Atherton Collieries 2 Clitheroe 5

ATHERTON Colls fell to a sixth successive defeat on Saturday.

Chris Lynch struck first for the hosts, but Clitheroe rallied to take a 3-1 lead in the Evo-Stik Division One North clash.

Colls substitute Darrhyl Mason’s goal was not enough for the home side as Clitheroe finished the tie strongly, scoring a further two before the final whistle.

Colls started the game with a steady footing. A 30-yard effort from experienced full back Chris Lynch found a clean path through the crowded penalty area and into the bottom left corner of the Clitheroe net.

A sense of renewed optimism was felt around Alder Street following Lynch’s early strike – a shared responsibility for the early lead, following a proud voluntary effort by a large working party to ensure the playability of the game.

However, the Blues are a side who have often caused trouble for Colls, even the most hardcore of Black and Whites can’t recall a victory in this particular match up.

History began to repeat itself as the Blues were level within three minutes.

Clitheroe’s Alex Newby, in his first major contribution of a standout performance, began the move that led to George West slotting home for Clitheroe’s equaliser.

The first goal of a tough second half came from West again, returning to haunt Colls after making four appearances for the home side earlier in the season.

West found himself in the perfect position to curl a perfect shot home from the edge of the box following a miss-hit clearance.

Free kicks at the Kensite Stadium have often been a speciality of recent departure Mark Truffas, but new signing Luke Giverin started to stake a strong claim to responsibility following an effort that thundered into the bottom right post.

Alex Newby got the third for Clitheroe, seemingly taking the game out of reach for Colls.

The hosts still had some fight remaining, however.

Within minutes of entering the field as a substitute, Mason got on the end of an Iain Howard cross for the fifth goal of the match.

The decisive strike came minutes later as a tangling of legs saw Kurt Willoughby win and convert a Clitheroe penalty to regain a two-goal advantage, just as Colls looked likely to get an equaliser.

Newby put away Clitheroe’s fifth to seal victory for his side on another frustrating day at the Kensite Stadium.

Saturday's first trip to bottom place Goole AFC is a must win for Colls, who are desperate to end their poor run in form.