Clitheroe 3-0 Harrogate Railway: Alex Low off as Railway lose out to play-off hopefuls

Alex Low saw red in giving away a second half penalty (Photo: Caught Light Photography)
Alex Low saw red in giving away a second half penalty (Photo: Caught Light Photography)

Play-off chasing Clitheroe strolled to a 3-0 win over ten-man Harrogate Railway on Saturday afternoon at Shawbridge.

Topscorer Scott Bakkor gave the hosts a lead 12 minutes in but it was in the 58th minute when Alex Low was shown a second yellow card while conceding a penalty that the tie firmly swung in the Blues favour.

Bakkor struck the bar with the resulting spot kick, although the ten-men of Railway couldn’t prevent Sefton Gonzales twice adding to the final scoreline.

Lee Ashforth named the same starting XI that had secured points against Scarborough and Brighouse Town in their previous two fixtures.

And it was Railway who had the first sight of goal as Dan Thirkell’s long throw fell to Jack Stockdill, although the midfielder’s snapshot was denied by the knees of Benjamin Woodhead.

Despite the visitors encouraging start it was Clitheroe who took the lead when a cross-field ball found Bakkor on the right wing to fire home his ninth league goal of the season.

Gonzales’ pace and power was troubling Railway’s back line, though Low matched the striker in the 18th minute, executing a crucial block.

Clitheroe’s other pacy attacking weapon Louis Mayers was also a threat and almost doubled his side’s lead only for Tom Goodwin to close down the winger at his near post.

On the stroke of half time Clitheroe Manager Simon Garner was left incensed by the referee’s decision not to award his side a penalty after Scott Harries went to ground inside the Rail area.

The visitors started the second period brightly, as they had the first, with Fatlum Ibrahimi sending a shot into the arms of the ‘keeper.

Ryan Sharrocks goes aerial against Clitheroe

Ryan Sharrocks goes aerial against Clitheroe

Just moments after Mayers had spurned a golden opportunity heading into the arms of Goodwin, Clitheroe were awarded a penalty when Low brought down Harries.

The centre back was quickly shown a second yellow having been booked just minutes earlier, although Bakkor stepped up to take the spot kick and rattled the cross bar, handing Railway a lifeline.

With 65 minutes on the clock, The Blues failed to take another clear chance to extend their lead as Gonzales raced through on goal and directed his finish past Goodwin and past the post.

Clitheroe’s number nine did get on the scoresheet three minutes later when he capitalised on some hesitation from Goodwin nipping in to take the ball and rounding the Railway stopper to tap into an empty net.

The chances kept falling for Clitheroe with Gonzales’ lobbed finished falling the wrong side of the post and Bakkor fluffing his lines from six yards following Gonzales’ accurate pull back.

Railway did come close to pulling one back when Tom Owen’s powerful header from Lawrance Hunter’s corner was well held by Woodhead, although Goodwin made a more impressive save at the other end just seconds later as he sprung up to tip Michael Hampson’s shot over the bar.

Harries should have got on the score sheet with five minutes to go when he was given a free header six yards out from a corner but couldn’t get his effort on target.

Gonzales then grabbed his second of the game and put the result beyond doubt in stoppage time when he got on the end of a deep left wing cross and directed his header into the opposite corner.

All in all it was a disappointing afternoon for Railway who face another away match on Tuesday when Lee Ashforth’s men visit Barnoldswick in the West Riding County Cup.

Harrogate Railway: Goodwin, Wood, Hunter, Low, Stockdill, Horne, Sharrocks (Clamp 61), Thirkell (Pells 71), Owen, Worrall (Barrett 60), Ibrahimi

Subs not used: Kidd, Brown

Booked: Stockdill, Low

Sent off: Low

Clitheroe: Woodhead, Benjamin, Walker, Bonaminio (Barski 37), Brady (Heywood 48), Dent (Hampson 45), Bakkor, Lynch, Gonzales, Harries, Myers

Subs not used: Garner

Goals: Bakkor 12, Gonzales 68, 92

Booked: Bakkor

Referee: R. Bartlett