Super Subs Strike Again
By Matthew Jones
Owolabi Slots home winner but after going down to 10 Men, The Boro held firm for three vital points.
Radcliffe made the trip to the Novus Stadium and faced a Kidsgrove side that made The Boro work hard for their victory on Saturday afternoon. The match started off with the away side starting to get the first opportunities of the game.
Michael Fowler had the first chance, with Scott Metcalfe charging down wing beat his man and played a ball across the box for Fowler who was under great pressure and was unable to convert into a goal. Ben Wharton fired over just after as The Boro were getting into gear.
More chances came. Elliot Rokka who was making his 180th appearance for the club, crossed over for Metcalfe at the back post but his header went wide. And moments after he was in on goal after a ball from Lewis Lacy found Rokka in space to face an onrushing goalkeeper. He went for the chip but went wide. Another good chance created from the away side.
180 appearances for Rokka who joined the club in 2013 before returning for a second spell this year.
The Home side did have some chances, a Rhys Thompson cross managed to find space for Ant Malbon in front of goal but couldn't convert and was simply gathered down low by Oliver Martin. And Pete Williams shot from distance just after but was well wide of the target.
The Boro ended the half slightly stronger, Matt Crothers ran through with a good run towards goal after beating a couple of men but the shot was tame and central for the keeper to collect. And on the stroke of half time, Ben Wharton had a chance to score after Elliot Rokka got through to provide a low cross for Wharton to tap home but under pressure could only find the arms of the home goalkeeper.
Man Of Match: Crothers had a great game causing the away side issues and an assist for the goal.
Radcliffe started the second half strongly looking for the required goal, Scott Metcalfe hit the bar as Boro pressure was being put on the home side but still couldn't find that goal.
The hosts had chances to also score, a shot from distance was deflected out for a corner and Oliver Martin was called into action having to tip a good opportunity over the crossbar.
Jon Macken made changes to get the points and like last Saturday it paid off with another substitution this time Tunde Owolabi grabbing the winning goal. Just 5 minutes later Matt Crothers who was managing to get into key areas to trouble the Kidsgrove defence all afternoon provided the key pass. He beat his man to square the ball low across the box to find Tunde Owolabi in the centre to just slot home into the bottom corner to the delight of the supporters and his teammates.
Tunde Time: Owolabi scores his 7th of the season.
Crothers again had another chance just after, he ran through again on goal but couldn't beat the man this time as he was about to shoot and went out for a corner. And then Elliot Rokka attempted a curler into the top corner but went just over as the away side started to march on and looked likely to get a second.
With 15 minutes to go Liam Wood was dismissed for two yellow cards and The Boro had to complete the job with only ten men. Kidsgrove had some half chances in this period, but the away side were causing danger on the counter attack. Tunde Owolabi got though and rounded the goalkeeper but the Kidsgrove defender caught up and looked to have won the ball and denied a certain goal. He then slipped and would have allowed Owolabi to seal the three points, but the assistant referee thought otherwise and denied a certain goal and a certain three points.
Kidsgrove had a penalty claim near the end denied by the referee as Chris Budrys collided with Lewis Lacy as The Boro finished the game off after five additional minutes to get a vital three points. With other results this weekend going in Radcliffe's favour it leaves the club now 4th in the table, five points off the leaders and our next opponents Atherton Collieries with two games in hand. The game takes place on Saturday at the Neuven Stadium 3pm Kick Off.