Colwyn Bay 1-2 Radcliffe FC
By Adam Harrison
Super Sub Tunde Owolabi makes an instant impact to win all three points for the Boro
By George Bishop-Green
Tunde Olowabis’ second half header was enough to secure the 3 points and get Radcliffe back on track in their promotion push. Boro maintain their place in the table 4 points behind Atherton, who with one more win would secure top spot for themselves.
Radcliffe dominated the early proceedings of the game with a chance for Matthew Crothers, who’s shot from a Grogan knock down was blocked. Ben Wharton then saw his smart turn and attempted chip go over the bar.
Boro continued to press for an opening goal in the early exchanges and a cross-cum-shot from Crothers looked to be creeping in however Colwyn keeper Paddy Rutter managed to claw away for a corner.
The pressure from the away team almost paid dividends when number 9 Wharton received the ball on the turn, he then released a powerful shot that came back off the bar, Elliot Rokka was on hand to knock in the rebound, however the goal was chalked off for offside.
The home team tried to get a foothold into the game and respond to the Radcliffe pressure. Right back Alex Downes who whipped a lovely ball into the area, but James Barrigan was unable to get on the end of it. Downes continued to cause Boro problems and was played in inside the box, however he saw his drilled shot fly past the away goal.
Radcliffe found a breakthrough in the 30th minute, thanks to Callum Grogan. The away team won a free kick down their left channel, Rokka floated a ball to the back post, which captain Richard Smith managed to get on the end of. His header back into the danger area almost fell for Aaron Burns, the ball eventually fell to Callum Grogan who was more than happy to strike the ball past the keeper.
The Seagulls came out firing in the second half, in what was their penultimate game in English football before they join the Welsh second division next season, they hit back just a few minutes into the half when they won a corner after good pressure. Barrigans’ inswinging corner was met by Darren Thornton who headed past Oliver Martin to even the score.
The away team looked to push Colwyn back and retake the lead following the goal. Crothers managed to play Rokka through, however a last ditch tackle saved the home team. A whipped cross from the danger man Crothers missed Wharton but Burns almost managed to get on the end of it, however the ball went out for a corner which came to nothing.
The game changing moment came in the 65th minute, when John Macken turned to his bench for inspiration and that is what he found. He brought on Owolabi who moments after narrowly missing a cross from the left, managed to glance home a cross from Crothers down to the keepers right. A goal with what was his first touch that would delight the manager with such an immediate impact.
The bay almost snatched a draw in the dying minutes of the game, a free kick from out wide was put into the Radcliffe box and the ball fell kindly to Barrigan who somehow managed to strike it wide from 5 yards out with the goal gaping.
Boro dominated the later stages of the match and looked fully in control. Wharton had a great chance to wrap up the 3 points in the 82nd minute, following some great work by skipper Richard Smith to gather a wayward free kick and work it into a crossing opportunity, however Wharton saw his header go over.
Manager John Macken was full of praise for the team after the game, speaking of how he admired a hard fought win in tough conditions. He is now looking forward to the Ramsbottom game on Easter Monday which is set up perfectly as a local derby for fans to enjoy. He was happy the team had now confirmed a play off place and is not giving up hope of top spot, if Atherton are to slip up then Boro will be ready to capitalise.