It was Radcliffe’s first league game of the season and I had done a match preview here at the Football Manc Cave before it took place.
The line up I predicted wasn’t too different to the starting eleven that came out to face the first home game this season.
In my match preview, I stated that some of the Radcliffe players needed to calm a little and stay away from red cards going forward. Both the friendlies I saw them in saw little fights or arguments with the referees.
Inside the first ten minutes of the game, there were chances for both sides, however nothing enough to take any goals from their efforts. At the ten minute mark, Nathan Lowe received a yellow card for a late challenge on Kingsley Williams. After this, South Shields got a chance that was cleared by Boro’.
20 minutes in and just as both teams looked to be settling into the game, Harry Winter ended up getting booked for a silly challenge. This led to a very competitive period of football. The first half an hour of the game was tight.
34 minutes went by and this time, it wasn’t a Boro’ player seeing red, it was Jason Gilchrist of South Shields. There was an altercation in midfield which led to this. It was nice to see the Boro players not be on the receiving end of a disciplinary for once.
Danny Mitchley and Ben Wharton played ok, the fact that they were playing against 10 men and put some good work in together. They went for goal but unfortunately, it went just wide.
At half time, it was still 0-0. A competitive first half that got a little heated. The interval came at the right time allowing both teams to cool down and compose themselves.
The second half got underway and there were some clear chances from Radcliffe. A corner won by Danny Mitchley saw Rick Smith, Ben Wharton and Scott Metcalfe’s efforts fall short. Unfortunately for the Boro’, at the 51-minute mark, Robert Briggs of South Shields hit the ball into the top corner to put them up 1-0.
This was very disappointing as Boro’ had done brilliantly to stay in the game. Things got too much for the lads as 70 minutes in, Harry Winter was given his second yellow card and sent off for another silly challenge. This was the attitude I talked about in my match preview.
There were five minutes added on at the end of the second half and to be honest, South Shields should have been 2-0 up. It was a disappointing first game for the Boro’, although only a 1-0 loss isn’t as bad as what it could and probably should have been. They look promising for the rest of the season, however, and if they can refrain from red cards, they should be able to improve.