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First Team - Match centre

Atherton Collieries
Radcliffe FC
Full time
T Owolabi (70')
Sat 30 Mar 15:00 - The Evo-Stik League - West Division Attendance 611

Atherton Collieries 0-1 Radcliffe: Owolabi the hero as Boro take a decisive step in the title race


By Daniel Pryer

Tunde Owolabi came off the bench to score the winner as Radcliffe beat the Evo-Stik West league leaders Atherton Collieries 1-0 at the Skuna Stadium.

The Colls had the best chance of the first-half, Ben Hardcastle fizzed a first time ball across the corridor of uncertainty, but to no avail.

Jon Macken's side had sporadic success down the left flank in the first half an hour. Aaron Burns was found free numerous times, but couldn’t churn out a cross both times for the oncoming Ben Wharton.

Atherton Colls Away 30.3.19
82 photos

Scott Metcalfe pounced from the left-wing and found himself with only the goalkeeper to beat, but the shot was tamed and straight at Greg Hartley.

The second-half was one of pending changes for Jon Macken. Top-scorer Tunde Owolabi And Elliot Rokka entered the field 10 minutes in, to add a more pace-filled attack.

Speed was felt instantly when Metcalfe’s header inside the box fell to Owolabi, but he couldn’t keep his cross down after neat footwork.

Then, the big moment arose on 70 minutes. Owolabi, the substitute shimmied one way and sent two defenders the other, before squeezing the ball past the home side’s number one. Delirium commenced amongst the travelling faithful.

Five minutes on, Hardcastle's powerful attempt hit the hand of Lee Neville and the referee signalled for a penalty. Michael Clegg's side had the opportunity to level, but the penalty was thrashed wide by Hardcastle.

Radcliffe now sit a point behind Atherton on the same number of games played.

Tunde terrors from the bench again

It was typical Tunde. Not necessarily because of a vintage performance, but coming off the bench to score. It seems to be a common theme this season for the Belgian.

The “impact” player of all impact players certainly rubber-stamped Radcliffe’s authority, not just in the game but in the race for the West title.
He caused trouble with his runs, dragging Gareth Preet out of position, and that was just off-the-ball. It's no wonder the Boro striker is being recognised as one of the league’s best players.

Dogged Defence, Desire and Togetherness

Much has been said about Radcliffe’s arsenal, but there’s no victory without armour.

Macken’s back four looked impenetrable for the majority of the game, baring a penalty which was put wide by Bailey. The side were irreproachable - and it was possibly the best result under Macken’s leadership.

It was a performance which epitomised the team spirit amongst the squad. The 11, and the substitutes as well, willing and wanting to go the extra yard for each-other.

Radcliffe record back-to-back 1-0 wins against two of the top three.

Clean 17: Man of the Match - Ollie Martin

Although the match was won by Owolabi, Martin’s contributing over the past two games has been crucial.

Martin was at his majestic best against the Colls. He was vital in keeping out the Collieries fire, including a fantastic reflex save to keep out a deflected effort from Sherlock.

The Boro man goalkeeper has now kept 17 clean sheets this season - more than anyone else in the league.

Ollie Martin

Player of the Match

Ollie Martin

Key moments

Goal Tunde Owolabi scores for Radcliffe FC

Videos and photos

Atherton Colls Away 30.3.19
82 photos
Atherton Colls Away 30.3.19


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90:00 Clean Sheet Bonus
Ollie Martin keeps a clean sheet for Radcliffe FC
90:00 Clean Sheet Bonus
Kyle Harrison keeps a clean sheet for Radcliffe FC
90:00 Clean Sheet Bonus
Callum Grogan keeps a clean sheet for Radcliffe FC
90:00 Clean Sheet Bonus
Rick Smith keeps a clean sheet for Radcliffe FC
90:00 Clean Sheet Bonus
Lee Neville keeps a clean sheet for Radcliffe FC
90:00 Clean Sheet Bonus
Lewis Lacy keeps a clean sheet for Radcliffe FC
90:00 Player of the Match
Ollie Martin is awarded player of the match for Radcliffe FC
83:00 Yellow Card
Lee Neville is yellow carded for Radcliffe FC
83:00 Missed Penalty
Ben Hardcastle misses a penalty for Atherton Collieries
70:00 Goal 0 - 1
Tunde Owolabi scores for Radcliffe FC
70:00 Assist
Ben Wharton makes an assist for Radcliffe FC
70:00 Yellow Card
Tunde Owolabi is yellow carded for Radcliffe FC
45:00 Yellow Card
Prince Haywood is yellow carded for Radcliffe FC
Start of the game
Replay game

As it happened

  • Atherton Collieries
  • Radcliffe FC
  • 0
  • Prince Haywood Yellow Card 45:00'
  • Tunde Owolabi Goal 70:00'
  • Ben Wharton Assist 70:00'
  • Tunde Owolabi Yellow Card 70:00'
  • Lee Neville Yellow Card 83:00'
  • Ben Hardcastle Missed Penalty 83:00'

Team selection

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League round up

Other West Division results

Kendal Town
Runcorn Linnets
Ramsbottom United


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League table

# Team Pl Pts
1. Atherton Collieries 38 82
2. Radcliffe FC 38 75
3. Leek Town 38 74
4. Colne 38 73
5. Ramsbottom United 38 72
6. Runcorn Linnets 38 72
7. Prescot Cables 38 69

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