Sculpher praises Clitheroe duo

TROPHY: Smalley took the Players' and Manager's Player of the Year awards
TROPHY: Smalley took the Players' and Manager's Player of the Year awards
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BLUES stalwart Lee Sculpher has praised goalkeeper Zack Hibbert and defender Chris Smalley after the duo’s trophy haul at the club’s presentation evening.

Hibbert scooped the Supporters’ Player of the Year accolade and the Boys in the Corner Player of the Year award, while Smalley took the Players’ and Manager’s Player of the Year awards.

Sculpher said: “It was a good evening and everyone enjoyed it. A couple of the lads took the majority of the awards – it doesn’t matter whether you’ve had a great season or an indifferent one, there’s always stand out performers.

“For us they were Chris Smalley and Zack Hibbert.

“Chris is a great all-round player. He’s a very good defender who can also use the ball very well.

“He’s very committed and wants to win, so when you’ve got all those attributes you’re not going to go far wrong.

“Chris has still got age on his side. He’s only 22 so he can go a long way in his career with the talent he has.

“It all depends on who is watching and what they’re looking for but I’d suggest he’s good enough to go up a league or two.

“He’s a physical defender and one of the best in the division.

“He’s been under contract this season and the club is looking to exercise its right to sign him up again next term.

“With the current managerial situation, it will all become clearer when the new person is appointed.

“Zack is a very good goalkeeper/

“He’s more than 6ft tall which helps and he’s very commanding in the penalty area. He just wants to play football and he’s played through illness and injury to do that. His attitude is exemplary.”

Other winners on the night included Ross Dent (Most Promising Player), Oliver Devenney (Terry Nelson Golden Boot award), John Holden (Clubman of the Year), while Lee Pugh was presented with the Goal of the Season award for his strike in the 6-2 defeat against AFC Fylde at Shawbridge.

In the season’s final fixture at Shawbridge, Dent cancelled out Aaron Chalmers opener for Woodley Sports, but Jordan Stepien pounced on a defensive error in the 87th minute to seal maximum points for Woodley Sports.

Prior to the clash, the away side had been found guilty of three charges relating to Ground Grading Criteria and Security of Tenure compliance. The club will be relegated at the end of the season to a level determined by the Football Association.

“It was very disappointing for us really,” said Sculpher.

“We gave both goals away through bad individual defensive mistakes. There wasn’t much between the two teams but the goals we conceded were amateurish.

“It was the first defeat at home since I returned to the club. It would have been nice to have signed out unbeaten at home but it wasn’t to be.”

The Blues will sign off their season on Saturday when they face First Division North champions AFC Fylde.

“AFC Fylde have had a fantastic season and they will be in party mood come Saturday,” Sculpher said.

“It’s not nice going to play a team who have won something, but maybe it will act as an incentive for Clitheroe to do better next season.

“We’ll hope to go there, pick up a positive result and spoil the party. It will be a test for us but if we can get a result it will be a great finish. We want to sign off with a win.”