Sat 13
First Team
Stapleford Town Reserves
NSL Div 1: Radcliffe Olympic v Stapleford Town Res - 13/11/21

NSL Div 1: Radcliffe Olympic v Stapleford Town Res - 13/11/21

By Brendan Richardson
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Radcliffe made to work hard to maintain unbeaten run.

Nottinghamshire Senior League – Division 1
Wharf Lane – 13/11/2021

Radcliffe Olympic 4 Stapleford Town Reserves 1

Radcliffe returned to the Rec. to face Stapleford Town Reserves, a team languishing near the bottom of the table without a league win this season. On paper it looked like an easy fixture but the well organised visitors played some good football in the first half and fully deserved to go into the half time break on level terms.

Radcliffe were slow off the mark which encouraged Stapleford to warm into the game with an evenly matched first half. Stapleford were looking for the ball in behind whilst Radcliffe had a couple of opportunities with Ed Smyth excelling down the wing and beating his man. Approaching half time Radcliffe started to get the ball out wide and create some dangerous crosses into the box which led to the opening goal. Ben Castell met a Will Rainford cross to deftly place his backward header into the bottom corner. The lead was short lived, for as they say you are most vulnerable to concede when you’ve just scored and that’s exactly what happened. Stapleford broke down the wing to deliver a cross where Rory Green got between the Radcliffe defenders to stab the ball past the advancing Harvey Woodward, the home keeper into the net. There was a controversial decision by the referee in the lead up to the goal but it was allowed to stand.

Half Time: Radcliffe Olympic 1 Stapleford Town Reserves 1

After the break Radcliffe upped the tempo and changed the system to go 4-4-2 with Christian Montezola and James Chiu coming off the bench. The changes enabled Radcliffe to hold the ball up and provide more of a threat with extra bodies in the box when they delivered crosses. Radcliffe regained the lead 60 minutes when Jack Newton, the visiting keeper was unable to hold onto a high cross and fell to the floor following a Radcliffe challenge. Montezola following up ensured the ball was put in the back of net to make it 2-1 to Radcliffe. Once again this was a controversial decision by the referee as Stapleford thought their keeper had been fouled. This seemed to balance the game out with both teams fortunate with a critical controversial decisions going their way.

Following the second goal Radcliffe gained greater control of the game with the midfield duo of Castell and Levack linking up well with wingers McLean and Smyth to create more chances into the box. Radcliffe were rewarded on 70 minutes when McLean whipped a cross into the box which was met by Chiu who rose like a salmon to send his cushioned header high into the net for the third goal. Stapleford tried to up the tempo but Matt Blaze and Gary Watson controlled anything they tried to knock long over the top. Watson made it four for Radcliffe to complete the scoring when he met Matt Gamble’s deep corner to send his looping header over Newton into the net.

Full Time: Radcliffe Olympic 4 Stapleford Town Reserves 1

After a forgettable first half in which Radcliffe were not at their best, they changed their shape and upped their game after the break to maintain their unbeaten league run and earn a another well deserved 3 points to maintain their 5 point lead at the top of the table. Radcliffe are at home this Saturday (20th Nov) when they face Rushcliffe in the Notts FA Senior Trophy K.O. 1.00 pm.

Radcliffe Olympic: Harvey Woodward, Liam Norris, Matt Gamble, Gary Watson, Matt Blaze, Andrew Mclean, Will Rainford, Oli Burrows, Ben Castell, Nick Levack, Ed Smyth.

Subs: Kieran Humphreys, Christian Montezola, James Chiu.

Referee: Lewis Quayle

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Match details

Match date

Sat 13, Nov 2021




NSL Division One

League position

Radcliffe Olympic
Stapleford Town Reserves