Radcliffe were knocked out of the FA Trophy at the qualifying stage after FC United of Manchester scored a goal in each half. The home team finished with 9 men following two harsh looking sendings off. A penalty from Tunde Owolabi in the first half and a late second half goal from Regan Linney saw FC United through to the next round.
FC United of Manchester looked to take control of the tie in the early exchanges of the match. Following a late tackle on the edge of the box, Luke Griffiths looked to test Ollie Martin from the resulting free kick. Martin however , was more than equal to the shot and turned it behind for a corner. The reds had another chance shortly afterwards, following another free kick, the ball dropped to Buckley who saw his volley come crashing back off the crossbar. The ball was then recycled to Chris Doyle however Martin managed to save brilliantly to deny Doyle.
The opening goal of the game came in the 25th minute. A long ball played forward saw the reds advance inside the box, Rick Smith then made a last ditch tackle but just mistimed it. The referee then pointed to the spot. Owolabi stepped up and cooly slotted the ball past Martin to score against his former team.
Things went from bad to worse shortly after the goal for Boro. In the 29th minute Danny Mitchley was shown a red card by referee David Croft. Mitchley and Doyle jostled for a high ball in the centre of the park and Mitchley was adjudged to have used his elbow when trying to win possession back for his team.
Despite being a man down, Boro looked to battle there way back into the game and had two golden chances before the interval. First, Tyrese Sinclair took on a free kick from distance, he saw his shot spilt by Cameron Belford in goal for the visitors, however Harry Winter couldn’t quite find the back of the net and flashed his shot wide. Shortly after, a quick one two from Scott Metcalfe and Sinclair down the left saw Metcalfe pull the ball back to Sinclair, but Sinclair dragged his shot wide.
With the half time break it gave the home team a chance to regroup, however a nightmare evening almost got worse almost immedietly as the referee pointed to the spot again. Owolabi sprung into the box and Swaby-Neavin had little choice but to try and make a tackle, fouling Owolabi in the process. Owolabi stepped up to double his tally on the evening, however Martin was on hand to ensure he wouldn’t be beaten twice by Owolabi this evening and managed to make a great save to keep the score 1-0.
Just as things looked like they couldn’t get worse for Boro they were reduced to 9 men. Metcalfe was given his marching orders as he was adjudged to have gone into a 50/50 tackle high. A decision that angered the home team as it looked like a genuine attempt to play the ball from Metcalfe.
Despite the two man disadvantage the home team battled well throughout the second half. The defence in particular all really putting there bodies on the line and repelling anything FC United threw at them. Boro had a huge shout for a penalty themselves when second half substitute Ben Wharton went down under a clumsy tackle in the away teams box, however the referee waved away the protests. 4
FC United eventually found there way through a resilient Boro defence in the 85th minute. The away team took a free kick quickly and passed it through to Regan Linney, he then slotted past Martin in goal. The Boro players felt that this was unfair however, as the referee had not given them enough time to regroup into a defensive shape.
A bad day at the office in the end for Boro who will be glad to see the back of this game. The team will look to dust themselves off and look forward to a return to league action this weekend when they take on Stalybridge Celtic.