LUCA Navarro bagged a brace as Radcliffe sealed a 2-0 victory against Gainsborough on Saturday but then slipped to a disappointing 1-0 home defeat to Stafford Rangers on Tuesday night.

It meant Boro missed out of the chance of taking maximum points from two home games and they remain 14th in the NPL Premier Division.

On Saturday, Bobby Grant opted for four changes to his side after last week’s disappointing trip to South Shields, with all four playing a big part in contributing to the three points this time round.

Radcliffe gained an early foot-hold in the game after a positive start from the get-go, Luca Navarro scoring his sixth goal of the season since resigning for the club in October. Jack Moore neatly prodded the ball into Grant who picked out of the run of Navarro in between the nearest defenders, his low through ball was calmly slotted into the bottom right corner by the 22-year-old, beating the offside trap in the process to give the Boro an early lead after eight minutes.

Navarro had a spring in his step throughout the outing, involving himself in the majority of the attacks to try and get his second of the afternoon. Taylor Jones clipped the ball into Navarro which was expertly taken down inside the box, he then managed to fend off the nearest defender before putting it onto his right foot, his resulting cross-shot was narrowly wide of the target.

On the stroke of half time, Grant tried an unbelievable half-way line volley - which was sure to be goal of the season if the ball was just inches to the right. His audacious attempt left Matt Yates scrambling to get back onto his line but to his fortune, the ball crept wide of the left post.

Navarro’s second goal of the game - and his seventh of the season - came seven minutes after the half time interval. Matt Yates’ goal kick dropped to the feet of Tom Miller and he quickly teed up Grant as he dropped between the defence and midfield. He threaded a wonderful through ball into Navarro with acres of space to run into, his quick feet sat the Gainsborough goalkeeper down, allowing him to round him and convert into an empty net.

Gainsborough’s lack of chances was credit to the defence who stood strong on every opportunity that the visitors had. A teasing corner by the away side was pinched out of the sky by Sunderland-loanee Jack McIntyre inside the six-yard area, winning back possession by leaping the highest after 63 minutes.

Soon after, Radcliffe had a wonderful chance to grab a third goal going into the final 15 minutes of the game. Luca Navarro raced in on goal with Lewis Carr on his heels, he spotted Grant making a run to his left and unselfishly rolled it into his path, unfortunately, his pass was over hit and couldn’t find Grant who would’ve had a one-on-one chance if he latched onto the ball.

But Boro could not make it back-to-back home wins as Thomas Tonks’ goal three minutes before the break sealed victory for Stafford on Tuesday night.

Boro are on the road on Saturday when they travel up to Lancaster City.