Blues pay the penalty against play-off rivals

Clitheroe defend their goal at Ossett Albion on Saturday''''''Pictures: Peter Ryan
Clitheroe defend their goal at Ossett Albion on Saturday''''''Pictures: Peter Ryan
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Clitheroe may have paid the penalty in their play-off pursuit midweek but boss Simon Haworth is continuing to look on the bright side of life.

The Blues were held at home to rivals Trafford at Shawbridge, who they would have leapfrogged to edge in to the top six with victory, but Kurt Willoughby’s missed spot kick late on let the visitors off the hook.

Clitheroe remain two points adrift of their opponents, heading in to Saturday’s home game with Radcliffe Borough, but have a game in hand.

The home side took the lead in the 19th minute when a corner from the right hand side was helped on by both Danny Brady and Ian Rowlands before Jack Egan applied the final touch.

However, Trafford were back on level terms in the 54th minute when Darius Palma went through on goal and slotted the ball past Chris Thompson to make it 1-1.

The home side had the chance to snatch it with just eight minutes of normal time remaining when Stephen Rigby’s run was ended by Shenton and Willoughby took on the responsibility from 12 yards out.

But the goalkeeper atoned for his error, diving to his right to deny the Blues’ leading scorer his 25th goal of the campaign.

“I think we put a lot in to the first 30 minutes of the game, we pressed hard, closed them down and we probably should have had more reward than what we did,” said Haworth.

“The keeper has made some great saves, we’ve hit the post and we’ve scored but we should have been further ahead.

“I thought we defended really well and limited them to a few half chances. In general we put in a really good performance and that’s the most important thing against our fellow play-off contenders who are a good side as well.

“We have to be happy with a draw in the end although I’m frustrated that we didn’t nick it.

“We have to enjoy it and give it our best shot like we did last year. We’re still there or thereabouts but it’s a constant battle.

“We’re just trying to get as close to 70 points, which we got last year, as possible. We’re doing very well. I think we’re having a good season and we’re still in with a shout.”

The Blues were well beaten by Ossett Albion at the weekend, with Adam Priestley’s brace and Marcus Day’s effort condemning them to a 3-0 loss at Queens Terrace.