A NEW-LOOK Clitheroe RBL didn’t have the best of starts, despite debuts for Paul-Anthony Clark, Matt Feeney, Jamie Bury, Dan Blackburn and the return of Stuart Farquhar after a year away.
Manager Garry Kay was given a selection headache due to some great performances in pre-season and is still learning his best XI.
Legion got off to a terrible start, 2-0 down within the first 20 minutes. Both attacks started with Meyler losing the ball in the centre of the park and the hosts breaking down the right, turning Harltlebury every which way possible. Hartlebury was given very little cover, though for the second goal Clark got back to assist, but was harshly deemed to have clipped the striker which led to a penalty.
The locals regained composure and created a few half-chances but nothing clear-cut, meaning the score stayed at 2-0 at the break.
Within 56 seconds of the restart, a direct ball from keeper Scriven through the centre found Farquhar to flick onto the ever-dangerous Blackburn, who finished neatly into the bottom right.
Legion found some confidence and continued to threaten, but couldn’t find the equaliser and had to be patient. Prairie then hit Clitheroe with a sucker punch.
This time the attack came down the left and Roberts was out of position for the winger to pick out the only striker, who arrived in the box ahead of Brunskill and Clark to knock in Prairie’s third.
But Clitheroe didn’t take this lying down, and the same combination of Farquhar and Blackburn carved out their second.
Farquhar flew down the left and squared into the box for Blackburn, who arrived with perfect timing for his second.
Legion continued to attack and harshly had an equaliser disallowed. Feeney down the right was adjudged to be off-side, though he had appeared to have timed his run to perfection.
Clitheroe continued to threaten, though Prairie countered and they got their fourth as Clitheroe were piling forward.
CRBL manager Kay will take positives from the game for future fixtures which come thick and fast, with Peel Park next up on Saturday at Mardale in Longridge.
FINAL SCORE: Prairie United 4, Clitheroe Royal British Legion 2