Clitheroe claimed an eighth win in nine league games – and fourth on the spin – with a 3-1 triumph at Harrogate on Saturday as Louis Mayers grabbed a hat-trick.
The Blues went ahead after 11 minutes when Sefton Gonzales flicked the ball on for Mayers on the left, and he produced a quite brilliant volley from 25 yards that flew into the top corner – a real goal of the season contender.
Shortly after, a Clitheroe corner saw an effort cleared off the line, before Harrogate tested Ben Woodhead for the first time, courtesy of striker Amar Purewal’s shot.
Brandon Barski had a shot turned round the post, and Gonzales was also denied by the home keeper, who claimed his header from a cross from the right.
However, right on half-time, player-manager Simon Garner upended forward Nathan Curtis in the area, and Purewal slotted home the penalty to level matters at the break.
The Blues regained their lead shortly after the restart as Mayers turned in a cross from the left.
And just after the hour mark, Barski was brought down in the Harrogate area, and Mayers picked up the ball and converted from the spot, sending the keeper the wrong way to complete his first Clitheroe hat-trick.
Garner was replaced by Kurt Willoughby shortly after, before Danny Brady came on for Chris Lynch, and there was a final Clitheroe change as Michael Hampson replaced Barski.
And with 10 minutes remaining, the Blues went down to 10 men as keeper Woodhead was forced off injured, with full back James Walker donning the gloves.
Walker wasn’t stretched by the hosts, who could have conceded again, as Hampson went clear down the left, but pulled his effort just wide.
Clitheroe saw out six added minutes to climb to fifth place in the Evo-Stik First Division North – before their meeting with third place Glossop North End at Shawbridge on Tuesday night.
Clitheroe: Woodhead, Heywood, Walker, Benjamin, C. Lynch (Brady), Garner (Willoughby), Harries, D. Lynch, Gonzales, Mayers, Barski (Hampson).