Radcliffe will face a tricky replay away to Runcorn Town after neither team was able to break the deadlock in a cagey affair at the Neuven Stadium in the FA Cup preliminary round. The team will have to pick themselves up now ahead of Mondays huge clash against FC United of Manchester in the league.
The visitors Runcorn almost immediately capitalised on a defensive mistake from the home team. A straight ball through the middle from the Runcorn midfield split the home defence, goalkeeper Ollie Martin then came to meet the onrushing striker Craig Cairns, who saw his shot come back of the inside of the post.
The home team struggled to get to grips in the early stages of the game, with both teams scrambling for possession. In the 20th minute they did manage to fashion a great chance. Sam Billington showed great feet going past two of the Runcorn defenders, he then slid a well timed ball into Ben Wharton, however he flashed his first time shot wide.
Town took control towards the end of the half, carving out several great chances. The first chance came following a loose ball across the pitch from Rick Smith which Dave Forbes latched on to. He dribbled at the defence but dragged his shot just wide. Marcus James then almost caught out Martin with an audacious chip from around 30 yards out. His chip had the home keeper back peddling but he managed to brilliantly tip the ball over for a corner.
Boro looked to put the first half behind them and come out on the front foot. At the start of the second half Wharton managed to hold the ball up well, following a long ball up to him. He turned and tried to catch away Goalkeeper Adam Reid out with a chip of his own, but he saw his effort go marginally over the bar.
A cagey match almost reached boiling point in the 51st minute, Kai Wallace lunged into a tackle over the top of the ball on Kingsley Williams, causing the central midfielder to go down in serious pain. The Boro players were not happy with the challenge and looked to the referee to brandish a red card. The referee eventually managed to calm both sides down and gave a yellow card a piece out to Kai Wallace for the challenge, and Callum Grogan for his reaction to the tackle.
The incident really looked to spur both teams on. Runcorn went close to scoring within a few minutes. The first chance coming from a cross by Owen Dursley that Callum Grogan headed against his own bar, and the second chance from a well struck free kick from Paul McManus which Martin did well to keep out for a corner. Radcliffe had a chance of their own also when a corner was played short to Scott Metcalfe who saw his drilled shot saved well by the keeper.
Both teams pushed late into the game for a winning goal, Town almost grabbed it when a defensive mix up led to Dave Forbes being one on one with the goalkeeper. Martin did really well to turn his effort out for a corner. Boro nearly snatched a winner in the last few
minutes, Elliot Rokka managed to craft some space down the right and flashed a ball across the face of goal, but a man in a blue shirt couldn’t get on the end of it.
Manager Jon Macken spoke after the match about how disappointing a performance it was today from the team. Macken felt the team struggled with their attitude and drive to win the match. He wants the team to now pick themselves up and get prepared for what he described as a tough game against a team who will be up for a battle. He also provided an update on Danny Mitchley who limped off in the first half. The gaffer feels that he could be facing a spell on the side-lines for at least a few weeks after hurting his ankle.