CLITHEROE’S impressive start to the campaign continued after a 2-0 win over Warrington Town saw them climb to third in the First Division North table.
The Blues outclassed their opponents at Shawbridge with a dominant performance, which maintained their unbeaten start to the league campaign after six games.
Two goals in six minutes either side of half-time, from Alex Johnson and Lee Pugh, secured maximum points for Paul Moore’s side. And the margin of victory could have been much greater, given the quality of Clitheroe’s overall play and the number of chances they created.
Daley Woods came incredibly close to giving the hosts an early lead, when his ferocious effort from 30 yards rattled the underside of the crossbar and bounced away to safety.
Following a generally tight opening, the match sparked into life in the latter stages of the half, with the home side carving out enough opportunities to hold a commanding lead at the break.
Jack Higgins was denied on 29 minutes, as his diving header was cleared off the line, after Warrington keeper Alan Judge palmed away Alex Johnson’s initial header.
Glodi Kuba-Kuba failed to take advantage of a miscued clearance from Judge, before Higgins was again thwarted as his bullet header from a Pugh corner was cleared off the line.
Clitheroe continued to attack, and took the lead on 42 minutes as Johnson slotted home a teasing Danny Bell cross from close range.
The Blues extended their lead three minutes into the second period after Pugh was tripped in the box, having latched on to Woods’ short corner. Pugh picked himself up and dispatched the penalty for his first goal of the season.
Shortly afterwards, the visitors were reduced to 10 men, as debutant Luke Holden received his second yellow card of the game for simulation.
The home side looked to take advantage of their extra man, and in the final 20 minutes created a raft of opportunities to add to their tally.
Will James fired narrowly wide, before the former Blackburn Rovers academy player saw his shot cleared off the line by Michael Douglas. Ross Dent then struck the inside of the post.
With full-time approaching, Judge denied lively substitute Leon Williams, as well as Higgins, who on another day may well have had a hat-trick.
Tuesday’s match at Radcliffe Borough was postponed due to a waterlogged pitch. Clitheroe will look to build on their impressive start to the league season as they host Goole AFC on Saturday, kick-off 3 p.m.
The Blues then host high-flying Trafford on Tuesday, kick-off 7-45 p.m., subject to the Flixton-based club not being involved in an FA Cup replay.
Meanwhile, Paul Moore’s side have scooped the inaugural Evo-Stik League Division One (North) Jungledrum Fair Play Award. The club can lay claim to being the league’s best behaved team during August and September.
And finally, Moore has completed the signing of striker Mark Buchan from Witton Albion. The 20-year-old joins Clitheroe after helping Witton secure promotion from Evo-Stik League Division One (North) last season.