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Match Report Clitheroe 2-0 Droylsden
Monday 14th August 2017 @ 12:59 by Mark Phillip
Football Sports

Droylsden began their fourth consecutive season in the Evo-Stik Division One North with a 2-0 loss at Clitheroe on Saturday.

The hosts got off to a winning start at Shawbridge, thanks to a first-half effort from Sefton Gonzales, who returned to the club over summer having previously scored 41 times in 80 appearances for the Blues, and a 54th minute strike from Kurt Willoughby.

Dave Pace’s side entered the fixture without the presence of Dimitri Tuanzebe, as the summer arrival, who played for Clitheroe last season, is said to have injured his ankle during a five-a-side game with friends earlier in the week.

The Bloods enjoyed a decent pre-season campaign ahead of the new season, losing just one of their five fixtures to Stalybridge Celtic.

However, Droylsden were unable to capitalise on the confidence and found themselves a goal behind in the 23rd minute. Gonzales, who previously played for the Bloods, returned to haunt his former side after prodding home a Mitchell cross from close range.

Despite falling a goal behind, Pace’s side put up a good fight in the second-half and were presented with a few chances to level matters. Captain Ciaran Kilheeney, who has opted to stay with the club for another season, forced a shot just wide of the post, while Domaine Rouse found his effort deflected wide of the post for a corner.

Droylsden’s efforts proved to be in vain, however, as Clitheroe doubled their advantage soon after when Willoughby struck a perfect effort outside the box which left keeper Branaghan stranded.

In a bid to forge their way back into the tie, Pace made a number of substitutions, replacing Scott Metcalfe and Ben Barber with Jamie Frost and Danny Hall.

Steve Hall replaced Wayne Riley, and the midfielder came close almost immediately after blazing his show over the bar, but not before Liam Caddick forced two fantastic stops from keeper Thompson.

Despite their efforts, Droylsden were unable to get back into the game and Clitheroe almost made it three with the last piece of action.

Branaghan made a good stop to deny Brad Carroll an opening day goal.