First Defeat in 10 League Games
By Matthew Jones
Boro lose at Ramsbottom and go 2nd in the League
Radcliffe Suffered their first defeat in ten league games after a Boxing Day defeat at Ramsbottom United.
It was a feisty start from both sides which set the tone for the afternoon, a committed derby game from both sides giving the referee lots to think about for the duration of the game.
The home side had the first chance of the game, a Tom Kennedy free kick from distance flashed just wide of Martin's goal giving a warning of what was to come later in the game.
Boro took the lead on 20 minutes, Tunde Owolabi charged down the wing, beating the Ramsbottom defence for pace allowed him to enter the penalty area to square it across for Ben Wharton to tap home and get his 14th of the season and 2 in 2 after going 10 games without finding the back of the net previously.
The Rams hit back almost immediately, Matty Williams had to clear off the line after a scramble in the box, and then moments after hit the bar as they started to look for an equaliser and peppered the Boro goal.
Ramsbottom did get their goal on the stroke of half time. Jamie Rainford broke through and rounded and onrushing Oliver Martin and managed to bundle home despite pressure from Matty Williams to stop the certain goal.
The away side had a opportunity to re take the lead just before the hour, Tunde Owolabi crossed in and Rick Smith at the back post just couldn't connect to put Radcliffe back in front.
But on the hour, Ramsbottom scored what turned out to be the winning goal. A free kick just outside of the box was dispatched by Tom Kennedy, curled round the wall and into the bottom corner giving Oliver Martin no chance to save.
Ben Wharton had a half chance to equalise but under good pressure and on the turn looped a shot over the bar, but Ramsbottom started to attack more.
They had two consecutive chances to score, a clearance on the line with claims of handball were waved away by the referee and Oliver Martin had to produce a great reactive save to keep the ball out and away from goal.
The home side managed to counteract the threat from the boro and had one final chance near the end after Scott Metcalfe broke through to produce a cross for Ben Wharton who headed at the keeper.
Boro lose top spot after todays loss but go second, 2 points behind new leaders Runcorn Linnets with two games in hand. Radcliffe's next game is against Trafford at the Neuven Stadium on New Year's Day at 3pm as we look to bounce back.