Sinclair strikes to thwart Clitheroe

Action from Saturdays 2-2 draw with Ossett Town at Shawbridge												Pictures: Peter Ryan
Action from Saturdays 2-2 draw with Ossett Town at Shawbridge Pictures: Peter Ryan

Clitheroe squandered a two-goal lead at Shawbridge on Saturday, as Ossett Town claimed an injury time equaliser.

With Town coming to the Ribble Valley boasting an unbeaten away record, Simon Haworth showed real intent with a front three, including George West – back at the club – and two wing backs.

The Blues celebrate at Shawbridge

The Blues celebrate at Shawbridge

For the first half an hour, the Blues were irresistible.

On eight minutes, after neat interplay, Brad Carroll was sent through the defence, and his lay off to West was driven home.

The lead was doubled on 15 minutes when, from a wickedly inswinging corner from Stephen Rigby, Carroll headed the ball home from close range.

The home side could not switch off though, and minutes later, experienced striker Emile Sinclair almost made the most of a mix up between Ryan Ellison and Ian Rowlands.

Clitheroe defender Tom Smyth challenges for the ball

Clitheroe defender Tom Smyth challenges for the ball

Jacob Gregory was having lots of success overlapping on the right, and on 19 minutes he slalomed through tackles, before Alex Newby saw his shot well saved.

On 27 minutes, Gregory and Newby combined, before Kurt Willoughby saw his shot well saved.

With the crowd sensing a third goal, the game was turned on its head as an Ossett through ball was smothered by keeper Chris Thompson, but Rowlands could not alter his trajectory, and he felled an opposing striker on the edge of the box.

He received yellow, but the real price was a free kick which hit the post, cannoned back across goal and was stabbed home by Alex Peterson.

New signing George West holds off his marker

New signing George West holds off his marker

Clitheroe had their own penalty shout four minutes later whe,n in a clumsy tackle, a visiting defender controlled the ball with his hand on the floor, but to no avail.

Ossett’s attacks were still rare, but Sinclair went close on 43 minutes with a solo break.

The second half was much more even as chances came at both ends.

Carroll was in the thick of the action with a full-length block on 68 minutes, before shortly afterwards he bulldozed through the opposition before laying on a good chance for Kurt Willoughby.

With the clock ticking down, both sides appeared to have cancelled each other out, but deep into injury time, Sinclair controlled a deep cross on the right wing, chested it down, and in one movement, the former Nottingham Forest and Peterborough United man swept it home from a difficult angle.

The visiting fans’ joy was understandable, but the reaction of Ossett’s manager Grant Black less so, as he was sent to the stand for celebrating the goal in front of the Clitheroe bench.

The points were shared, but Clitheroe will feel aggrieved that their graft was undone by a goal of real quality.

The Blues travel to Tadcaster Albion on Saturday, kick-off 3 p.m., with the hosts having lost their last three league games.

Clitheroe’s Lancashire FA Challenge Trophy second round tie at NWC Premier Division Ashton Athletic on Tuesday night was postponed due to a waterlogged pitch.

A new date is to be announced in due course.

CLITHEROE: Thompson, Gregory, Rigby, Ellison, Rowlands (c), Smyth, Mitchell, Carroll, Willoughby, West (Dent), Newby.

Subs not used: Bolton, Egan, Russell, Bromley.

CHRIS MUSSON