Good news for Blues on prolific striker

r-l top Simon Haworth -manager   Ian Johnson-coach'r-l knelt  Irfan Kawri-coach Ben Kay-assistant manager
r-l top Simon Haworth -manager Ian Johnson-coach'r-l knelt Irfan Kawri-coach Ben Kay-assistant manager
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Clitheroe boss Simon Haworth has had good news on the fitness of prolific striker Kurt Willoughby, after he picked up a foot injury in the 2-0 defeat at Glossop North End on Tuesday night.

Willoughby caught the bottom of an opponent’s boot at the Arthur Goldthorpe Stadium, and went for an x-ray yesterday.

The young forward, who netted the second goal in Clitheroe’s 2-0 win at home to Droylsden on the opening day of the season on Saturday, is struggling to be fit for Saturday’s FA Cup tie at Pickering, but it has emerged he only has severe bruising to his foot, and it is not broken.

Haworth had said: “Kurt has gone for an x-ray on his foot.

“We’re hoping it’s only bruised, but he’ll definitely be out on Saturday.

“If it’s not broken, that will be a big boost.

“The modern boots aren’t great, and there seem to be more and more metatarsal injuries.

“But it’s a chance for someone else.

“He and Sefton (Gonzales) both scored on Saturday and we’re excited by the partnership, so it will be a blow if he’s out for a few weeks, but fingers crossed.”

Despite losing at Glossop, Haworth was pleased with his side’s performance, on the back of a dominant display at Shawbridge on Saturday: “The performance on Tuesday was the equal of Saturday, if not better, but Glossop are a big, physical side, who go long all night, and it was a real test.

“They constantly test you with long balls and set pieces, and the first goal was a soft goal just before half-time from a set piece.

“The second was a harsh penalty for handball, again from a set play, but I felt we dominated in open play, and should have been a goal or two ahead before they scored.

“We just have to be more ruthless, as we were on Saturday.

“Droylsden came to play, and that suited us.

“We were comfortable winners really, but Glossop were a different proposition altogether.

“The crowd get on top of you and are vocal, and I’m not one to blame a referee, but nothing went our way really.

“It’s hard to get a foothold against teams like that sometimes, you have to stand up to it as best you can, and try and get in front – the first goal is massive, if you can start asking questions of them.

“But it’s early in the season, and all in all, I can’t knock the lads’ performances.

“If we perform like that, I’ll be more than happy.

“We’ll beat most teams playing like that.”

The Blues now focus on the FA Cup.

Haworth didn’t enjoy much fortune in the competition as a player, losing a quarter-final replay on penalties to Sheffield United with Coventry City in 1998, and he said: “I don’t know a lot about Pickering, other than they’re very strong promotion candidates in the Northern Counties East Premier Division.

“They went up last season, so they’re on the up.

“They’re at home, and it’s an FA Cup tie, so there won’t be a lot in it.

“We need to bring our A game and get back on the horse.

“It’s a bit of the unknown, but we’ll have a right go.

“It would be nice to have a cup run – it’s important financially as well.”