10 man Radcliffe FC narrowly lost out to Basford United on an indifferent afternoon at Greenwich Avenue.
Captain Matt Thornhill headed home the only goal of the game despite the Boro looking the better of the two sides.
Scott Metcalfe saw red midway through the second half after receiving a second yellow for a late challenge.
Jon Macken’s men started the better of the pair. New signing Liam Ellis played a brilliantly weighted ball to Matthew Wolfenden who forced a save from Kieran Preston in between the sticks.
The Boro continued on search of the opening goal. Callum Grogan met a whipped corner but he couldn’t find the back of the net.
Wolfenden had other opportunity to find the opening goal but his effort from range flew over the bar.
Moments later Anton Forrester got in on the act but his floated effort went narrowly over the bar.
The next big opportunity fell to the home side. Stef Galinski’s shot from range flew over Ollie Martin’s goal.
The home side very nearly took the lead through James Reid. His free kick had Martin scrambling across his goal but the woodwork came to his saviour. The rebound was headed over the bar.
Rick Smith had the ball in the back of the net with a great header but for the off side flag.
Just before the half time whistle the debutante Tyrese Sinclair drove into space before firing narrowly wide of the United goal.
Two new signings combined shortly after the whistle. Forrester played in Liam Ellis but he could only slice wide.
Dangerman Sinclair forced a save from Preston in the United goal after a powerful shot from outside the box.
On 62 minutes Scott Metcalfe entered the referees book. Moments late he found himself leaving the field after another late challenge earned him a red card.
With just 15 minutes to play the home side took the lead. Captain Matt Thornhill headed home from close range to give United an unlikely lead.
Rick Smith had two golden opportunities to get the Boro back into the game. Both of his headers went narrowly wide of the Basford goal.
With moments left to play Tom Brown fired a dangerous free kick towards goal, forcing a great save from Preston in the United goal.
It wasn’t to be for Macken’s men on the day as in added time Wolfenden forced another save Preston before firing the rebound over the goal.
Despite a dominant performance on the pitch it wasn’t to be for Macken’s men. They look forward to an FA Cup replay against Runcorn Town on Wednesday Evening.