United look to put the lights out on Clitheroe

Buoyed on by Saturday’s home win over Wakefield, FC United make another trip to Clitheroe on Tuesday evening as they replay the game which was abruptly ended by a floodlight failure back on 11th September. Craig Phillips provides this preview…

The original match was 1-1 at the time of abandonment with 57 minutes on the clock and although the Reds had taken the lead early in the first half through Rory Patterson, they did not look quite up to their best.

Due to the inconvenience caused to the travelling Red army on the night, Clitheroe FC very kindly decided to donate £1,000 to FC United’s Development Fund as a gesture of good will and have discounted ticket prices for Tuesday’s fixture to just £4 for adults and £2 for concessions.

Clitheroe come into the game on the back of a 2-0 defeat to Harrogate Town in the FA Cup last Saturday. The first time the clubs met, Clitheroe had one point from four games and were struggling, since then their league form hasn’t improved and they are only kept from bottom spot by Radcliffe Borough, over whom they hold a three point advantage.

Having said that the club had progressed to the Third Qualifying Round of the FA Cup and have progressed in the FA Trophy and the Lancashire FA Challenge Trophy.

The club were formed in 1877 as Clitheroe Central and joined the Lancashire Combination in 1903, becoming Clitheroe FC. They were founder members of the NWCFL in 1982 and won the third, second and first divisions in consecutive seasons.

Perhaps the biggest achievement in the club’s long history was the FA Vase run in 1995-1996. When Clitheroe managed to reach the final at Wembley, before losing 3-0 to Brigg Town. The club were welcomed back by the town like heroes though, with the streets lined with proud supporters. The town actually raised and donated £7,400 to fund the trip to Wembley for the club.

That team of 1996 saw a young Carlo Nash in goal and his transfer to Crystal Palace later that year helped fund the construction of a new stand at Shawbridge.

The Lancashire outfit became NWCFL division one champions in 2004, winning the title in thrilling circumstances, pinching a 3-2 victory away to Nantwich Town with a late goal from Neil Reynolds sealing the victory and the title.

Last season saw a change in the management at the club after Chris Stammers resigned not long after a 10-1 home defeat to Kettering Town in the FA Trophy, after just over two months in charge. The club moved to appoint the management team of popular player Neil Reynolds and Peter Smith in December last year, who guided the club to safety and a very respectable league position.

The match will be United’s first visit of two in the space of a month as they return there in early November for yet another league encounter. Tuesday’s game is a 7.45pm kick off and admission is pay on the gate with prices at £4 adults and £2 concessions.


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UniBond League - 1st Div North
1 Curzon Ashton 11 12 25
2 Ossett Albion 10 4 21
3 Bamber Bridge 9 8 20
4 Mossley 12 -1 17
5 Lancaster City 11 -2 17
6 Bradford PA 10 12 16
7 FC United 9 9 16
8 Garforth Town 10 1 15
9 Newcastle Blue Star 11 2 14
10 Skelmersdale United 9 2 13
11 Woodley Sports 7 5 12
12 Wakefield FC 11 0 12
13 Rossendale United 11 -10 12
14 Harrogate RA 10 -3 11
15 Bridlington Town 12 -18 9
16 Chorley 9 -4 7
17 Clitheroe 7 -6 4
18 Radcliffe Borough 7 -11 -1