Blues boss pleased at Clitheroe’s progress

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Blues boss Simon Garner is happy with the way things are going at Shawbridge.

The Clitheroe player-manager has guided the club to fifth in the Evo-Stik First Division North, which has been consolidated by a four-game unbeaten stretch, and has seen goalkeeper Ben Woodhead sign contractual terms for the remainder of the year, with the option of a further season on top.

“It’s great news for us,” said the 33-year-old. “It took us so long to get Ben in so we didn’t want to lose him by somebody putting seven days on him.

“It’s great that he’s signed a contract and it means that we can build on that foundation without worrying that it all could change.”

The club’s latest acquisition from North West Counties Premier Division outfit Nelson has started well, contributing to two clean sheets in four games.

Woodhead was beaten by Robert Doran in the 53rd minute against Prescot Cables at the weekend but a Sefton Gonzales strike with a quarter-of-an-hour remaining salvaged a point at Valerie Park.

“It’s really good even though Saturday would’ve been better with a fourth successive win,” Garner said. “I’m happy with a point though because we didn’t play as well as what we have been lately. We should’ve won it at the end which was frustrating though.”

After Clitheroe’s Lancashire FA Challenge Trophy tie with Bacup Borough at West View was postponed due to a waterlogged pitch midweek, the Blues move on to entertain Droylsden on Saturday (kick off 3 p.m.).

“I think any pitch will suffer if it continues raining the way it has been doing,” said Garner. “We’re fortunate that our pitch drains quite well though, I’m sure it will be on.

“They got beat on Saturday and they’re not in a great vein of form but we know that we can’t just turn up. That showed at the weekend when we were made to fight for a point. But we are confident and we want to make it five games unbeaten.”