Clitheroe FC 0, Farsley 0 and Clitheroe FC 1, Skelmersdale United 7
SALT has been rubbed barbarously into gaping Blue wounds over the past week.
After Clitheroe boss Paul Moore lost leading scorer Alex Johnson to Halifax Town, the Blues suffered a goalless draw against 10-man Farsley before being thumped by Skelmersdale United at Shawbridge.
Despite the Villagers having Josh Radcliffe sent off midway through the first-half, Moore’s side were unable to break down stubborn Farsley.
The Blues, who donned a pink kit to raise awareness of breast cancer, started well.
Neil Parsley’s visitors were looking sharp in attack and lived up to their billing as being a physical outfit. After 23 minutes the visitors were reduced to 10 as Radcliffe saw red for a last-man foul on Mark Buchan as Woods looked to release the frontman.
Lee Pugh nearly made Farsley pay as his resulting free-kick from the edge of the area forced keeper Tom Morgan into a good save diving to his right. Minutes later, Hakan Burton clawed away an acrobatic effort from Adam Muller after Gareth Grant’s long throw.
Shortly before the break, Simon Nangle’s long-range drive from Ollie Devenney’s lay-off missed the upright by a whisker after taking a slight deflection.
Connor Smith came closest to breaking the deadlock in the 79th minute. Morgan denied Smith his second goal of the campaign as he turned the midfielder’s low goal-bound effort around the post after Chris Smalley and Woods combined to good effect.
But worse was to follow when Skelmersdale United ran riot at Shawbridge midweek.
Seven scorers–Tom Hardwick, Josh Hine, Anthony Hickey, Robert McIntosh, Adam Morning, Gary Burnett and Louis Corrigan, found the net for the visitors ,while Mark Buchan scored a consolation for the Blues.
Clitheroe fell behind after two minutes as Hardwick headed home a Kenny Strickland corner at the far post. The visitors’ lead was doubled on four minutes as Hine sprinted onto Dale Wright’s through-ball and fired high into the net after rounding Hakan Burton.
With 20 minutes on the clock, Hine slipped in Hickey who, finished past Burton from inside the area after another incisive passing move.
The hosts reduced the arrears on the half-hour mark as Buchan latched on to debutant Danny Mahoney’s clever chipped pass to lob Sam Ashton. This was Buchan’s second goal in Clitheroe colours, and the first Skelmersdale have conceded on the road this season.
For the second time in the match Clitheroe were undone by a set piece as McIntosh found the net from another Strickland corner.
The second period was two minutes old when Louis Corrigan’s cross was turned home by Morning.
Matters were almost made worse shortly afterwards as Lewis Field released Burnett who lifted the ball over Burton but saw his strike hit the post and cleared by Rob Bodie.
Skelmersdale scored two late goals. Substitute Jamil Salem teed-up Burnett, who produced a clinical finish before Burton denied him a second. In the final minute, after Marcus Calvert and Dykes both missed the target for the Blues, Burnett set-up Corrigan for Skelmersdale’s seventh, leaving Clitheroe’s unbeaten league record at home in tatters.
In an interview on Clitheroe FC’s website, Moore said: “It’s hard to pick bones in a game like that, because every time they got the ball they went to our end and scored. It was just one of those games where everything we tried went wrong. The lads have bounced back before, so I have no doubt that they’ll come back stronger.”
Moore’s side travel to West Yorkshire on Saturday to take on Ossett Albion, kick-off 3 p.m.