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Late drama at Shawbridge halts Clitheroes’ losing streak!

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Simon Garner doesn’t recall being involved in a game that culminated as dramatically as Clitheroe’s victory over Ossett Town.

With five minutes of the fixture remaining at Shawbridge at the weekend, the Blues trailed to first half strikes from Steven Jeff and Josh Whiteley.

But the hosts secured a sensational comeback courtesy of goals from Zac Dale, Joseph Mullen and Ross Dent to halt a five-match losing streak.

“It was a great win, particularly with the manner of it,” said Garner. “I would’ve been disappointed if we hadn’t have won it though because we deserved it. It was a bizarre last five minutes but the lads kept going and showed a lot of character to get the three points.

“The only difference was that we added goals to the performance at the end. For half-an-hour in the second half we were dominant and played the game in their half. We missed a few chances, we hit the bar and their keeper made a few good saves. Getting that first goal was key.

“I really don’t think I’ve been in a game that’s ended like that before. There was the one that went against us earlier in the season when we drew 3-3 against New Mills after being 3-0 up.”

It was a great win, particularly with the manner of it

Simon Garner

The visitors had opened up a two-goal cushion before the half-hour mark, but substitute Mullen, Jay Hart and Sefton Gonzales all went close before the break.

Injury to Seydou Bamba in the 69th minute forced a change, with Garner his replacement. Town’s Brad Dixon denied Ross Dent and Garner as the home side probed, while Calum Hepworth fired over when catching the Blues on the break.

Dixon then thwarted Gonzales in the 82nd minute before Laquan Esdaille’s looping header came back off the bar. David Lynch was then denied by Dixon after Louis Mayers and Dent combined in the build up.

However, the pressure finally told when Dale prodded home after Dixon had saved from Mayers with his leg. Mullen then levelled with a first time shot from Dale’s perfect pass while Dent grabbed the winner amid a melee.

“It wasn’t down to me coming on, though it was good for me that it worked out that way,” Garner said. “We committed more bodies forward, pushed hard and deserved to win in the end. We didn’t want to continue the run that we’d been on.

“From my perspective it was obviously great but I can’t imagine what it was like for the opposition manager. It must’ve been devastating because you’re not expecting that when you’re winning 2-0 with four minutes remaining. It was really exciting from our point of view.

“They pulled off a great result. We changed system but I can’t take all the credit. I was getting to the end of my tether with the run that we’d been on. I didn’t want it to stretch to six defeats. I’m really pleased that I got a reaction and we turned it around.”

Ahead of the Bank Holiday Monday derby with Padiham at Shawbridge, Garner added: “We’re hoping for a decent crowd on Bank Holiday Monday. We want a good following. Padiham aren’t down yet but there doesn’t look like there’s much chance of them staying up.

“We won’t be taking anything for granted though just because they’re bottom of the league. It’s a local derby so anything can happen and it should be a great game.”