Nottinghamshire Senior League – Division 1
Melbourne Park, Aspley – 6/11/2021
Pythian 1 Radcliffe Olympic 7
After a solid performance the previous week in which Radcliffe defeated West Bridgford AFC 2- 0 at home with goals from Christian Montezola and Nick Levack, the league leaders travelled to Melbourne Park to face community team Pythian.
Radcliffe dominated the early stages of the game, seeing a lot of the ball before taking the lead in the 21st minute after Oli Burrows shot home from a six yard following a goalmouth scramble. Almost directly from kick off Radcliffe gained possession and worked the ball down the left wing before the ball was crossed for a completely unmarked Ben Castell in the middle of the penalty area. With no pressure on the ball, Castell’s shot hit the keeper, fortunately the deflected ball bounced off the Pythian goalkeeper and straight to the feet of Castell, who this time took a sweet strike with his left peg from 4 yards out to put Radcliffe two nil up.
Radcliffe continued to dominate the first half with Moussa going close several times in the opening stages before eventually converting from the edge of the box in the 33rd minute to put Radcliffe three nil up. The score quickly became 4-0 on 39 minutes after Andrew MacLean capitalised on a misplaced pass and dribbled through three of the Pythian defenders before slotting the ball past the advancing keeper into the net. Radcliffe went into the interval 4-0 ahead after a dominating performance, which really should have been more.
Half Time: Pythian 0 Radcliffe Olympic 4
The second half continued in much the same way with Radcliffe dominating the play. Things went from bad to worse for Pythian when they were reduced to ten men after one of their players limped off injured and they had no subs to replace the injured player. Radcliffe continued to control the game and extended their lead on 53 minutes after Burrows again turned the ball home from close range.
On 63 minutes Castell struck a shot from the edge of the box which rattled the cross bar. As he turned away and walked back towards the halfway line with his head in his hands, the ball fell from the sky, hit the ground, bounced off the crossbar once more and into the back of the net for a truly freak goal.
Will Rainford, Kieran Humphreys and Ethan Hunter came off the bench and it was Rainford who capped it off with a seventh goal in the seventieth minute, guiding the ball home from the edge of the box. In the last ten minutes Radcliffe were also reduced to ten men after Jake Morris limped off, after Radcliffe had used all of their substitutions. This led to the game becoming stretched and Pythian seeing more of the ball. With ten minutes remaining a hopeful shot from Pythian midfielder Dion Parkinson was caught in the wind, evading Woodward the Radcliffe keeper and dropping into the net to deprive them of a deserved clean sheet.
Full Time: Pythian 1 Radcliffe Olympic 7
Overall Radcliffe ran out comfortable winners but will be disappointed not to have scored more and kept a clean sheet. They will need to be more clinical going forward, however another good 3 points on the board away from home, extending their unbeaten run in the league to double figures. They maintain their five point lead from the chasing pack at the top of the table. Radcliffe are at home this Saturday (13th Nov) when they face Stapleford Town Reserves K.O. 3.00 pm.
Radcliffe Olympic: Harvey Woodward, Liam Norris, Jake Morris, Gary Watson, Matt Blaze, Ben Castell, Nick Levack, Miki Moussa, Andy McLean, Ollie Burrows, Ed Smyth.
Subs: Will Rainford, Kieran Humphreys, Ethan Hunter, Matt Gamble.
Referee: Zach Cunningham