RADCLIFFE boss Lee Fowler was left to reflect on two very different feelings after his side picked up a point from their opening two games of the season.

Boro opened their Northern Premier League Premier Division campaign with a 2-1 defeat at home to Carlton Palmer’s Grantham Town, Sam Scrivens’ late goal meaning it was losing start despite a really positive performance on Saturday.

That was followed up a 0-0 draw at Whitby Town on Tuesday night, in a game where both sides were seemingly satisfied with a point.

“It was a completely different game,” Fowler said of the point in North Yorkshire.

“We played outstanding football and lost on Saturday and then here the football wasn’t as good from both teams but it was still entertaining at times and we’ve come away with a 0-0 draw away from home on a Tuesday night so I’m happy with that.

“As I said on Saturday, football doesn’t always give you what you deserve.

“The pitch was a little dry and speaking to their manager after the game he said we were lucky there was no wind and rain so I think we’re both happy with a draw.”

The Boro boss admitted that the final outcome in midweek was of no surprise to anyone involved with the defensive display, led by new goalkeeper Sam Ashton, particularly heartening.

“I was pleased with the clean sheet,” Fowler added.

“I thought there were some massive displays, Sam had a good game in goal. We had a few chances, they had a few chances towards the end.

“It was 0-0 all over it really I think, there wasn’t much quality in the game. Maybe the first game on Saturday took it out of both teams.

Bobby Grant

Bobby Grant

“It was a real stalemate and both teams cancelled each other out.

“I’m pleased though with a point away from home and we go from there.”

Without Courtney Meppen-Walter, likely to be sidelined for around six months with an Achilles injury, Callum Grogan and Nathan Valentine, Fowler elected to stick with the side that started the game rather than ring the changes in search of a first three points of the campaign.

“To be honest with you I’ve got a young bench and I thought changing things might have made us a little disjointed.” he said.

“It’s not that I don’t trust the players that are on the bench, it’s just at the moment we’re a little bit threadbare with Courtney and Nathan and Groges out, we’ve lost some key experienced players.

“It wasn’t the game to bring on any of the inexperienced players but there will be loads of opportunities for them to play.

“They’ll have their chance and hopefully they’ll go and take it.”

As for Saturday’s game, Grantham got their noses in front midway through the first period.

Ali Aydemir tapped the ball into the back of Sam Ashton’s net after the former Bolton Wanderers goalkeeper parried a shot to his feet, with the forward finding a gap to open the scoring.

Five minutes before that goal, Grogan had to be subbed off after going down off the ball in the build-up to a chance, with new signing Taylor Jones replacing him, then keeping his place against Grantham.

In the second half, Fowler’s side came out fighting with the Boro chances coming thick and fast.

In the 50th minute, Adam Dawson whipped a cross into the box which found Bobby Grant, with the 31-year-old volleying towards goal but his shot could only kiss the post on its way wide.

However, Radcliffe did find a goal just three minutes later through Grant, player-coach getting a leveller with a header into the back of the net from a short corner.

The Boro continued to pile on the pressure but by some miracle, it was Grantham who found a winner with the last kick of the game.

Scrivens poked the ball into the bottom corner after a scramble in the Radcliffe box to send Palmer’s Gingerbreads back to Lincolnshire with not only a win, but their first away win since December 2018.

Boro will go in search of their first victory of the season at Stafford Rangers on Saturday.