to the transition between the eighth and ninth tiers of English football, but declared it wasn’t an easy decision to walk away from Holt House and a team with renewed ambition under boss Steve Cunningham.

“Leaving Colne was possibly the hardest thing I’ve done,” Hart said. “It was a great place to be. I was there for about three years and really enjoyed it. To have such great support too was class; they’ve got the best fans you’ll see in non league. I still check the results at the weekend and hope they can continue their good run of form.”

Hart added: “I’m really enjoying the step up from the North West Counties. It’s a tough league with some very good but, as we proved on Saturday, beatable teams.

“I’ve only been at Clitheroe a couple of weeks but I’m happy to be here. It’s a good club and is run very well. I’m going to enjoy my time here and look forward to helping the team move forward. As for targets I just want to get firing again and score some goals for the club.”