A goal apiece in the first half was enough to ensure that neither team left the stadium empty handed. On a gruellingly hot late summers day, both teams battled to try and find a winner however neither team was able to find a winner. The result now means Radcliffe are in 17th position in the table, whereas FC United move up to 19th.
The home team came out of the traps flying in the first half, looking to prove a point following Saturdays draw with Runcorn Town. An early penalty claim was waived away by referee Mark Reeves, returning midfielder Harry Winter worked the ball well down the right and cut the ball back to Elliot Rokka who looked to be fouled by a United defender, however the referee waved away the protests.
Boro wouldn’t have to wait long to score their first goal of the season however, as in the 13th minute Matthew Wolfenden opened his account for the home team. Anton Forrester collected a ball played to him down the right and looked to drive at the defence, he then cut the ball back to debutant Liam Ellis, he fed the ball to Rokka who then tried his luck at goal. His effort was saved, a mistake by the FC United defender trying to clear handed the ball to Wolfenden, who slotted the ball down to the keepers right.
Radcliffe looked to build on their lead and add a second. First Forrester went close, Prince Haywood dribbled past 3 players and fed the ball to Rokka, he then looked to slip in Forrester, however he saw his shot blocked behind for a corner. Good work again from Haywood almost led to the lead being doubled, he played in Scott Metcalfe down the left but Wolfenden just couldn’t quite get on the end of his whipped cross.
FC United made Boro pay for missing those chances in the 25th minute. Against the run of play Regan Linney managed to grab an equaliser. Paul Ennis latched onto a long ball and looked to play in Linney. At first he couldn’t get his shot away, but after a shimmy he managed to place the ball into the bottom corner.
The second half followed the trends of the first, with the home team really taking the game to the Reds and FC United in turn trying to hit on the counter. The away team had the first big chance of the second half, goalscorer Linney received the ball down the right. He then managed to hold off 2 defenders and wriggle into the box. He then took slightly too long to pick his spot and Ollie Martin was out to brilliantly meet him to save a certain goal.
Boro looked to hit back shortly after this. Rokka was played in down the right, he brilliantly dribbled past 3 defenders and into the box, he then looked to find Liam Ellis who took his shot first time, agonisingly he saw his shot come crashing back off the bar.
Both teams tried desperately to find a late winner and in added time at the end of the second half, each side managed to craft a golden opportunity. First an FC United counter
was fed out wide, a ball in to the box was then inches away from finding Niall Rodney, however he was unable to meet the ball for a tap in. Right at the death Ellis almost got his debut goal. A hopeful long ball was pumped forward by Radcliffe, the away keeper Patrick Wharton looked to come and catch the ball, however he misjudged the flight of it. The ball flew over his head and Ellis was there to meet it, he then looked to slot the ball into the gaping goal, however his shot slid agonisingly into the side netting. Honours even in the end, but on another day a game the home team would have scored several more.
Manager Jon Macken spoke after the match about how happy he was with the teams performance on the day. He was particularly happy with how the team controlled the game and the tempo they played with. The gaffer also praised the new signings who came into the team and how pleasing it was they dealt with a tough team on debut. There was also special praise for Haywood. The manager felt he was outstanding again today and he also highlighted his adaptability in moving from the centre of the park to right back later in the game, giving his all for the team regardless of what position he’s asked to play.