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First Team - Match centre

K Towey (52')
Full time
J Gregory (43'), M Hazeldine (45')
la 3 marras 15:00 - The Evo-Stik League - West Division Attendance 69

REPORT | Widnes 1-2 Clitheroe


Widnes return to league action with narrow defeat

Two goals in as many first half minutes condemned Widnes to a 2-1 home defeat to Clitheroe at The Offside Trust Stadium.

There were strong calls for a foul when Joshua Gregory slid in ahead of Owen Wheeler to open the scoring on 43 minutes, but Widnes had no complaints when Max Hazeldine slotted Clitheroe’s second only minutes later.

Joint manager Kev Towey halved the deficit early in the second half, but Widnes were unable to force a late equaliser.

The Whites had their chances, notably Ben Hodkinson making a mess of an opportunity when one-on-one with Cameron Terry late on and Bram Johnstone forcing a brilliant save out of the Clitheroe shot-stopper from a second half free-kick.

Widnes maintained confidence despite failing to test Terry in the first half, but two quickfire Clitheroe goals hurt the Whites who struggled in difficult playing conditions at their temporary home.

Towey and co-boss Steve Akrigg made six changes to the side that were heavily beaten at Droylsden last time out. Both player-managers were named in the starting line-up while Wheeler was preferred in goal to Ryan Neild as the goalkeeper made his second debut for the club.

Elsewhere, stand-in skipper Sean Myler and Rob Bourne came into the midfield while Johnstone came in for Chris Lomax allowing Phil Doran to push into a more advanced role.

Clitheroe made a positive start. Wheeler was tested only minutes into his Widnes return, reacting quickly to beat a Henry Limptishi-Bongwanga snapshot away to safety.

Akrigg then had to be aware moments later to make a crucial intervention to get his body in the way of a Hazeldine effort.

Widnes’ best chance of the first half came courtesy of Towey, who hit a free-kick that held up in the wind with Terry having to re-adjust to push the effort away from goal.

At the other end, Gregory flashed a shot off target for Clitheroe before Myler could only force a comfortable save out of Terry with a well-hit daisy-cutter.

Clitheroe would take the lead two minutes before the break. Hazeldine stung the gloves of Wheeler who made a good initial save but Gregory reacted quickest to slide in ahead of the Widnes keeper to give the Blues the lead despite Wheeler appearing to have two hands on the ball.
And Widnes were 2-0 down moments later. Akrigg was caught in possession by Limptish-Bongwanga who drove forward. The striker would go down in the area under the challenge of the Whites’ co-boss but the loose ball sat nicely for Hazeldine to arrow a shot home as referee Mark Reeves played advantage.

Widnes went in at half-time in shock, but with the words of Towey and Akrigg ringing in their ears, the Whites responded positively following the restart, taking just seven minutes to the halve the deficit.

It would be Towey to make the crucial contribution, finishing neatly from Jay Roberts’ through-ball after the Widnes right-back turned Gregory inside out in the build-up.

Widnes had time in their favour to prevent the game getting away from them, but a third Clitheroe goal would have killed in the contest and Antoine Recizac came within inches of doing so as he was unable to latch on to Stephen Rigby’s cross.

Substitute Hodkinson blew an opportunity to net a late equaliser with time ticking away as he found space in behind the Clitheroe backline, but the ball got caught beneath the striker’s feet allowing the Blues to clear the danger.

Johnstone would go even closer moments later, with his deep free-kick being helped on by a gust of wind but Clitheroe keeper Terry adjusted superbly in mid-flight to make a terrific save.

Widnes threw themselves forward in an effort to force a stoppage time equaliser, but Lee Ashworth’s visitors held on for all three points.

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Jay Roberts

Player of the Match

Jay Roberts

Key moments

Goal Joshua Gregory scores for Clitheroe
Goal Max Hazeldine scores for Clitheroe
Goal Kev Towey scores for Widnes


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90:00 Player of the Match
Jay Roberts is awarded player of the match for Widnes
79:00 Sub On
Ben Hodkinson is substituted on for Widnes
79:00 Sub Off
Kev Towey is substituted off for Widnes
63:00 Sub Off
Steve Akrigg is substituted off for Widnes
63:00 Sub On
George Lomax is substituted on for Widnes
52:00 Assist
Jay Roberts makes an assist for Widnes
52:00 Goal 1 - 2
Kev Towey scores for Widnes
46:00 Kickoff
Clitheroe kick off
End of period 1
45:00 Goal 0 - 2
Max Hazeldine scores for Clitheroe
43:00 Goal 0 - 1
Joshua Gregory scores for Clitheroe
41:00 Yellow Card
Steve Akrigg is yellow carded for Widnes
34:00 Sub Off
Phil Doran is substituted off for Widnes
34:00 Sub On
Chris Lomax is substituted on for Widnes
1:00 Kickoff
Widnes kick off
Start of the game
Replay game

As it happened

  • Widnes
  • Clitheroe
  • 0
  • Phil Doran Sub Off 34:00'
  • Chris Lomax Sub On 34:00'
  • Steve Akrigg Yellow Card 41:00'
  • Joshua Gregory Goal 43:00'
  • Max Hazeldine Goal 45:00'
  • Jay Roberts Assist 52:00'
  • Kev Towey Goal 52:00'
  • Steve Akrigg Sub Off 63:00'
  • George Lomax Sub On 63:00'
  • Kev Towey Sub Off 79:00'
  • Ben Hodkinson Sub On 79:00'

Team selection

Wheeler, Owen Wheeler, Owen
Roberts, Jay Roberts, Jay
Grogan, Michael Grogan, Michael
Doran, Phil Doran, Phil
Akrigg, Steve Akrigg, Steve
Johnstone, Bram Johnstone, Bram
Myler, Sean Myler, Sean
Bourne, Robert Bourne, Robert
Korie-Butler, Dale Korie-Butler, Dale
Towey, Kev Towey, Kev
Sheen, Sam Sheen, Sam
  • 1. Cameron Terry
  • 2. Jacob Gregory
  • 3. Stephen Rigby
  • 4. Derek Ubah
  • 5. Joshua Snowdon
  • 6. Lewis Sugden
  • 7. Joshua Gregory
  • 8. Andreas Bianga
  • 9. Henry Limptishi-Bongwanga
  • 10. Max Hazeldine
  • 11. Antoine Recizac
  • 12. Macauley Harewood
  • 13. James Boyd
  • 14. Jonah Gosling
  • 15. Harry Cannon-Noren
  • 16. Hyuga Tanner

League round up

Other West Division results

Atherton Collieries
Colwyn Bay
Kendal Town
Runcorn Linnets
Ramsbottom United

League table

# Team Pl Pts
10. Kidsgrove Athletic 38 58
11. Colwyn Bay 38 52
12. Widnes 38 51
13. Chasetown 38 46
14. Droylsden 38 43
15. Newcastle Town 38 40
16. Market Drayton Town 38 40

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