I thoroughly expected Tuesday night down at Dimple Wells to be a good one for the town of Ossett as a whole. Albion were playing Radcliffe Borough, a team fifteen places below them in the league. Three points a certainty, I thought, and into the bargain Albion would be doing a huge favour to their beloved neighbours, Ossett Town, by defeating one of Town’s close rivals at the squeaky bum end of the table.
I was looking forward to some post match dancing and singing in the streets of good old Ossett well into the small hours of Wednesday morning. How wrong I was. I forgot about the way teams so often raise their game when faced with adversity and possible relegation. Just look at how Swansea beat Arsenal the following night, for instance. Radcliffe certainly fitted that profile well and deservedly won the match 2-0. Albion are out of the play-off places now and, it saddens me to say, I do not think they will claw their way back into the top five this season.
Their performance in the first half was abject. That might be a bit harsh, but for a team striving for promotion the supporters have maybe come to expect a little bit more composure, class and accuracy than the players offered up in that first 45. Radcliffe led 1-0 at the break with a goal after ten minutes from Banim. Things did improve in the second half, but only after Radcliffe had made it 2-0 on 48 minutes through a McMahon penalty. Albion then began pressing more, they kept possession better, found more accuracy in their passing and created several decent chances, whilst Radcliffe always remained a threat on the break.
Things might have turned out differently if Bordman had converted a penalty awarded mid-way into the second period. The Borough keeper saved well and the rebound was launched over the bar and so it ended 2-0 to the bad guys …. err … I mean Radcliffe Borough. Those three points took Borough six clear of Ossett Town, who have one match in hand as Town’s match away to Witton Albion was called off due to overpowering sunshine and heatwave conditions in Northwich. Ok, I made that bit up, it was waterlogged of course.
So there was no dancing, no singing, not even any highland-flinging in the streets of Ossett on Tuesday night but, then again, there’s always Saturday!