CLITHEROE host Ramsbottom tonight as two of the early pace-setters in the Pitching In Northern Premier League North West Division go head-to-head.

Rammy are second after Khalil Osi-Efa’s 95th minute-goal on Saturday clinched a thrilling 2-1 victory over Ossett United.

That saw the Rams complete their best ever start to a league season, with four wins from their opening four games.

Clitheroe are a point back in fourth after their 1-1 draw at Runcorn Linnets, Sean O’Mahony’s goal for the hosts cancelling out Craig Hobson’s opener for the Blues five minutes into the second half.

It’s not just the two sides who meet tonight who have enjoyed strong starts, with Colne’s 1-1 draw at Widnes seeing them sit sixth, just a point behind Clitheroe.

Nathan Rooney’s side host Pontefract Collieries this evening.


Rammy boss Chris Willcock was almost lost for words after his side’s dramatic win.

Ossett had taken the lead just before the half hour, George Green feeding the ball to the goalscorer Aaron Haswell who raced forward into the box and smashed the ball home from a tight angle.

Rammy were level shortly before half time.

Goalkeeper Max Dearnley was caught way out of his box to clear the ball and Tony Donaldson won it well in midfield and chipped the keeper brilliantly from range to equalise for the home side.

The grandstand finish saw the ball pinging around the Ossett box in the dying moments of the game before it dropped to Osi-Efa to put the ball into the back of the net, the goal sparking wild celebrations from the Rams as the bench was emptied all to celebrate with the scorer.

“The way the game finished words can’t really describe it to be honest with you”, said Willcock.

“To win the game in that fashion is always a massive positive because it shows that we’ve got good character and keep going even though second half we weren’t at our best.

“First half I was more than happy at half time with the number of chances that we created and if we’d taken them really the game wouldn’t have ended the way it did. I think as a spectacle for everybody it was fantastic! Overall, I’m delighted with the three points and we move on to Tuesday.”


Colne never hit their top form on the artificial surface of the Widnes Vikings stadium and were unable to dominate their game against a lively home side.

Colne took the lead after only 10 minutes when Waqas Azam’s diagonal free-kick was headed down in the area by Tom Dean and as Reece Webb-Foster tried to work a shooting angle, Dean stepped in to blast the ball into the back of the Widnes net. 

The game went back and forth until seven minutes before the interval when a Colne free-kick was cleared from the home penalty area and a quick break to the other end saw James Steele go clear and slot the ball past the advancing Hakan Burton to level the scores at 1-1.

Both sides went in search of a winner but the game ended honours even.

“We’re disappointed not to take the three points,” said midfielder Charlie Russell.

“I thought the first 20-25 we were in control, had a lot of possession, but it slowly just got away from us.

“We’ve got to go again on Tuesday which is a massive game for us now.

“It’s won three, drawn one and lost one and we need the three points.”


A brilliantly-executed free-kick by former Blackburn Rovers starlet Gavin Gunning midway through the second half condemned Chorley to a 2-1 home defeat against Gloucester City.

The big-spending visitors proved just too tough a nut to crack for the Magpies who lost the opening rounds to their opponents but showed plenty of fighting spirit to level the match early in the second half, only to be undone by a supreme piece of skill.

City began on the front foot, while Chorley were comparatively slow to hit their stride, and the Tigers went in front on 11 minutes when Matt McClure took advantage of slow reactions in the home defence to crack a terrific drive past Matt Urwin from some 15 yards.

Urwin later did well to hang onto the crossbar to turn over a very awkward cross-cum-shot before Gloucester had a real let-off. 

A slick Chorley move down the left culminated in a raking low centre which City centre-back Liam Daly, lunging in at full stretch, diverted onto the underside of the bar, the ball being scrambled clear.

After the break Chorley resumed with real purpose and Elliot Newby was at the centre of a fine 15-minutes spell for the Magpies. 

First, he was given an opening on the right but with a clear sight of goal skewed his shot high and wide.

He was soon to do better. On 52 minutes, Harry Cardwell made a surging run down the left wing before pulling back an inviting pass from the byline which Newby confidently dispatched. 

Moments later Newby was put through on goal and keeper Rhys Lovett did well to race from his line and snatch the ball at the feet of the Magpies man without conceding a penalty.

It was against the run of play when in the 66th minute City’s Josh Thomas embarked on a penetrating run past three defenders only to be brought down by a fourth challenge.

Up stepped Gunning to curl a superb free-kick from 25 yards into the top corner of the net, leaving Urwin stranded.

The quality of the strike spurred Gloucester into seeing the game out, which they did through uncompromising and solid defending. The nearest Chorley came to a second equaliser was a side-footed finish by Cardwell which went just wide.