Blues back in play-off places after away win

Clitheroe crowd out a Radcliffe Borough forward
Clitheroe crowd out a Radcliffe Borough forward
  • Matchwinner returns to parent club Stockport Clithero e’s goalscorer at Radcliffe on Saturday – George West – has now returned to parent club Stockport County after his loan spell at Shawbridge. Blues boss Simon Haworth said on his twitter page @morgandylan99 Thanks to @GeorgeWesttt for his contribution over 2 separate spells on loan @ClitheroeFC best of luck mate your welcome back anytime

The Blues jumped back into the play-off places with a narrow victory away at Radcliffe Borough in this LFA Trophy semi-final dress rehearsal.

Mitch Bryant and Accrington Stanley loanee Luke Wall were at the heart of the early action.

George West, right, is congratulated after his match-winning goal against Radcliffe Borough

George West, right, is congratulated after his match-winning goal against Radcliffe Borough

On three minutes, George West slipped Bryant through, only for his scuffed shot to be turned away for a corner.

On 14 minutes, Bryant cushioned a ball with his back to goal, spun round and fired in a smart shot which was well saved.

Shortly after, Wall caused mayhem in the home defence, and after pinball in the box, a penalty was awarded after a prone player was deemed to have handled the ball. Brant stepped up and hit the ball firmly, but the keeper saved.

A minute later, Bryant made amends as he drove into the box, and as he went to ground, the ball squirted through to West, who converted unchallenged.

Clitheroe look to stretch the Radcliffe Borough defence

Clitheroe look to stretch the Radcliffe Borough defence

The goal spurred Radcliffe into life. Chris Thompson was called upon to make a point blank save before another shot flashed across the face of goal.

Thompson made another good near post save, with a second shot flashing across goal.

However, Clitheroe should have put the game to bed before half-time.

Wall burst into the box and lofted a shot onto the bar, before Bryant’s follow up was well saved. Then Danny Brady headed a deep corner towards goal, with the ball hacked away.

The second half was more in favour of the home team, but Brady and Ryan Ellison remained in full control.

Radcliffe were awarded a soft penalty after a forward crumpled under attention from Robbie Bromley, but the resultant spot kick was so weak, Thompson saved comfortably.

CHRIS MUSSON