Saturday, 20 October 2012

Radford 3-1 Ibstock United EMCL

It was down as a six pointer between two of the bottom three sides in the East Midlands Counties League. Radford had lost seven players from the first team squad in the last few weeks and were down to the bare bones and Ibstock were bottom without a league win all season. The visitors started brightly as Radfords new look defence were caught on the hop twice in the first five minutes. Radford  were lucky when poor finishing let down Ibstock. It then became a scrappy game being played out in midfield. But Radford began a period of presssure on the half hour and Richard Derby set up Matt Eastwood just outside the Ibstock 18 yard area but a low drive went a foot wide of an upright.

Eastwood was foiled a minute later when the Ibstock keeper pulled off an excellent close range save and from the resulting corner Eastwood shot wide of the goal. Adam Mahl came close to scoring for Radford on 35 minutes when he was on the end of a Jarred Russell corner. Against the run of play Ibstock took the lead. Ibstock attacked wide on the left, the ball was crossed into the Radford area and a shot was fired towards goal which was saved by Martins Apenitis, the ball rebounded out to Jamie Chamberlain who made no mistake from 12 yards out.

There was not much action in the first twenty minutes of the second half until an hopeful pump upfield into the Ibstock area saw a mix-up between the keeper and a defender, Matt Eastwood took advantage to win the ball and equalise for Radford. Five minutes later Adam Mahl rose highest for a corner but saw his goalbound header tipped over the bar by the Ibstock keeper. Radford took the lead in the 75th minute when a good move involving Michael Allen & Richard Derby allowed Stuart Marshall time to run on to a through ball and beat the keeper from 15 yards. Radford nearly increased their lead in the 81st minute after Eastwood had rounded the keeper only to see his shot go wide. Martins Apenitis pulled off a great reaction save to deny Ibstock an equaliser, and when the ball was played upfield Michael Allen supplied Richard Derby with a pinpoint pass, the striker collected the ball and made no mistake from 15 yards to clinch victory for Radford  and a valuable three points.

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