Clitheroe still in the mix

Scenes at the final whistle after the last-gasp winner against Lancaster City on Easter Monday.
Scenes at the final whistle after the last-gasp winner against Lancaster City on Easter Monday.

BLUES boss Paul Moore insists his players have got the strength of character to cement a play-off spot.

With Skelmersdale running away with the First Division North title, it leaves seven clubs battling for a top five finish.

Clitheroe currently occupy the final spot, with Curzon Ashton, Mossley and Trafford above them, while Ramsbottom United, Cammell Laird and New Mills are just outside the play-off places but remain well in the hunt.

That ultimately means three clubs will suffer the end-of-season heartache of missing out on their goal, though Moore is planning on being one of the four finishing the term in celebratory fashion.

“It’s going to be incredibly close,” he said.

“We’ve still got to play three of the sides vying for a play-off spot, plus Skelmersdale in our final six fixtures.

“Ramsbottom are dropping like a stone at the moment. They’ve got games in hand but they’ve got to win them.

“Overall I’m really pleased with the way things are going.

“I think we’ve got the strength to do it.

“I’ve said 74 points will get us there and I still think that total will be enough.

“We need six points from our next three games ideally, which would leave us with two points needed from our final three.

“We’ve certainly given ourselves a chance and that’s the important thing.

“We are not there by default - our form over the season has put us there and we will keep battling.”

The Blues suffered a setback at the weekend when losing 2-1 against Moore’s former club Warrington Town.

However, they bounced back with immediate effect when leaving it late to beat Lancaster City at Shawbridge on Easter Bank Holiday Monday.

“We battered Warrington if I’m being honest,” declared Moore.

“We were the better side all afternoon and we should’ve been about three goals up by half-time.

“But such is football and how the game went we didn’t punish them and ended up chasing the game. It was frustrating.

“We bounced back though and that was vital. It was a tight game so it was nice to edge it.

“There was a couple of scary moments but it was a good match.

“At this stage it’s the points that count and we got them so I’m delighted.

“There’s no better time to score, we were desperate to win, so I was pleased to be rewarded with that late goal.”

The Blues travel to face league leaders Skelmersdale United on Saturday, kick-off 3 p.m.

• Turn to page 47 for reports of Clitheroe’s 2-1 defeat at Warrington Town, and 1-0 win at home to Lancaster City.