Before I begin to write about the game, I have to say thank you very much to Radford Assistant Manager Paul Rawden for his donation to APTCOO. Thank you very much to Tony Hay of Gedling MW for his donation to APTCOO. Thank you very much to bloggist supremo "Sticky Palms" Nick Palmer for his donation to APTCOO. Total donations to the charity from our football friends now total over £85.00. I have to add that none of this was expected, and none was asked for -- geniune donations from genuine, caring people. At the end of the season, it is hoped that I can persuade APTCOO to place the list of contributors on their website - fingers crossed.
This was our first ever visit to Selhurst Street, and thanks go to Radford Secretary Simon Matters for inviting us, and for reserving us a space in the car-park right next to the turnstile. The strange thing was that as we pulled up, a very nice gentleman moved the cones allowing Kev to park, but as we had never been to Radford previously, how did he know who we were?
Neil Laughlin and Steve Reading were ensconced in the bar, and had been since 6:30pm apparently!! Mike Hay kindly let me have the teams, and after a few minutes of trying to decipher my scribble, I think this is how the teams lined up:-
Radford: Lycett, Reedman (c), Bonnick, Andrews, Abbis, Guerbaouy, Campbell, Hogg, Attenborough, Gordon, Caulton. Subs : Gray, Catwell, Millar, Wolley, Drake.
Welfare: Cherry, Corrigan, Smith, Hayes, Nightingale (c), Hall, Roberts, Payne, Cox, Brown, Ibrahim. Subs: Greenhalgh, Frost, Westwood, Winfield, Walker (k).
Paul Rawden (centre)
Radford were looking to avoid a 10th straight league defeat, and almost took the lead in the very first minute when Luke Attenborough raced through on goal, only to see his charge halted by Welfare keeper Ross Cherry.
At the other end, Barry Paine saw his 5th minute header well saved by Darren Lycett, and as the ball was played up field, Daniel Hogg won a corner for the home team. Welfare skipper Corey Nightingale headed clear from the set-piece.
The visitors took the lead on 18 when DANNY ROBERTS met a cross from the right with a well placed header that Lycett could only wave bye-bye to as it went past him and into the corner of the net.
Radford were forced into a change soon after with Marlon Catwell replacing Campbell - a rash challenge leaving the youngster lying in a heap on the deck, ensuring he took no further part in proceedings. Gedling replaced a clearly struggling Cox with Greenhalgh - a more than able substitute as it transpired!
The home team continued to take the game to Welfare, but most attacks seemed to falter 20 yards from goal. They didn't lack ideas, but there was no way past the vitiors back line. H-T 0-1
Nick Palmer came and had a word at half-time while Kev was getting the drinks in. Nick is the master of the blog - an inspiration to us all in "blog-world"!! His Groundhopper blog is always a good read...
We relocated to behind the Radford goal for the start of the second half, and were rewarded with two goals! Most unusual for us -- we would normally be the wrong end, trying hard to decide who had scored from over 100 yards away!
As it was, Gedling forced a corner from the restart, and when Luke Smith fied the ball in, it flew straight across the face of the goal, missing everyone - but unfortunately for Radford they had left BEN GREENHALGH on his own at the far stick, and the striker had an easy prod home.
So, Radford two-nil down, but with plenty of time to try and salvage something from the game - until they were undone by a piece of magic from Lian Corrigan on the hour mark. The defender received the ball inside his own half and ran at the Radford back line. And then ran, and ran - then as he was bearing down on goal he unselfishly stroked a superb pass to BEN GREENHALGH who opened his body before curling a beauty left footed past Lycett into the far corner. What a goal - well worth the admission fee!!
Lycett made a cracking finger tip save from Payne on 66, but both Referee and Assistant missed the touch and awarded a goal-kick. No recognition for the save, but I am sure most keepers would settle for the goal-kick any time!
In the 75th minute, Greenhalgh fluffed a great chance to complete his personal triple, but fired wide - unfortunate for the striker as he was carried from the field soon after. Welfare had played all their subs, so finished the game with only 9 outfield players. Even so, Cherry was not unduly troubled by the Radford attack, and the Plains Road outfit went home with all three points. F-T 0-3
The pitch was heavy, but it played really well, and hardly cut up at all. The return fixture is scheduled for Monday, but is in some doubt as the Plains Road pitch is still frozen underneath the surface.
Admission £4 ( same as AFC Hucknall!)
Programme £1.20 -- very good read
MOM Danny Roberts
Tea £0.50 proper mug - coffee £0.60 proper mug - both went down a treat
Saturday - Rainworth MW v Carlton Town, weather permitting!