BLUES boss Peter Smith has demanded a combination of better finishing and resolve from his players in the ‘Wake’ of Tuesday night’s 1-0 defeat at College Grove.
Clitheroe created a multitude of chances against Ronnie Glavin’s struggling Wakefield outfit.
But were made to pay the price when Bears’ captain Wes Milnes gave his side the lead five minutes before half-time, a lead they clawed on to for the duration of the second half to claim all three points.
It was disappointing for Smith and his Ribble Valley men who had turned over a hard-working Skelmersdale side just days earlier.
Goals from Ashley Parillon and Alex Porter had seen the Blues overturn a one-goal deficit.
“It was unbelievable,” Smith said. “Our performance against Skelmersdale was fantastic and it was a great result.
“We deserved to win and played really well.
“We took our chances, scored two great goals and defended better so I was pleased with that.
“But then somehow we’ve lost against Wakefield, who weren’t a great side.
“They were a big side who worked with long throws and were dangerous on set-pieces.
“We created seven or eight clear cut chances, not half chances, but we couldn’t put it in the back of the net.
“I can’t believe we didn’t win the game.”
Smith admits his side have yet to find that happy medium.
The Blues have scored two goals against Bamber Bridge, four against Salford City, two against Mossley and three in the fixture with Cammell Laird, yet failed to win any of those matches.
Now Smith wants to see his defence keep a clean sheet while his forward’s take their chances.
“Wakefield had two chances all game and scored one of them,” said Smith. “But credit to them for grinding out a result. We can’t afford to miss chance after chance at this level; we should have won that game 4-1.
“Unfortunately sometimes you don’t get the results you deserve.
“The problem recently has been bad defending and bad goalkeeping, and I’ve had a go at them.
“But I thought we got that right in the last two games because we’ve defended better.
“Against Wakefield, we just didn’t take our chances so it was the other way round.
“It’s not happened too often where we haven’t taken our chances.”
He added: “But scoring goals wins games and so do clean sheets
“We’ve got to put the two together. This time I’ve got to look at the lads further up the field who have missed the chances.
“They were gilt-edge opportunities.”
Clitheroe’s string of three successive away games will culminate at Curzon Ashton on Saturday.
But then the Blues will have the chance to get back in to the thick of things in the Evo-Stik First Division North table with three consecutive fixtures at Shawbridge against Leigh Genesis, Durham City and Wakefield.
Smith added: “Now we’ve got to go to Curzon Ashton who are a much better team.
“It will be a tough one but we will go there with no fear and play our football.
“I want them to go there, enjoy their football and express themselves.
“It’s another away game; we’ve had three hard away games in a row now but we’ve got three home games coming up.
“We need to put a bit of a run together and get back in the fold.
“The next four games are crucial for us.”