Clitheroe get back on track

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MARCUS Calvert scored what ultimately proved the winner as Clitheroe returned home on Saturday with maximum points after completing a league double over Goole.

The Blues appeared comfortable once Calvert added to Simon Nangle’s early opener just after half-time, but a James Booker penalty ensured a nervy final 20 minutes.

Paul Moore shuffled his pack with Connor Smith, Mark Buchan and Calvert earning recalls, while Louis Edwards and Chris Smalley switched full back roles.

The game was scarcely two minutes old when Nangle thumped a trademark 25-yard free-kick over and wall and past the despairing dive of Goole keeper Neal May.

Moments later the lead was almost doubled as Danny Mahoney’s smart pass found Smith in the box only for the midfielder to be denied by May.

In a lively opening, Bill Law had the chance to equalise on five minutes but could only shoot straight at Hakan Burton from inside the penalty area.

Moore’s side played some neat football on a difficult surface in the opening period while the hosts were forced into major reorganisation, using all three substitutions before half-time.

Buchan was making an impact on the game from the right flank and his snap-shot from the edge of the area on 26 minutes almost caught out May.

Although mainly half-chances, Clitheroe continued to carve out the better opportunities as the half wore on and Calvert fired over after being teed up by Buchan.

At the other end, Law’s header from David Taylor’s left-wing cross looped over the crossbar as the striker challenged Burton in the air.

In the final minute of the half, Buchan was again the provider as Calvert latched onto the former Greenock Morton forward’s pass but failed to hit the target.

Calvert though was not to be denied for long and two minutes after the restart he had his goal.

The 23-year-old - making his first league start since August – applied a close range finish to Buchan’s cross from the right to score his fourth goal of the campaign.

The away side were in a commanding position and May was required to claw

away a rather scuffed Calvert effort after the striker combined well with Mahoney.

Goole came incredibly close to pulling a goal back on the hour mark as Booker’s shot from range rebounded off the underside the crossbar before being cleared by Jack Higgins.

A minute later, Law headed a right-wing free kick wide before the arrears were halved on 68 minutes as a dubious penalty was awarded for a foul on substitute Dean Sidebottom.

Booker confidently dispatched the spot-kick to spark a frantic finale which Clitheroe will be relieved to have survived with their lead intact.

Derry Robson’s curling effort after a goalmouth scramble struck a post with quarter of an hour remaining before Burton did well to tip over a powerful drive from Mark Baggaley.

From the resulting Booker corner, Sam Colbear’s flicked effort trickled wide of the post before Goole’s final chance fell to Booker whose shot missed the target.

Just prior to the final whistle, Edwards came close to adding a third for Clitheroe, but after winning the ball on halfway and advancing saw his shot fly wide.

After a difficult spell of late it will hoped this three-point haul will represent a starting point for an upturn in form and a sequence of more positive results.

Clitheroe now face Ossett Albion at Shawbridge on Saturday, kick-off 3 p.m.

Clitheroe: Burton, Edwards, Smalley, Bodie, Higgins (c), Smith, Nangle, Birchall, Mahoney, Calvert (Mason 82), Buchan (Bell 75). Subs not used: Pearson, Dykes.

Attendance: 96