Clitheroe’s unbeaten start to the EvoStik First Division North season came to an end over the weekend.
Paul Moore’s men had beaten Farsley 1-0 on the opening day, before a 1-1 draw at Salford City, but two Bank Holiday defeats leave the Blues 16th in the table ahead of Saturday’s FA Cup derby at Padiham.
On Saturday, despite a spirited display, Clitheroe came away from leaders Curzon Ashton pointless, falling to a solitary goal in the last minute of normal time.
Curzon Ashton shaded the first half, putting the better passing moves together, but found Richie Mottram in good form.
In the second half, just when a point looked in the bag, a weak defensive header, under pressure, sat up invitingly on the edge of the box, and the onrushing Curzon player Jordan Wright smashed it low to the bottom right corner, giving Richie Mottram no chance.
In the fourth minute of injury time, Danny Bell pumped a teasing cross into the box which Simon Nangle missed by inches with a diving header, and seconds later Rob Bodie was upended in the Curzon Ashton box.
Nangle fired the spot kick low and hard to the bottom left corner, but former Clitheroe keeper Hakan Burton, managed to save it and seal the win.
Then on Bank Holiday Monday, the Blues lost 2-0 at home to Bamber Bridge on a poor day at the office in front of a crowd of 290.
Adam Birchall’s header from a Keith Wedge cross after two minutes was the nearest Clitheroe would get to goal all afternoon.
As the first half progressed, Bamber Bridge and their two big bustling centre forwards dictated the game.
Play continued in a generally scrappy vein until the 37th minute, when Brig winger Ali Waddecar had time and space on the right to cross for Greg Johnstone to head home unchallenged.
After the break, Mottram pulled off a smart save on 50 minutes, but five minutes later the game was effectively over as a contest, when Will James looked to carry the ball deep into Brig territory, but was dispossessed. Brig broke, and Waddecar cut in from the right and lashed in a shot in that took a deflection off Jack Higgins.
This was thin fare for the home fans, who will hope that they do not have to suffer many more days like this.