Graham Street Prims vs Radford 17/11/18 – East Midlands Counties League
By Michael Callander
Radford’s eight-game winning run was halted at the hands of Graham Street Prims; Prims turning a 1-0 deficit around to run out 2-1 victors and move themselves up to 6th place in the East Midlands Counties League.
Due to 3rd-placed Sherwood Colliery also losing to Eastwood Community, the gap for Radford to make up remains six points, but Sherwood still have a game in hand to extend their advantage.
The home side had been inconsistent at The Raygar Sports Ground this season; Radford’s impressive away form going into the game meant few would have put money on Prims getting anything from the promotion-chasing Pheasants.
Set-pieces were the offending area as far as Radford were concerned in this game. Mikey Fitzhugh’s free kick on 37 minutes and a corner headed in by Kial Thurman midway through the second half sealed a Prims victory against a Radford side that started brightly but seemed to lose control of the game as time wore on.
Glenn Russell’s men were in the ascendancy in the early stages, Rav Jackson looking particularly energetic as the Radford front line pressed to win the ball back in the first few minutes.
Good passing play released Eugene Francis on seven minutes, but his cross went over for a goal kick. Kial Thurman tried to improve on Francis’ effort at the other end a minute later but the cross floated over an empty box for a Radford throw which Jake Morris took from the left.
A long Hadlee Dunn goal kick in the 12th minute found Rav Jackson, who turned and fed BEN CLARK; the forward finished calmly down the middle of the goal under Fretwell in the Prims goal. 1-0 Radford.
Radford began looking for a second straight from kick-off, having the lion’s share of possession and chances early on. Simon Hore headed wide from a corner after he jumped well above his man.
Prims couldn’t clear their lines for several minutes as Radford maintained the pressure with corner after corner just missing the target. Another Hore header hit the bar from a Jackson corner, as it seemed Radford had done everything but score a second.
Mikey Fitzhugh skinned Matt Hopewell down the Prims left before squaring to Morrow whose shot was blocked near the penalty spot. Prims took control for about ten minutes in the middle of the first half; only a last-ditch Simon Hore tackle denied a chance for the home side and left Ryan Seale down for a short time.
Immediately from the corner, Radford countered. Rav Jackson used his pace to get clean through but a heavy touch gave the ball to Fretwell who gratefully collected it and relieved the pressure.
The home side got a free kick on the edge of the box on 37 minutes, which MIKEY FITZHUGH took and duly slotted in off the base of the left post for 1-1.
A Radford cross went straight in at the back post immediately after kick-off. Prims could breathe again though soon afterwards as the referee chalked it off for a push on the goalkeeper as the ball came in.
Radford created another chance as Jackson fed Eugene Francis who pulled his shot just wide of the left post; Kevin Morrow missed the target at the other end after the ball bounced up nicely outside the area.
The visitors almost retook the lead on the stroke of half-time, as another Jackson corner found Ryan Smith, whose shot was excellently tipped over by Fretwell.
HT GRAHAM STREET PRIMS 1 – 1 RADFORD
Ryan Smith had two great chances after the restart, the first shot deflecting wide for a corner, the second effort on 50 minutes smashing the bar as it bounced similarly to Morrow’s missed opportunity before the break.
Five minutes later, a quick Ryan Seale throw led to good build-up play but Jordan Lee dragged his shot wide of the right post from an acute angle.
Radford used a break in play from another missed Lee chance to make a change, Tom Black replacing Paul Durham as they pushed to regain the lead.
Hadlee Dunn made a good save at his near post in the 64th minute but the Pheasants were unable to defend the corner that followed. KIAL THURMAN’s header found its way into the net. 2-1 Graham Street Prims.
Prims might have killed the game off straight away but Kev Morrow hit the right post as the target man went one-on-one with Dunn, a great chance he really should have buried.
With 15 minutes to go, the home side began looking to close the game out; no-nonsense defending meant passes went astray for both sides as play became fragmented in the closing stages.
Their hard work was almost undone as Ryan Smith was hauled down on the edge of the box. Ben Clark’s free-kick sailed narrowly over the bar and the Prims regrouped late on in proceedings.
Prims fired wide on 81 minutes after Radford couldn’t clear their lines, similarly to how the home side had struggled when caged in by the Pheasants in the first half. Luckily for them, the shot went wide of Dunn’s goal.
As the clock ticked over to 90 minutes Ryan Smith headed over a great chance for Radford to equalise with only a few minutes of injury time to go. A Prims player was soon booked for a professional foul on Matt Hopewell as he stopped Radford creating another chance with virtually the last kick of the game.
FT GRAHAM STREET PRIMS 2 – 1 RADFORD
(FITZHUGH 37’, THURMAN 64’; CLARK 12’)
Updated 19:20 - 19 Nov 2018 by Radford FC