CAMMELL Laird FC collected their first three points in the league since September 1 after a fine display away against Radcliffe Borough at Stainton Park.
As early as the first minute, Laird’s goalkeeper was called into action, saving low at his near post from Griff Jones following Mike Grogan’s error. As the early stages of the first half progressed, so too did Lairds dominance on the pitch, Danny O’Brien going close with a shot from distance forcing the goalkeeper Culkin to parry, the loose ball did fall to Joe Feeney, but as he prepared to lash home, the assistants flag was raised as he and Aaron Bowen were both offside.
Laird’s broke the deadlock on the 11th minute, with Danny O’Brien using his craft to beat two men on the half way line, before delivering a ball in to the Borough penalty area, met by the head of Radcliffe defender Brooks, the clearance was picked up by Jamie Henders who took one touch to control and another to side foot the ball past former Manchester United goalkeeper Nick Culkin with the aid of the left upright.
Laird continued their dominance, just three minutes after the goal, Jamie Henders held the ball up brilliantly on the left before it ended up at the feet of Danny O’Brien whose shot went just wide of the static Nick Culkin’s right hand post.
However the former United goalkeeper was anything but static in the 25th minute when his brilliant low save denied Joe Gibiluru a goal and the Lairds midfielder had to settle for a corner.
Just on the half hour mark, one man’s misfortune became one man’s joy, as Joe Feeney picked up a calf injury and was replaced by new signing Joseph Holt, and within just three minutes of Holt taking the field he was on the score sheet, a move down the left hand side for Laird saw Danny O’Brien hit a 40 yard diagonal pass that was controlled by Holt on his chest, that was enough to beat Borough full back Crook and left the new Laird’s man with what seemed all the time in the world to slot home past the Radcliffe goalkeeper for a deserved two goal lead.
Just four minutes before the interval, Radcliffe Borough were reduced to ten men after the erratic full back Crook was given a second yellow card following a foul on substitute Holt.
Crook could have easily been sent off prior to this, having received a yellow card earlier in the game for a rash challenge on Steve Ferrigan that could easily have been red.
On the hour mark, Laird’s scored a third and with that wrapped the game up, a long punt up field by goalkeeper Kevin Atherton was chested forward by Holt towards John Couch and a hesitation between Couch and Borough defender Conner allowed Joseph Holt to continue on through and round the goalkeeper and slip the ball in from a narrow angle for 3-0.
Four minutes later Joe Holt could have rounded of a brilliant debut with a hat-trick, a move down the right hand side after breaking from a Radcliffe corner saw Jamie Henders set up Holt from the edge of the box, but his final effort was sent flying over the cross bar.
After that, Laird’s saw the game out with professionalism, dictating the play with some good possession and moving the ball around quick and continued to cause the 10 men problems. After the game manager Tony Sullivan was delighted with the performance saying: “We were very, very good in all departments.
“We will cause problems for teams when we play and move the ball the way we have today”.
A great win for Cammell Laird and they now must emulate that this week at high flying Farsley.
l Radcliffe Borough: Culkin, Battersby, Crook, Shaw, Conner, Brooks, Cardon, Jones (M), Wharton, Jones (G), Hefferman.
l Cammell Laird: Atherton (K), Ferrigan, Dysart, Grogan, O’Brien, Atherton (L), Couch, Bowen, Feeney, Gibiluru, Henders.