Radcliffe Dig In For First Three Points Of 2019
By Dave Martindale
Radcliffe matched Selston physically and just shaded in footballing skill to run out 2-1 winners on a typical January pitch.
A long break for Xmas and New Year showed in the first 10 mins of this game with Radcliffe doing just enough to keep up with a spirited Selston side but creating very little of their own. They brushed off the cobwebs though and started to get some joy down the flanks with a great opportunity coming from a cross from Connor Bland that Jack Willis met but headed just wide.
Soon after, a well worked move up the left ended up with a deft little back flick from George Arrowsmith that was just smothered by the Selston keeper.
Selston’s striker was dangerous with his back to goal but Ethan Fallon was doing a great job of stepping up to dispossess at the perfect moment time and again.
Another effort from down the right, this time Connor Bland getting a smart shot away that was destined for the top corner but for a really good save from the keeper.
The first goal was a thing of beauty though and would grace any game at any level. With his back to goal and tightly marked by three defenders, Ollie Petchell managed to control the ball, shift and turn and curl the ball with his weaker foot into the bottom corner leaving the keeper no chance 1-0 (25).
Radcliffe were repelling most Selston attacks before they could get into the box but from a mis-kick their striker finally had a chance to drive at goal one v one. Luckily, he snatched at it and the chance was gone.
With time pretty much run out Selston had a final chance and the ball fell perfectly in the box for them to tuck away - a sucker punch and 1-1 (40).
Radcliffe had to clear their heads and come back from the disappointment quickly. Selston started the second half with their tails up though and were moving the ball around well. Harvey Woodward seemed to be more in the game than previously...
The boys kept it tight though and worked hard to win the ball back time and again. Ollie Jones-Wilkinson was finding more space in front of their back line and Radcliffe slowly turned the screw to get the momentum back.
Morgan Roberts had a great chance to score from the back stick after a great cross from the right but his effort was just the wrong side of the post. His next touch though was a great ball back across for Jack Willis to arrive perfectly timed and tuck away for 2-1 (73).
Radcliffe had much more threat now and the remainder of the game was spoiled a little by a trigger happy linesman getting progressively more unrealistic. The defence stood strong and the whistle came with probably the right result from a very competitive game.
My man of the match goes to Ollie Petchell for a performance that showed determination and threat in equal measure, topped off by a great goal.