Clitheroe made their first ever visit to Keys Park for a Pitching-In NPL West game. Clitheroe were in sixth place in the table with 24 points from 15 games after dropping out of the play-off places following Avro’s midweek win at Newcastle Town. The Pitmen were looking to make further progress at the foot of the table following last week’s morale boosting victory at Bootle FC.
Hednesford Town 0-4 Clitheroe
A mis-cued defensive clearance from the Pitmen in the fourth minute allowed a cross to come in from the left which Sefton Gonzales headed past Ryan Brown to give the visitors an early lead. A spell of pressure from the Pitmen followed with good movement from James McQuilkin and Jai Verma asking questions of the Clitheroe defence. In return Gonzales headed wide of the post with a free header for the visitors. Things got worse for the Pitmen in the 28th minute when Gonzales bundled the ball home from a corner to double the visitor’s lead. Clitheroe moved the ball around awith great effect for the remainder of the half. Another mix up in the Pitmen defence when Josh Endall and Ryan Brown collided allowed Gonzales a tap in for this third. In reply a Tom Thorley freekick hit the post just before the break.
The second half was more evenly contested than the first and the Pitmen were handed a lifeline when substitute James Spiers was pushed over in the area. However, Joe Thompson smashed the spot kick against the crossbar to preserve the visitor’s three goal lead. With the penalty miss any hope of a Pitmen comeback disappeared and in the 80th minute Gonzales bagged his fourth goal of the afternoon heading home a cross from the right. A late goalmouth scramble saw the Pitmen unable to find the net as the visitors ran out comfortable winners on a disappointing afternoon at Keys Park.
Hednesford Town; Brown, Williams, Kelly, Thorley, Sutton, Endall (Brown 42), Verma, McQuilkin (May 69) Niven, Thompson, Morley (Spiers 59). Subs not used; Sang, Gwilt
Clitheroe; Burton, Hanson, Sloan, Baker, Rouse, Hall (Lancaster 54), Arnasalam (Barlow 68), Davidson, Gonzales, Wilkins, Barlow (Jesus 78) Subs not used, Dent, Parny.