Football: Ossett Town face tough task at in-form Clitheroe

Leigh Overton

Leigh Overton

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Ossett Town face potentially the biggest challenge of the season so far on Saturday when they travel to Clitheroe, who sit in sixth place in the Evo-Stik First Division North.

Clitheroe, who pipped Ossett Town to the December Club of the month award by a single point, are the form side in the league over the last ten games and have not tasted defeat since bonfire night.

The two clubs have met on 13 occasions since they were first pitted together in the 2005/06 FA Trophy.

A 2-2 draw it Ingfield meant a replay at Saturday’s venue, Shawbridge, and despite a further 120 minutes of football there was nothing to separate the two sides. The Blues progressed following a penalty shoot-out.

Overall it has been a fairly even record between the two with six wins to Ossett Town and five for Clitheroe.

There have been two draws between the sides, but expect a positive result on Saturday as the spoils have never been shared at Shawbridge.

The Reds go into the game on the back of 3-0 and 1-0 victories over Goole and Glossop North End.

Clitheroe were pegged back last Saturday by Trafford to draw 2-2 while in the week they travelled to league leaders Lancaster City and took a point in a 0-0 draw, meaning they are now 15 unbeaten in all competitions.

After a sticky start to 2017, Ossett Town have won the last two outings with keeper Leigh Overton keeping two clean sheets.

And despite facing Clitheroe he says the mindset will not change and has not all season. He said: “We know we have to be at 100 per-cent every time we play and we can go into the game on Saturday full of confidence and believing we can pick up another three points.”

The players are putting their bodies on the line for each other and Overton says that is down to the team spirit. “Everyone is pushing in the same direction, wanting the same results and it’s a testament to Blacky, Norbs and Ridders for installing that into the whole squad.

“It wasn’t pretty at times on Saturday against Glossop, but we’re priding ourselves on defending well as a team and keeping clean sheets, because we know we’ll always get goals at the other end.”

At 0-0 last week Steve Ridley was adjudged to have fouled a Glossop striker but the resulting penalty was stopped by Overton, who said: “It was very satisfying! I’ve had a bit of stick from a few lads about not saving any so far this season too, so that’s put that one to bed.” 

Crowds are up at Ingfield this season and that is something that Overton and his teammates have noticed. He said: “The atmosphere around the place is buzzing and it’s definitely helping on the pitch too.

“It’s always good to hear the crowds are up and it’s great to see such a good following on our away trips too.”

The Reds have a coach service leaving Ingfield at 11.45am. Those wishing to book a seat should contact James Rogers.