3 – 1
- Five-game NPL spell ends in defeat
- Magpies create loads of chances
- Lewis Reilly scores his third of pre-season
Words: Alex Birch; Pictures: Stefan Willoughby
THE Magpies dropped their latest pre-season outing at Radcliffe as the 2020/21 season moved within three weeks of the off.
Despite enjoying plenty of possession and creating a lot of good chances, Jamie Vermiglio’s side were unable to punish their Northern Premier League hosts.
The first half was only seven minutes old when Kole Hall riffled a half volley past Matt Urwin from close range to give the hosts a perfect start.
Boro threatened to takeover completely during the opening 15 minutes, before Chorley pegged them back and began creating numerous opportunities. Sean Miller had the first sight of Cam Belford’s goal, but the former Magpie stopper was equal to his effort. Lewis Reilly had a header saved, Mike Calveley and Andy Halls shot over and Elliot Newby fired just wide, as the pressure mounted on the home goal.
The beginning of the second half followed a similar pattern, with Calveley given the best chance to equalise, only for his effort to fly over Belford’s bar from 10 yards. Ollie Shenton was a whisker away from a Newby cross moments later, and trialist Mark Yeates forced Belford into a stunning save, before Radcliffe hit with a sucker punch.
Hall scampered clear on the break and although Harvey Smith’s tackle won the ball, it fell loose to Luca Navarro who beat Urwin from close in.
Reilly reduced the deficit when heading home with 10 minutes remaining, despite the protests of the Boro players over a foul on Belford, but it was a mere consolation as Navarro finished the match with a delightful curling effort in the final minute.
Radcliffe: Belford; Hellawell, Bilounga, Morrison, Shiels, Fikula, Lenighan, Royle, Hall, Akpa-Akpro, Crothers (c). Subs: Navarro, McKnight, Cummings, Oldham, Owens.
Chorley: Urwin; Birch, Baines, Halls, Leather (c), Smith, Shenton, Calveley (Malakai, 78′), Reilly, Miller (Yeates, 56′), Newby. Subs not used: Dutton, Moran, Awe.
Next up: We’ve got a week off matches as we concentrate on training with just three weeks to wait until the big FA Cup kick-off.