Clitheroe exit the FA Cup at the first hurdle

Terry Cummings netted against 1874 Northwich in the FA Cup
Terry Cummings netted against 1874 Northwich in the FA Cup
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In atrocious conditions, Clitheroe succumbed to a very lively 1874 Northwich side and kissed goodbye to an FA Cup run at the first hurdle, in the extra preliminary round.

The first half was all Northwich, with the visitors taking the lead from a short free-kick from Sam Hare which visiting skipper Matthew Woolley fired home unchallenged.

Despite kicking into a strong wind, the visitors – who had won both their opening games in the North West Counties Premier Division – were well in the ascendancy and Connor King produced a cracking full length save six minutes later.

The home team’s sole chance in the half fell to Charlie Mulgrew, whose tame side foot shot from a Cole Lonsdale burst and cross had to be better, with the goal at his mercy.

1874’s lead could and should have been extended as the clock ticked down when from a great left wing cross, their centre forward connected with his foot, but saw the ball squirt unbelievably beyond the post.

The second half was much more even and there can have been no complaints when Clitheroe equalised on 59 minutes, with Terry Cummings latching on to a cross after a great run from Jordan Darr.

Clitheroe turned up the pressure but it was 1874 who got their noses back in front on 69 minutes with a comfortable conversion by Jake Parker from a left wing cross.

Darr had the ball in the net but the influential Charlie Russell was deemed to have followed through on his opponent as he stretched to feed Darr with a through-ball as the Blues looked to force an equaliser and the possibility of a replay.

And with eight minutes to go, substitute Jack Price forced a superb point blank save but it was not to be Clitheroe’s day as the FA Cup hoodoo continues.

Clitheroe now focus on the start of the Bet Victor NPL North West Division season, as the Blues host Brighouse Town on Saturday.

Clitheroe: King, Gregory, Lonsdale, Dugdale, Foulds, Stanley (Gray 89), Cummings, Mulgrew (Russell 60), Pond (Price 80), Tanner, Darr.

Subs not used: Ngongo, Muir, Terry.

1874 Northwich: Ward, Hind, Mitchell, Lee Jackson, Matthew Russell (Jones 6), Parker, Matthew Woolley, Hare, Koral (Knight 85), McGowan, Kennerley (Cain 62) Subs not used: Okome, Ormrod, Pritchard, Stevenson.

CHRIS MUSSON