Nottinghamshire Senior League – Division 1
The Recreation Ground – 05/10/2019
Radcliffe Olympic 5 Kimberley M.W. Reserves 3
Radcliffe entertained Kimberley M.W. Reserves for their third consecutive home fixture and made it three wins out of three under their new management team as they ran out 5-3 winners in a highly entertaining encounter.
The visitors who had won just one game so far this season were rooted at the bottom of the table. Following heavy rain earlier in the week the pitch was sodden, but considered fit enough for the game to go ahead. Radcliffe made two changes from their previous starting line up with Harry Chiarella and Jack Millward making their club debuts, coming in to replace the unavailable Richard Arnold and Adam Newbold. Sam Klyman and Arvin Ganji returned to occupy the subs bench.
Radcliffe had an early opportunity to open the scoring when they were awarded an indirect free kick ten yards out after Ian Shepherd the visiting keeper picked up the ball from a back pass. The free kick was touched to Matt Gamble whose shot struck the wall before going for a corner, with resultant flag kick seeing Chiarella’s header strike the bar. Joe Hegarty was seeing plenty of the ball down the left as his shot was saved by Shepherd at the near post. Minutes later he was hauled down inside the box as he headed goal wards, but to the amazement of everyone, the referee dismissed the appeals and nothing was given.
Although Radcliffe had the greater possession, Kimberley were creating chances as the ball was played across the goal to Owen Limb who fired just wide. The speed and control of James Oluwatosin in particular was causing the home defence problems as he cut inside to beat two defenders but was closed down before being able to shoot. Radcliffe failed to heed the warning, for on fourteen minutes he went on another run leaving defenders in his wake to eventually slide the ball home from inside the box.
Radcliffe responded as Brett Soiza collected Millward’s pass only for Shepherd to tip his effort over the bar. To the dismay of the home side, Chiarella had what looked like a perfectly good goal ruled out after he sprinted forward though a static defence to score, only for it to be chalked off due to a dubious offside decision. However, Radcliff were not to be denied as they levelled the score on 22 minutes when Hegarty burst through to fire the ball home. Chiarella had a chance to give Radcliffe the lead before the interval but screwed his shot wide.
Half Time: Radcliffe Olympic 1 Kimberley M.W. Reserves 1
Radcliffe were quick out of the blocks after the break as they scored two goals in the opening five minutes to open up a 3-1 lead. First Nick Levack’s off target shot took a wicked deflection off Soiza to fly over the keeper’s head into the net. This was swiftly followed by a determined run and cross down the left by Levack which reached Millward who took a touch before picking his spot to fire home. The lead was extended further on 54 minutes when following a spell of controlled possession, the ball was played to Chiarella who got the goal he richly deserved as he looked up before steering his shot into the bottom corner while the keeper remained motionless on his line.
Ryan Watkinson and Soiza who suffered an injury were replaced by Klyman and Ganji. Radcliffe looked comfortable as they continued to creates and spurn chances but that was about to change as the visitors scored two goals in as many minutes. On 70 minutes Oluwatosin got past his man on the left to send in an inch perfect cross which was met by the unmarked Ben Upton who headed home from close range. Just a minute later a Kimberley shot crashed against the bar rebounding to Isaac Wealthall who slammed the ball home.
This was now a different game with the Radcliffe victory under threat, they pushed forward with a greater sense of urgency, whilst beginning to look nervous at the back. Radcliffe were opening up gaps in the visitors defence, following a determined run, Hegarty had a good shot save by Shepherd with his legs, then on 83 minutes Radcliffe finally got the goal that they were striving for. Ganji, who had looked dangerous from the moment he came on played a neat one-two to take the ball on before sliding home past the advancing keeper.
The pressure was now off again and Radcliffe managed to see out the remainder of the game to secure another well-deserved win. The result sees Radcliffe climb to 7th place in the table.
Full Time: Radcliffe Olympic 5 Kimberley M.W. Reserves 3
Radcliffe Olympic: James Fletcher, Liam Norris, Ryan Watkinson, Macauley Barber, Aaron Shirtcliffe, Nick Levack, Jack Millward, Joe Hegarty, Brett Soiza, Harry Chiarella, Matt Gamble.
Subs: Sam Klyman, Arvin Ganji.
Kimberley M.W. Reserves: Shepherd, Boddy, Black, Wealthall, Burton, Bramley, Jackson, Weatherall, Goodall, Olywatson, Limb.
Subs: McKayne, Cooke, Owusu-Yianoma.
The First Team face a short trip along the A52 this Saturday (12th Oct) to face local rivals West Bridgford AFC who currently sit in second place in the table.
Report by John Watts