Clitheroe boss left feeling blue

ON TARGET: Will James (left) netted in Saturday's 3-2 defeat
ON TARGET: Will James (left) netted in Saturday's 3-2 defeat
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CLITHEROE boss Paul Moore was singing the blues following a frustrating weekend at Shawbridge.

After missing out on the coveted Manager of the Month accolade for November, the Blues boss saw his high-flying side fall victim to poor refereeing decisions in defeat to Cammell Laird on Saturday.

Moore had guided the Ribble Valley outfit to second in the Evo-Stik First Division North table in the culmination to last month, after securing a 100% record from five fixtures in all competitions.

But league victories over Ossett Albion, Curzon Ashton, New Mills and Prescot Cables, plus a Doodson Sport Cup triumph against Radcliffe Borough proved insufficient as Skelmersdale United manager Tommy Lawson claimed the award for the third time this season.

The FA Trophy giant-killers won six of their seven matches over the month, drawing just once at Boston United in the competition’s First Round before going on to knock the Conference North side out in the replay.

“I don’t know what you have to do,” said Moore.

“We had a 100% record for November.

“I’m not sure how they’ve come to that, I think Skem may have played and won one more game, but I’m more interested in what happens at the end of the season, rather than the outcome of a single month.

“The success of Clitheroe Football Club is more important than my own individual success.

“It would’ve been nice, we are exceeding all expectations, but that’s in-house.

“It’s a league award so that isn’t taken in to consideration.”

Danny Bell and Will James gave Clitheroe a 2-1 lead at the interval in Merseyside, but that hard work was unravelled in the second half by some questionable decisions by the match officials.

Laird’s Dan O’Brien was adjudged to have been fouled in the penalty area, gifting Jamie Henders his 15th of the campaign from the spot, before substitute Aaron Bowen scored a late winner for the hosts.

“We were robbed,” declared Moore.

“I was really hacked off with the referee.

“At 2-1 I thought we were good value for winning the game but then the referee awarded them a soft penalty early in the second half.

“I didn’t think there was any contact.

“Then towards the end of the game Scott Bakkor was running clear and their midfielder has gone through the back of him. The referee’s given him a yellow when it was a straight red.”

Moore added: “I don’t know where some of these officials come from.

“I was absolutely livid. It was a very poor performance from the match official.

“Such is the game though, that’s sometimes the way it goes.

“We were just lacking in some of the killer areas really.

“We got in to some good positions but didn’t punish them.

“I’m not too disappointed though because we are still well on course to hit our target.”

The Blues continue the festive period with an outing away at Harrogate Railway Athletic on Saturday before facing Garforth Town, Burscough, Ramsbottom United and leaders Mossley as the table starts to take shape.

And Moore is confident that they’ll maintain their pursuit as the season progresses.

“I’m pretty confident that we’ll be there or thereabouts,” Moore said.

“I think we can keep up this form for the second half of the season.

“We’ve got some big games coming up so they should be interesting.

“I think everything will be a bit clearer by the time New Year arrives.

“Things will take shape around mid-January. But it’s going great so I don’t want to put any unnecessary pressure on the lads.

“At the minute I don’t need to because they just keep on going.”