ELLIOT Cutts proved to be the matchwinner as back-to-back wins set Durham City up nicely for this afternoon’s Evo-Stik League Division One North game with Ossett Albion.
However, the Citizens will need to produce a better performance than they did against Clitheroe if they are to claim a hat-trick.
Following victory at Harrogate RA on Boxing Day by the only goal, Dickie Ord’s men repeated the result after both teams were reduced to 10 men.
A crowd of 192 saw City dominant in the early stages after taking an eighth-minute lead.
However, towards the end of the first half and during the second, Clitheroe were always threatening.
Cutts had an effort correctly ruled offside before he scored the only goal of the game.
Stephen Thompson split the visitors’ defence and it was the assistant referee who flagged that Cutts’ drive had crossed the line.
Durham went close on a number of occasions. Andrew Stephenson cleared the crossbar from close-range and Thompson had his shot blocked.
Thompson rattled the post following a fine solo run and then sent a free kick past the wall, but just the wrong side of the woodwork, with Clitheroe keeper Zak Hibbert rooted to his line.
Josh Home-Jackson almost made it 2-0 before Hibbert was forced to fist clear a strong drive from Thompson.
Towards the end of the opening half Clitheroe came more into the picture, but without seriously testing City goalkeeper Lewis Graham.
The Lancashire side maintained the offensive early in the second period, but their cause was made harder when Andy Taylor was sent off after he needlessly threw the ball at a Durham player.
However, City were unable to make their one-man advantage count and Clitheroe looked the more likely to score.
With 19 minutes remaining, both sides were down to 10 men as Home-Jackson was shown a straight red card for a foul.
Ashley Parillon almost levelled, but was denied by a superb save from Lewis Graham and it was City who were relieved when the final whistle blew.
This afternoon’s game against Ossett kicks off at 3pm at New Ferens Park.
Durham City: L Graham, Brown, Shaw, E Graham, Madden, Arjun Purewal, Home-Jackson, Stephenson, Pounder, Thompson (Winter), Cutts.
Ref: Mr T Peart. Att: 192.