IT was a case of one step forward, two steps back for Clitheroe Football Club this week in their pursuit for consistency.
An 11th -minute strike from Eddie Stanford, who struck from the edge of the area, earned boss Carl Garner only his second league triumph of the season against Witton Albion.
Clitheroe then sought consecutive First Division North victories when they entertained high-flying Skelmersdale United at Shawbridge.
The Blues went in to the game full of confidence having thrashed Tommy Lawson’s side 4-0 in the Preliminary Round of the FA Cup just 10 days earlier.
However, Garner’s men were undone by two spectacular strikes in an exciting and competitive encounter.
Blues striker Nathan Taylor missed two golden opportunities for the hosts early on.
And he was made to rue those missed chances when the visitors took the lead in the 18th minute, with a thunderous 35-yard shot from Kenneth Strickland.
Clitheroe were back on level terms though when Jack Higgins was felled in the penalty area just after the half-hour mark, with Ashley Parillon converting the resulting spot-kick.
After the interval Marlon Broomes had a header well-saved from a corner, but Paul Woolcott stole maximum points for Skem with a sublime drive in the 75th minute to take them top of the table.
The Blues, who sit 20th in the table, now travel to the Premier Division’s basement side Burscough in the FA Cup First Qualifying Round on Saturday with kick-off at 3 p.m.