Radcliffe Olympic Red played hosts to Bulwell Athletic Sat at the South Notts Academy with the match being played on the all weather 3G pitch. This friendly fixture was a repeat of a match that occurred last season which ended as a very enjoyable and well contested 2-2 draw.
The visitors who, are currently one division of the YEL above ROR, enjoyed a what would seem like a comfortable 5-0 win last week in a friendly fixture against Breaston Park Black. ROR came into the match on the back of a disappointing 2-1 away defeat in the league to Ruddington Village Colts.
It didn't take long for the visitors to get into their stride when in the 3rd minute of the match from a break down the ROR left hand side a cross was comfortably dealt with by goalkeeper George Beech. This piece of action occurred all too easy and seemed to stir the players into action.
Both teams started to match each other and more or less cancel out each other's offensive forays. A very good display of defending in midfield and defence was on display from both sets of teams. When the hosts did look like breaking through, the opposition keeper was on hand to deny any advantage being taken or the finishing touches could just not be applied.
In the 8th minute ROR had a well placed through ball that would have led to a clear cut chance that was intercepted by one of the visitors defenders. An excellent chance to take the lead was squandered by the visitors, when in the 9th minute a break through the centre led to a 1 on 1 with George Beech. Fortunately for the hosts the forward placed his shot wide of the keeper's right hand post.
From the 15th minute of the game ROR took a hold of the game, Goalkeeper George Beech had very little to do throughout the rest of the first half. On several occasions the visitors attacks broke down due to some indiscipline due to straying into offside positions. In addition the ROR defenders read the game well and put in some well timed tackles and challenges to make life difficult for the Bulwell Athletic Sat forwards.
As a result the ROR midfielders and forwards were enjoying a lot of the ball and sometimes the run of the pitch, as wide right players Ethan Cooney, who was replaced later on by Jamie Porter, both had opportunities to cause problems for the visitors left back. However the hosts chose to lead their attacks down their left hand side of the pitch and never really explored taking advantage of this invitation to cause the visitors some real problems. One such opportunity occurred in the last minute of the half with Manny Johnson on the right hand side of the box who dragged his shot wide of the far left hand post. (0-0 HT).
At the resumption of the game the visitors started the better of the two teams. Within the first minute from a throw in on the ROR left hand side a through ball was played into the box for the visitors forward who attempted to dink the ball over the approaching George Beech. The ball passed agonizingly over George to nestle into the goal by his left hand post.
In the 34th minute of the game Jamie Porter playing wide right was once again allowed the run of the pitch by the visitors. Ben Royston played the perfect diagonal cross field ball to find Jamie. Jamie set off down the wing, he got to the by line and put in the most inviting cross across the front of goal. Unfortunately the ball passed through the area harmlessly as no one from ROR was on hand to get on the end of the cross for an easy tap in.
Jamie was once again close to getting the ROR back into the game in the 50th minute when from a break down the ROR left hand side Manny Johnson played him in. Jamie managed to get clear of the chasing defenders to fire his shot on target only for their keeper to pull off a timely save to deny Jamie and then to clear the danger.
A corner was awarded in the 53rd minute to the visitors on the ROR left hand side. The ball was unable to be cleared and the ball was bundled into the net at the near post. From a very promising start the hosts seemed to have had the better of the chances which meant the visitors keeper was the busier of the two keepers but they found themselves behind by two goals and with absolutely nothing to show for it.
To add some well deserved respectability to the scoreline Jamie Porter managed to pull one back for the ROR in the 57th minute of the match. The ball was flicked on in midfield by Manny Johnson for Jamie to run onto from the left hand side. Jamie ran on into the box and shot only for his shot to be saved. Jamie was the first to react to the rebound and greatfully hit the back of the net.(1-2 FT)
Another very good team performance against a good standard of opposition. Ben Royston again grabbing attention in the centre of defence for his organisational input and defending, Jay Holmes, Ryan Banks and Elliot Hinchcliffe all worked hard in midfield. Jamie Porter showed some good movement up front and was rewarded with a well deserved goal. However Manny Johnson was awarded the man of the match for constantly working hard up front offering a focal point for attacks and then eventually in midfield breaking up play, challenging for the ball and initiating attacks which ultimately led to ROR only goal of the game.