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Notts FA Senior Trophy Round One: Radcliffe Olympic v Rushcliffe - 20/11/21

Notts FA Senior Trophy Round One: Radcliffe Olympic v Rushcliffe - 20/11/21

By Brendan Richardson
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Radcliffe battle through into the next round.

Nottinghamshire Senior Trophy Round One
Wharf Lane – 20/11/2021

Radcliffe Olympic 3 Rushcliffe 2

Radcliffe hosted Rushcliffe in the Notts Senior Cup with an early kick off. It was preceded with a minutes silence on the anniversary of the death of Daniel Hegarty a former Olympic player and brother of Olympic manager Joe Hegarty.

The game kicked off with Radcliffe starting well, creating a couple of chances that should have been finished off. Ed Smyth linking well with Jake Morris down the left side provided a cross which Ben Castell met to head narrowly wide. Radcliffe came close again when McLean broke down the right and his cross was met by Bassey Okon who couldn’t find a clean connection and diverted it just wide.

After the first ten minutes Radcliffe seemed slightly deflated from not being in front allowing Rushcliffe to grow into the game forcing Radcliffe to sit deep. Credit to Rushcliffe as they seemed the hungrier team for the remainder of the half winning the first and second balls, however it was Radcliffe who managed to take the lead with 43 mins gone. Castell found the gap to Smyth who passed inside to Okon who managed to create an angle for himself and slot it into the bottom right corner to give Radcliffe a fortunate 1-0 lead at the break.

Half Time: Radcliffe Olympic 1 Rushcliffe 0

Second half Radcliffe seemed to find a bit more bite and the midfield started to get the ball out wide quicker and they were rewarded with a second goal on 50 minutes. Nick Levack passed down the line to Smyth who hit a cross/shot across the goal, catching the keeper off his line and sailing into the net.

Radcliffe then utilised their strong bench bringing on all 3 subs, Miki Moussa, James Chui and Kieran Humphreys. With 35 mins left in the game it was thought the 2-0 advantage would have been enough, however Rushcliffe kept going and hit back immediately scoring two goals in as many minutes. On 53 minutes some sloppy Radcliffe defending allowed Jason Hodson to steer the ball home from a cross out wide. This gave Rushcliffe complete momentum and they managed to grab an equaliser just two minutes later when the Radcliffe back line misjudged another cross allowing a totally unmarked Hodson head the ball home from close range.

As expected, Radcliffe faced a tough battle to get back into the game, but as they have done all season, they showed character when it got tough and proved why they’ve been so hard to beat. They gradually showed more confidence and upped their work rate which lead to Moussa, Okon and Castell all going close before going ahead again on 83 minutes. Radcliffe surged down the left before the ball was played across the area to be met by Liam Norris who stormed in and from 15-20 yards out saw his shot rocket against the underside of the bar before bouncing down over the line. Just like that famous match in 1966 the opposition gathered around the referee to hotly dispute the decision, but after he consulted with the linesman, who happened to be a Rushcliffe official and was able to confirm the ball had crossed the line the goal stood.

Radcliffe managed the remainder of to hold onto their 3-2 lead to see them through to the next round of the cup.

Full Time: Radcliffe Olympic 3 Rushcliffe 2

Radcliffe Olympic: Harvey Woodward, Liam Norris, Jake Morris, Gary Watson, Oli Burrows, Andrew Mclean, Matt Gamble, Ben Castell, Bassey Okon, Nick Levack, Ed Smyth.

Subs: Kieran Humphreys, Miki Moussa James Chiu, Rhys Trussler.

Referee: Andrew Sargent

This coming Saturday (27th Nov) Radcliffe face Meden Vale Colts away a team they beat 8-2 earlier in the season. However, a much tougher game is expected this time as they have put in a number of impressive performances to take points off some of the more fancied teams in the league since.

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Match date

Sat 20, Nov 2021