A late Elliot Rokka penalty ensured that the Boro booed their lace in the next round of the Lancashire Cup as they beat AFC Darwen 1-0 on a smoky Bonfire evening.
Rokka won and netted the penalty with just five minutes to spare as the North West Counties One side took the Boro to the sword.
Jon Macken’s side will now look forward to the draw to see who they face in the next round.
The first half was a cagey affair with teams trying to feel each other out for an opening. Radcliffe had an early penalty shout when Elliot Rokka went down under a challenge from a Darwen defender, however the referee waved away the appeals from the home team.
Neither team could really find a spark this bonfire night in the first half, with both teams struggling to create an opening.
Boro did eventually manage to carve out a chance. The ball fell to Matthew Crothers, who saw his deflected shot fall into the path of Rokka. The former Tranmere man then took his shot first time however the away keeper James Brindle saved well to deny him at the expense of a corner.
The second half started much like the same, with both teams finding it difficult to break the other down. The Salmoners had there first dangerous opening of the game in the 52nd minute. Ryan Steele drove at the Boro defense and took a shot on from distance, however Ollie Martin was on hand to make the save.
Manager Jon Macken looked to spark his team into life by making a double substitution shortly afterwards. Rhys Moseley came on for his debut and almost made an immediate impact.
Javid Swaby-Neavin dribbled down the left hand side and swung a cross in that found Moseley. He then took a touch and looked to place it past Brindle, however he managed to block the shot well.
Another chance went begging for Boro as they started to exert pressure over there opponents. James Hooper was played in inside the right hand side of the box and looked to finish past the keeper, however he drilled his shot wide.
The breakthrough eventually came in the 85th minute. Sam Billington picked up the loose ball from a corner and fed the ball through to Rokka in the box.
Rokka then looked to take the ball pass Luke Jarrold and was fouled in the process. He stepped up and coolly dispatched of the penalty to give his side the lead.
In the end the penalty was enough to ensure safe passage into the next round and job done for Macken’s men. It was a special evening for four Boro players as Rick Smith surpassed 150 appearances, Ben Wharton hit 250 appearances and Rhys Moseley and Leon Donnelly made their first team debuts.