New chapter for Blues opens with home loss

Lee Ashforth (Photo: Caught Light Photography)
Lee Ashforth (Photo: Caught Light Photography)
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As a new chapter in Clitheroe history began, with assistant manager Lee Ashforth temporarily moving into the hot seat following the departure of Stuart Mellish, the Blues showed signs of encouragement in defeat at Shawbridge.

The Blues had conceded 30 goals in eight games across the board, picking up just three points in the Evo-Stik West Division, but they showed much more resolve at the weekend.

Zehn Mohammed, on loan from Accrington Stanley, missed the target from a corner early on before Craig Pritchard ballooned a shot over the bar at the other end.

The visitors were energetic in the press and, with the Blues succumbing to that pressure on the ball, goalkeeper Cameron Terry had to be at his best to beat Pritchard’s attempt away.

The home side responded when Jacob Gregory slipped Obi Anoruo through on goal but the forward was denied by a smart save from Patrick Wharton before the goalkeeper recovered quickly to block Antoine Recizac’s follow-up.

Terry held on to Pritchard’s strike in the 39th minute and then Wharton once again thwarted Anoruo with half-time looming.

However, Colwyn took the lead within a minute of the restart as James Barrigan beat Terry at his near post to score his third of the season.

Ashforth rung the changes, switching from a 4-1-4-1 to two up top, and he was almost rewarded immediately when Derek Ubah won Lewis Sugden’s set-piece but could only head over.

Substitute Harry Cannon-Noren almost snatched a point with time running out, but his attempt cleared the crossbar, before the visitors wrapped up the points in time added on.

Good pressure by the Colwyn substitutes, James and Ethan Devine, allowed the former to set up the latter, for the game’s second goal.

The goalscorer received the ball before turning and dispatching a wonderful curling effort that left Terry stranded.

“It was important that we were a lot more solid at the back and, barring the 93rd minute goal we’ve given away, we’ve put in a very solid performance in a game that realistically could have gone either way,” said Ashforth.

“It’s important that we stop conceding; the last few home games we’ve been conceding five and six. That’s too many. We want clean sheets and we’ll work towards that.”