Nottinghamshire Senior League – Division 1
Eastwood C.F.C. Ground – 31/10/2020
Olympic halt unbeaten leaders winning run
FC Sez 1 Radcliffe Olympic 1
After three consecutive home matches, Radcliffe travelled to the 3G ground of Eastwood C.F.C. to face league leaders FC Sez who went into the game having won all 7 of their previous matches. Radcliffe lost the home encounter against Sez earlier in the month after conceding two late goals and were looking to improve on that result. They put in an outstanding performance to halt the leaders unbeaten run, with the match finishing in a well deserved, hard fought 1-1 draw.
With a few changes made from last week’s 6-0 thrashing over Radford, Wes Spencer came back in for Tyler Evans, who moved out to left back; Matt Stevenson returned to the starting 11, with Liam Norris back in the squad after a few weeks on the side line through injury.
Both teams looked very sharp but it was Radcliffe who looked the better side from the off as the home team thought it would be an easy day at the office after claiming all 3 points at the reverse fixture.
Radcliffe won an early corner after 3 minutes which was well struck by Gamble, finding its way into the top right corner, giving Radcliffe an early, but well deserved lead. The home side started to get into the game after 20 minutes, creating a few chances but Radcliffe’s ever present Number One, Harvey Woodward, made light work of all threats giving the back four much comfort in the early stages.
As the first half went on, the home side took control of the game and levelled the score. McElroy’s strike hit the post with the ball rebounding to his feet, allowing him to force the ball in the net.
Radcliffe seemed off the pace towards the end of the first half but saw it out to remain level at the break.
Half Time: FC Sez 1 Radcliffe Olympic 1
After a change in tactics, and the home side looking to take all 3 points, it was a backs against the wall performance from Radcliffe who put everything on the line to keep the home side at bay.
The ball landed at a home side strikers feet who struck the ball, sending it crashing against the crossbar, bouncing on the line and being cleared away from danger. After being watched several times by VAR, it was clear to see that the ball did not cross the line!!
Shortly after, Woodward was called into action again as McElroy struck the ball destined for the top right corner, but was denied by a strong hand again. Another outstanding save which brought deserved applause from everyone inside the ground.
Radcliffe threatened on the counter; Evans showed boundless energy as he carried the ball numerous times from his own area. He ran the full length of the pitch, crossing the ball but no one was unable to get on the end of it to make it into a perfect counter attack.
Hegarty was an ever present in the middle of the park, picking the ball up and easing past anyone that got in his way driving forward through the opposition, causing problems time and time again.
As the second half drew to an end, the home side tried their all to get the 3 points, but from every corner or cross came a defiant clearance from the resolute Radcliffe defence. Kieran Humphreys, Liam Norris and Rhys Trussler came on to replace tired legs and join the battle to keep the hosts at bay.
The final moment of the game came from a dangerous free kick from FC Sez, which was dealt with by Cairns, who headed it clear from danger, giving a sigh of relief for the away bench.
Full Time: FC Sez 1 Radcliffe Olympic 1
Man of the Match was given to Joe Hegarty, who showed drive and determination throughout, but a special mention to Harvey Woodward in goal for an outstanding performance, which was without a doubt his best performance of the season.
A well contested game which was played in good spirits, in an end to end match which emphasised the importance of defence and organisation in a squad. A much deserved point for Radcliffe who not only ended the winning run of FC Sez but extended their own unbeaten run to four matches.
Radcliffe Olympic: Harvey Woodward, Andrew Mclean, Tyler Evans, Jack Cairns, Wes Spencer, Nick Levack, Matt Stevenson, Joe Hegarty, Ethan Hunter, Ben Norris, Matt Gamble.
Subs: Kieran Humphreys, Miki Moussa, Rhys Trussler, Liam Norris.
FC Sez: Maxwell, Orange, Wholey, Knight, Deabill, Chapman, Edwards, Knight, Smith, Thurgood, McElroy.
Subs: Eshelby, Fedrici, Rowbottom.
Referee: Dave Viles
Report: Jack Cairns