Two late goals from Chris Almond saw Prescot Cables beat a tough Clitheroe side as they returned to home action at Volair Park after a run of four successive Saturday away games.
In stark contract to last week’s dominant display at Kidsgrove, Cables started Saturday’s game slowly and were unable to settle into any sort of rhythm. The visitors started the better of the two sides and created a flurry of early chances in the opening 15 minutes. Goalkeeper Kyle Haslam was called into action in the 11th minute to make a save from Josh Gregory after a mix up in the Cables back four.
The old saying goes ‘if you can’t be good, then be lucky’ and Cables were served a huge slice of luck in the 22nd minute when Clitheroe dangerman Max Hazeldine was unable to run off an injury he picked up, forcing the visitors into an early change.
Cables’ first chance of the game came in the 27th minute when Josh Klein-Davies forced Clitheroe ‘keeper Cameron Terry into a good low save and despite Chris Almond running in to knock in the rebound, the ball was cleared from danger. It would prove to be their only chance of the half.
It was the visitors who were continuing to dominate the game and took the lead in the 34th minute following another mix up in the Cables back four that resulted in Haslam rushing out of his area to clear the ball and clearing out a Clitheroe forward in the process, resulting in a yellow card for Haslam and a free kick to the visitors. The resulting free kick was curled around the wall and beyond Haslam at his near post. One nil to the visitors and they would go into half time with that lead, it was no more than they deserved.
Whatever was said in the home dressing room at half time seemed to work as Cables came out for the second half determined to impose themselves upon the opposition. Right from the kick-off there was a greater intensity to the home side’s play. Their passing was quicker, their tackles were now timed to perfection and perhaps more importantly, the back four were holding their shape and communicating well with each other.
It was not long before this improved effort was rewarded as the home side drew level in the 53rd minute. After some excellent work in the penalty area from Klein-Davies, who drew two good saves from keeper Cameron Terry, Matty Hamilton was able to finish smartly with the outside of his foot. One all.
No more than a minute later Michael Monaghan won a penalty after a trademark run into the box. Chris Almond would convert the resulting spot-kick with a calm finish down the middle of the goal as Cables turned the game around by scoring two goals in as many minutes. 2-1.
The visitors clearly felt aggrieved by the turnaround in their fortunes and set about drawing level. However, the Cables defence stood firm; Reece Fishwick and James Cooper were in excellent form as they repelled everything that Clitheroe threw at them, with a series of excellent last-ditch tackles and interceptions.
Any hopes the visitors had of getting something from the game were dashed in the 87th minute as Cables, having been on the wrong end of some late goals in recent weeks, scored two of their own to kill the game as a contest.
Chris Almond expertly flicked the ball in at the near post from a James Edgar corner to make it 3-1 and then, in injury time, it was Almond again who scored to complete his hat-trick, this time sliding in at the far post to knock the ball home and make it 4-1.
Cables: Haslam, Fishwick, McCulloch, Cooper, Edgar, Turner, Wynne (Lenehan 82), Almond, Hamilton, Monaghan, Klein-Davies (Griffiths 82)