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Match Preview: Clitheroe (A)

Clitheroe v Colne

FA Cup Preliminary round

Shawbridge - 15:00

Saturday 20th August

Colne travel to local rivals Clitheroe for their next FA Cup venture, in what is surely the tie of the round.

Clitheroe had a very good 21/22 season, and they will be hoping to go one better this time around, after a storming finish saw them end up in 6th spot, narrowly missing out on the place-offs by 3 points. In fact, the only points they dropped in the run in, were at Holt House, where a much improved Colne side held them to a 1-1 draw. A penalty converted by Dean Ing, negated a bundled goal from former Red Billy Priestley, only minutes before. The earlier fixture at Shawbridge, at the end of December, turned out to be manager Nathan Rooney’s last game in charge before resigning, and it’s one most Colne fans would like to forget. Already weakened by a missing Hakan Burton, Colne’s defence had to be reshuffled inside 10 minutes, when centre-half Matty Makinson limped off. The Blues capitalised and scored 4 times in a brutal 17 minutes spell through Cummings, Lonsdale, Priestley and Cane, with a sole reply from Anthony Williams. A last minute goal, again from Cummings, completed the rout 5-1.

Clitheroe had an excellent pre-season culminating in notable home victories and a draw over higher league opposition, Radcliffe 2-0, Bamber Bridge 5-1 and FC United 2-2.

Their start to the league campaign didn’t fare so well, with having to travel to odds on title favourites, newly promoted Macclesfield for the opening game. The Silkmen raced into a 3-0 lead inside 40 minutes, and it’s to Clitheroe’s credit that they kept Macc out for the remainder of the game. The Blues then met Ramsbottom United on Tuesday night at Shawbridge. A 1st minute goal from Sefton Gonzales set them on their way and the former Red added a 2nd, as Clitheroe recorded a comfortable 2-0 score line in front of 507 fans.

Clitheroe players to watch - Well, where do you start? Both strikers, Sefton Gonzales and Reece Webb-Foster will be very familiar to the travelling Red Army, after their respective, numerous spells at Holt House. Another striker, former Nelson hitman and youngster

Max Cane returned to Clitheroe last December and scored 16 times in just 5 months.

Ex Red captain, Lee Pugh, may miss out after being subbed after only 5 minutes on Tuesday night. His injuries since joining the Blues last February however, have limited his appearances to a handful. Should he play any part, his specialist long throws will need attention. Waqas Azam who spent over 3 years at Holt House will be dangerous down the right flank and let’s not forget player/joint manager and Colner Billy Priestley, who will be spear-heading the Clitheroe defence. On the touchline, the home side will be supervised by Nathan Rooney’s former assistant Kyle Hall (joint manager), and another former Red and Colner, goalkeeping coach, Steven Petty.

After a great FA Cup win in the previous round over 1874 Northwich 2-1, the Reds lost their opening league fixture 2-0 at home to a new look Kidsgrove Athletic. Phil Brown’s men however, turned in a much improved performance away at Trafford on Tuesday evening. A completely dominant first 45 minutes saw the Reds lead 1-0, thanks to a 40 yard lob from the productive and influential Craig Carney. The home side struck back in the 2nd half, just before the hour mark, with a headed goal via a corner, from danger-man Tom Bentham. Both sides had chances to win it, but a point from the 1-1 draw was well earned and much deserved.

Who’s on Ashh’s couch? - Only Charlie Russell’s fitness is keeping him out of the squad. A good 45 minutes training session on Thursday, this will be stepped up next week. The remainder of the squad are A1.

Team selection - Hopefully the holiday season is behind us and the manager can pick from a full squad. Hakan Burton will be expected to return in goal and Tom McCann is likely to continue to deputise for the suspended Harry Jones. The experience of Dean, Steel, Dugdale and Carney along with the youth and vibrancy of Phil Brown’s young recruits, will be important against a strong confident Clitheroe side, who always perform well on their own patch.

A Blue v Red, FA Cup, Lancashire derby to savour. Both clubs will be hoping for another big crowd (1679 attended last season’s league fixture), and for a chance to be in the hat for the next round, a first round qualifying tie, scheduled for the 3rd of September.

The dream is still alive!

NPL West teams in the FA Cup - 3pm

Bury AFC v Widnes

Congleton v Bootle

Hanley Town v Hinckley NR

Leek Town v Atherstone Town

Lye Town v Kidsgrove Athletic

Mossley v Macclesfield

Newcastle Town v Bedford United

Ramsbottom v City of Liverpool

Sheffield v Glossop

Skelmesdale United v Prescot Cables

Trafford v Runcorn Linnets

West Allotment Celtic v Workington

Witton Albion v Tividale

Admission Prices are:

Adults £9

Concessions £6

14-17’s £4

Under 14’s £2 (free if accompanied by an adult)

Sat nav - BB7 1LZ


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