New Mills and Clitheroe starred in a 6 goal thriller in what can only be described as the clichéd game of two halves.
Clitheroe found themselves 3-0 up at half-time thanks to a Sefton Gonzales double either side of a Jay Hart strike. Only for New Mills to fight back against a side that were reduced to 10 men following Roberto Bonaminio’s red card midway through the second half.
Both sides started bright, setting their intentions out early on, with James Kirby looking particularly impressive upfront for The Millers alongside Daniel Douglas-Pringle and James Hampson, and Sefton Gonzales and Jay Hart looking threatening every time Clitheroe went forward.
Douglas-Pringle and Kirby both going close but really failing to test the keeper as New Mills pressured early on, with Kirby guilty of missing the best chance of the game so far after being played through and missing the far post with only the keeper to beat.
The missed proved costly as only 60 seconds later Clitheroe took the lead through Gonzales who headed home his first of the game from a pinpoint Jay Hart cross, and they didn’t have to wait long to make it two as Hart doubled the advantage with a deflected effort that went past a stranded Aaron Ashley in the New Mills goal.
New Mills weren’t out of it and looked for a way back into the game playing some decent football, however Clitheroe were impressive on the break with Gonzales causing allsorts of problems, and he got his just rewards 4 minutes before the break scoring his second and Clitheroes third after a delightful pass from player-manager Simon Garner put him through and he finished well from a tight angle.
Half-Time: New Mills 0-3 Clitheroe
The Millers came out fighting in the second half with manager Roy Soules words of wisdom probably ringing through their ears, and it didn’t take long for them to get back into the game. Just 4 minutes after the restart there was confusion in the Clitheroe defence as keeper Alex Palffy and Daniel Brady got their wires crossed and Brady slotted into an open goal for contender of own-goal of the season.
This perked New Mills up and after a couple of substitutions with the introduction of Kyle Parsons and Matthew Landregan, they started to dictate the play and create a few more chances. Clitheroes chances weren’t helped however with the dismissal of Bonaminio midway through the half and New Mills took full advantage.
Daniel Forde pulled another goal back with around 15 minutes to play after a cross from the right wasn’t dealt with and he swept home, making a nervy last 15 for Clitheroe to hold on, and they coped with plenty of New Mills pressure until the final minute of injury time when Landregan equalised from inside the box with almost the final kick of the game.
A fantastic game for the neutrals, but Simon Garner will be disappointed with only one point after leading 3-0, while Roy Soule could have arguments New Mills could have had all 3 themselves.
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