3.00pm Saturday 11th August 2012
Stainton Park, Pilkington Road, Radcliffe, M26 3PE
|Radcliffe Borough ||1 - 2||FC United of Manchester|
Match ReportFC United continued their pre-season preparations by making the short trip to Radcliffe Borough and coming away with a 2-1 win on Saturday 11 August. With better finishing the victory could and should have been by a much wider margin, but Radcliffe owe a big debt to their goalkeeper Nick Culkin for keeping the score line respectable.
FC had the best of the opening exchanges, forcing a string of corners, with Carlos Roca, Kyle Jacobs and Cedric Krou all combining well in moves which worried the Radcliffe defence. The reds had the lion’s share of possession in the opening 20 minutes and manager Karl Marginson’s only concern would have been that his side hadn’t turned that territorial advantage into goals.
As is so often the case when a team fails to score the opening goal it has threatened, the opposition goes up the other end and gets one themselves. So it proved here, when on 23 minutes a fairly innocuous ball out of the midfield was latched onto by Radcliffe’s Chris McDonagh, who broke into the FC United area only to be felled by the onrushing Jon Worsnop in the FC goal.
The referee had one of the easiest penalty decisions he’ll ever have to make and McDonagh picked himself up off the turf to tuck away the spot kick low to Worsnop’s left. FC’s keeper can count himself lucky as on another day he could have easily been sent off. On this occasion, the referee didn’t even bother with a yellow card preferring to keep the spirit of a day which had begun with a range of fun-day activities which attracted children and parents to Radcliffe’s ground in equal measure. Those activities included over-40s games in which FC board member Paul ’the cat’ Farrell distinguished himself between the sticks and a series of children’s games which entertained the crown before the start of the main match.
The home side’s opener seemed to further rouse FC and the reds should have drawn level on 31 minutes when Lee Neville rounded the keeper but shot wide with the goal at his mercy. Further chances before the break also went begging, as first Adam Jones headed over the bar then Carlos Roca missed the target, firing wide of Culkin’s right hand post after being fed in by Cedric Krou.
Just before the interval there was also time for United striker Kris Amadi to hit a left foot shot wide when on another day he should have hit the target, so the teams went in for the break with the home side, somewhat fortuitously, a goal up from their only real chance. Despite having the majority of possession and a string of chances, FC weren’t able to finish, something Margy would undoubtedly dwell on over the half time interval.
The second half followed the same pattern as the first with more FC possession and chances galore. On the hour, Radcliffe keeper Nick Culkin showed the form that has seen him enjoy a league career with clubs such as QPR, Manchester United, Bristol Rovers, Hull City and Livingston. His double save from United’s excellent Daniel Grimshaw was worth the admission money on its own, as the veteran stopper twice dived to his left to foil United’s number 11. Grimshaw was an increasingly influential figure in United’s play on the day and although he probably should have scored, Culkin’s save was out of the top drawer and certainly impressed the travelling United fans who had a grandstand view of his work behind the goal.
Two minutes later however, Culkin was powerless to prevent United getting a deserved equaliser. Stephen Johnson was the architect of the goal with a run and cross from the right wing which found Kris Amadi at the far post and the big United striker slotted in the leveller to make it 1-1.
On 66 minutes, Amadi had another chance to give United the lead but he shot wide after fine work from substitute Jerome Wright provided the opening. Five minutes later Amadi shot over the bar when in space and Margy took that as his cue to shuffle the pack, bringing on Rhodri Giggs, Mike Norton and Dave Birch from the bench to liven things up a bit. On 77 minutes, Grimshaw forced another brilliant save from Culkin, who was clearly enjoying himself between the sticks - enjoyment enhanced no doubt by the good natured banter the Yorkshireman was having with United fans behind his goal.
A minute later though, United did take the lead which they had been threatening for the majority of the game. Mike Norton headed on a ball into the box and with substitute Matty Wolfenden threatening, Radcliffe’s Tom Brooks could only head the ball into his own goal past a stranded Culkin to make it 2-1 to United.
The lead was the least that the reds deserved on a day when, with more clinical finishing and without an opposition goalkeeper on the top of his game, Margy’s men could have racked up five or six goals. As it was, the game finished 2-1 to FC United and although Margy will be concerned about his side not making the most of their chances, he will surely draw comfort from the fact that they created so many that on another day would have led to a more convincing win.
United Man of the Match: Daniel Grimshaw - at the heart of much of FC’s play and unlucky to be thwarted by an opposition keeper at the top of his game.
Special mention to Radcliffe keeper Nick Culkin for an excellent performance and great banter with FC’s travelling fans.
Report by Andy Walker.
Radcliffe Borough v FC United of Manchester
11 August 2012
Played at Stainton Park, Radcliffe
Half Time: 1-0
1. Jon Worsnop
2. Kyle Jacobs (capt)
3. Lee Neville
4. Scott Cheetham
5. Adam Jones
6. Dean Stott
7. Carlos Roca
8. Cedric Krou
9. Kris Amadi
10. Stephen Johnson
11. Daniel Grimshaw
12. Dave Birch (for 10 74)
13. Josh Broadbent
14. Mike Norton (for 9 74)
15. Jake Cottrell (for 3 46)
16. Jerome Wright (for 7 59)
17. Kial Callacher (for 5 46)
18. Rhodri Giggs (for 4 74)
19. Matty Wolfenden (for 8 59)
Scorers: Amadi 63, Brooks (own goal) 79
1. Nick Culkin (capt)
2. Alistair Brown
3. Alex Mortimer
4. Martin Parker
5. Shaun Connor
6. Steve Crane
7. Matthew Chadwick
8. Richard Battersby
9. Ben Wharton
10. Chris McDonagh
11. Tom Brooks
12. Calvin Crooks (for 7 34)
14. Danny Hudson (for 9 59)
15. Danny Shaw (for 5 46)
16. Laquine Esdaille (for 6 59)
Goals: McDonagh 23 pen