Another away game and this week was against one of our top rivals radcliffe aces at close park. This contest is always entertaining with some of the best football to be witnessed in the north bury league. This fixture would see an absent super keeper thomas who was away on holiday. Captain benji stepped up to put on the keeper jersey. The game kicked off and within seconds harry had gone straight through the middle and slotted it past the keeper, a brilliant individual effort that caught the radcliffe lads snoozing. A minute later through some great passing football dylan found himself in space and let a great shot go just wide of the target. The roach lads were looking good and hungry but could they maintain this throughout? 30 seconds later harry found himself free again forcing a brilliant save from the radcliffe keeper. Radcliffe have some brilliant side and continued to play the ball out from the back how the game should be played but the roach lads continued to press high and fast winning back possession quickly. Outstanding player sam was dictating play well from the centre of the park slotting harry through again who was causing the radcliffe lads no end of headaches leaving them no choice but to bring him down we belived outside of the area but the referee pointed to the spot. Penalty. This time he gave the keeper no chance and finishing with class. Radcliffe battled hard and found themselves working back in to the roach half. Unfortunately by pushing up it left some space for the roach lads to exploit and big sam who hasnt failed to hit the back of the net all season struck a sweet shot resulting in a sublime goal. The radcliffe team were not about to get any respite with the introduction of oli who is as lethal a finisher as aguero as well as giving the opposing team a job if chasing his shadow...a rare talent. New signing is having a good run of form finding himself in space and letting loose a hard shot just wide of the mark. Radcliffe found themselves putting some good pressure on roach and the pressure told giving away a free kick in a dangerous position. We have been punished many times in the past by radcliffe who are clinical with free kicks and set pieces. The free kick came and was blocked but the danger was not over and the radcliffe boys continued to push. Roach won back possession and carried the ball forward with dylan and sam having some great shots forcing great saves from the radcliffe keeper. It was nice seeing ex player jody finn playing football again even if it was for the other team. Radcliffes number 10 has always been a threat and as we were approaching half time he reminded us why with a thunderbolt strike and if it hadnt been for a breathtaking save the radcliffe lads would have been back in the game. The roach lads knew then they could not be complacent here. The roach lads pushed forward again leaving oli to finish but the ball just pushed wide. Kayden and shaquil were back at their best showing great confidence on the ball and passing the ball around well as well as shutting down the attackers quickly. Half time. A keeper swap of benji for nick at half time who was keen to step between the posts and with some further role changes the second half was under way. It began the same as the first half with roach controlling possession something benji does in such an effortless way, a player beyond his years and within 30 seconds he found himself releasing a superb shot again testing the Radcliffe keeper and forcing the save. One and a half minutes later and oli was again making a menace for the other team shooting but again the shot was wide. The pressure couldnt be stopped for long with harry trying a number 10 role and slotting oli through on goal but this time there was no stopping him and the ball hit the back of the net. For the following 5 minutes the radcliffe lads pushed forward well but it was the roach lads getting the cleaner opportunities on the break with oli and sam forcing saves and just putting shots wide. Harry was never far away from hurting the radcliffe boys having some shots of his own and on 19 minutes his outstanding performance was rewarding with sam delivering an expert ball to him for him to convert for his hat trick! The radcliffe lads never gave up and substitute keeper nick showed a talent as a goalkeeper which he enjoyed thoroughly almost as much as we enjoy watching him. The performance can only be described as confident with lots of chances not converted in the main due to the radcliffe goalkeeper who for us was the man of the match with some outstanding saves. The result is no reflection on the talent of the radcliffe lads who are going through a restructure at present and should never be underestimated. A great game by both teams. Still an unbeaten roach team.
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