Northern Premier League NPL Premier 23/24

Neuven StadiumNeuven Stadium, Colshaw Close East, Manchester, M26 3PE

Radcliffe FC
Neuven Stadium Colshaw Close East Manchester Greater Manchester M26 3PE
Workington AFC
Borough Park, Workington, Cumbria, CA14 2DT
3 - 1
Final Score
Josh Hancock - 1 (5')Jordan Hulme - 2 (13', 15')
Dav Symington - 1 (35')
Game Statistics
0Yellow cards0
0Red cards0
0Corner Kick0
0Shots on Goal0
Pass Accuracy
Shot Accuracy
Pass Accuracy
Shot Accuracy
Game Timeline
Brad Jackson
Josh Hancock
Brad Jackson
Jordan Hulme
Jordan Hulme
Dav Symington
Sam Hetherington
Luke Joyce
Jordan Hulme
Jamie Devitt
Jude Oyibo
Jake Thompson
Niall Brookwell
Finlay Wallbank


Workington matched the Premier Division leaders for the final seventy minutes of this enthralling contest but only after handing them a three goal start in a bizarre opening quarter of an hour.

But this current Radcliffe side, the eventual champions according to Reds’ boss, Danny Grainger, don’t need handouts from anyone and have established a healthy lead over their nearest rivals after their seventeenth league win of a highly successful campaign. 

Three goals down after fifteen minutes Reds were faced with a ‘stick or twist’ scenario. A choice of abandoning their play from the back principles or go a bit more direct and lose possession anyway.

They were brave and stuck to their guns.  And on a day where they could have lost by five or six goals, performed with great character, coming out with their pride intact.  

Of course, it was very unlikely that Radcliffe would lose a game after establishing what looked an unassailable lead but it is satisfying to know they had to work hard for the points on this occasion.

Workington’s performance felt more satisfying than the recent set-back at Atherton, for example.

Conceding early has been a trait and five minutes in Workington were behind with Josh Hancock scoring the opener.  The cross came via Brad Jackson on the right, Jordan Hulme missed the ball completely but Hancock smashed home the loose ball with his left foot.

Reds squandered a great chance to equalise when a quickly taken free kick released skipper, Dav Symington, but he steered his shot narrowly wide much to Radcliffe’s relief.

Then two goals in a minute crushed any hope of getting some reward from Reds’ first league game, at this much improved venue, for nineteen years.

Hulme, who has made a habit of scoring against Workington in the past, netted twice with contrasting finishes.  His first, after fourteen minutes, was a typical poacher’s goal with a close-range finish via another Jackson assist.

But his second was a spectacular lob from outside the box cleverly executed with the outside of the boot.   

We didn’t know at that point, but Radcliffe would rarely troubled Reds’ thereafter and were quite content to keep us at arm’s length and break up the action as and when necessary.

Joe Bunney fired one chance over the adjacent houses but Greg McCaragher did find the target only for Mateusz Hewelt to block a well struck effort.

Joe Bunney tangles with Jordan Hulme

But the Radcliffe player became the latest NPL ‘keeper to be beaten by yet another Symington wonder goal after thirty-five minutes.  This time a superb shot on the turn arched over Hewelt – anything Hulme can do, Dav can do better!

Soon after the restart, Reds came tantalising close to netting a second.  Bunney’s deep cross from the left was met by fellow full-back, McCaragher, at the far post but his header flew over the bar.

McCaragher, had an uncomfortable start to the afternoon, but recovered well and emerged one of Reds’ best with several of the youngsters impressing.

Workington won the corner count 7-6 and were camped in Radcliffe territory for long periods but didn’t create many clear-cut chances in the second half.  Bunney’s shot which narrowly missed the target was probably the nearest they came whilst Hewelt dealt with several decent crosses which were delivered from the flanks.

With the points in the bag, Radcliffe were left to focus on a fond farewell for the retiring Luke Joyce, who emerged from the bench for his final appearance of a distinguished playing career.  A former team mate of Grainger, Joyce had one shot at goal but there would be no fairy-tale ending as Jim Atkinson gathered the ball comfortably.

Farewell Luke Joyce

So, Radcliffe became the first team to complete a league double over Workington taking another step towards the title in the process. 

Grainger and his newly assembled back-room team know they are good enough to match any team offensively, but still need a defensive make over to ensure a top-half finish.        

Radcliffe: Hewelt, Jackson, Morgan, Sargent, Thornley, Smith, Hancock (Joyce, 46), Adams, Hulme, Dudley (Thompson, 70), Navarro (Oyibo, 70).  Substitutes – Lee, Tomlinson (not used).

Workington: Atkinson, McCaragher, Bunney, Pani, Brookwell, Casson, Symington, Hubbold (Hetherington, 38), Rigg (Devitt, 67), Carroll, Nelson (Wallbank, 81).  Substitutes – Allison, Little (nor used).

Referee: Alan Bennet, Wigan

Bookings: Hulme (Radcliffe), Brookwell (Workington)

Attendance: 1,533



DateTimeLeagueSeasonFull Time
06/01/202415:00Northern Premier LeagueNPL Premier 23/2490'


Neuven Stadium

Neuven Stadium, Colshaw Close East, Manchester, M26 3PE


Club1st Half2nd HalfGoals


1Mateusz Hewelt Goalkeeper
2Brad Jackson Midfielder 5', 13'
3Jamie Morgan Defender
4Matt Sargent Midfielder
5Olly Thornley Defender
6Rick Smith Defender
7Josh Hancock 15 Midfielder 5'
8Nicky Adams Midfielder
9Jordan Hulme Forward 13', 15'
10Anthony Dudley 14 Forward
11Luca Navarro 12 Midfielder
12Jude Oyibo 11 Forward
14Jake Thompson 10 Forward
15Luke Joyce 7 Midfielder
16Isaac Lee Midfielder
17Willem Tomlinson Midfielder


1Jim Atkinson Goalkeeper
2Greg McCaragher Midfielder
3Joe Bunney Defender
4Connor Pani Midfielder
5Niall Brookwell Midfielder 76'
6Ceiran Casson Midfielder
7Dav Symington Midfielder 35'
8Brad Hubbold 17 Midfielder
9Steven Rigg 14 Forward
10Bobby Carroll Midfielder
11Kitt Nelson 12 Midfielder
12Finlay Wallbank 11 Defender
14Jamie Devitt 9 Midfielder
15Scott Allison Forward
16Jordan Little Defender
17Sam Hetherington 8 Midfielder
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