Boro lose out to Radcliffe

Boro’s dismal run continued as they crashed to a 2-1 defeat at Radcliffe Borough.

After taking the lead through Nathan Peat’s first half penalty, Boro could not hold on in the second half as after a superb free-kick from Matt Davies levelled things up, Radcliffe took the lead through captain Rick Smith and never looked back.

Bryan Hughes and Paul Foot included two debutants on Saturday with the addition of winger Fernando Moke from Droylsden and goalkeeper Jody Barford from Cleethorpes Town, with players going straight into the starting line-up.

Boro began brightly and after several near misses they took the lead after 21 minutes. Steve Mallory latched onto a rushed clearance and cut into the area from the right before he was pushed to the ground to earn his side a penalty. Skipper Nathan Peat took responsibility to hammer the spot-kick into the top corner.

The goal lifted Boro and they continued to pressure the Radcliffe defence through the middle with Tom Corner and Ryan Blott linking up well to win possession high up the field and new signing Moke using the wide areas effectively. 

Playing down the slope, chances were created for Ryan Blott, with the striker narrowly missing the target, quickly followed by Moke forcing a great reaction save from Radcliffe keeper Cheetham.

Tom Corner was denied by the legs of Cheetham after breaking clear as several balls across the box did not find the intended target.

After an encouraging first half, Boro fans were confident of claiming the three points, however Radcliffe had other ideas.

Shortly after the restart Tom Corner was just inches away from a Steve Mallory centre at the back post, and shortly afterwards the scores were level when Matt Davies curled in an unstoppable free-kick that nestled right in the top corner, giving Barford no chance.

With the next goal crucial, Gary Bradshaw and Alex Peterson were brought on to give Boro fresh legs and a different threat upfront. The tide had now turned though, with Radcliffe using the slope to their advantage. The home side forced a succession of corners, with both Joel Dixon and Caine Winfarrah forced to clear goal-bound efforts  to keep things level. 

As time ticked away the game became stretched with both sides streaming forward in search of a second goal to edge in front.

On 77 minutes disaster struck for Boro as a corner was headed across Barford and into the bottom corner by Radcliffe skipper Rick Smith to give the home side the lead.

Boro now had to go for broke, throwing on Ben Hirst up front. Moke should have levelled in the closing stages as the ball fell invitingly to him ten yards out, but in an effort that summed up Boro’s second half, the new signing blazed over.

Scarborough were left to rue missed opportunities in the first half to make the game safe, and as soon as Radcliffe levelled they were revitalised as Boro heads dropped. The first-half performance shows that there is still a fight and determination to get things back on track, starting with the home game on Tuesday night against Harrogate Railway.

Boro: Barford, Robson, Winfarrah, Qualter, Peat (c), Dixon (Hirst), Mallory, Davidson, Corner (Peterson), Blott, (Bradshaw) Moke. Unused subs: Zand, Assenso

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