RADCLIFFE paid for an inability to tighten up at the back as they were defeated 3-1 at home by Leek Town on Tuesday night.

Leek got off to a flying start when Robert Stevenson bent his effort beyond Ollie Martin and into the bottom corner after just two minutes.

The Boro equalised on 10 minutes when the ball bounced around the box before it fell to Scott Metcalfe who drilled it into the bottom corner.

Tunde Owolabi nearly gave Boro the lead after half an hour but his shot from the edge of the box cleared the bar.

Elliott Rokka manged to work some space on the stroke of half time before drilling a shot towards the bottom corner but Leek goalkeeper Danny Roberts was equal to it and produced a good save.

Charlie Walford put Leek Town ahead 10 minutes after the restart when he lashed a cross back across the face of goal with a crisp volley into the bottom corner.

And Leek Town doubled the lead with 15 minutes left to play as Stevenson grabbed his second, sliding the ball under Ollie Martin.

Scott Metcalfe was inches away from getting Boro back into the game but his late strike from the edge of the box cannoned back off the crossbar.

Boro’s 3-1 defeat means Macken’s side are now eight points off leaders Atherton Collieries.

The victory moved Leek to within three points of Boro, with two games in hand.

Ten-man Radcliffe had earned their first win in five games with a 2-0 victory against Droylsden at the Butcher’s Arms Ground on Saturday.

Metcalfe had driven over on 15 minutes after a quick corner from Owolabi, with the goalkeeper running back to goal, allowed the midfielder to try his luck, his finish clearing the bar by a whisker.

The Bloods’ captain Mike Brewster unleashed a powerful shot from 25 yards to test Martin, but the keeper was able to palm over.

Things took a turn for the worse midway through the half, as winger Liam Caddick was through on goal but was brought down by Kingsley Williams, who received a red card.

But the visitors took the lead eight minutes before the break as the ball fell kindly for midfielder Metcalfe inside the box, and he struck it powerfully into the bottom corner.

Boro doubled their lead just before half time. Elliot Rokka received the ball on the halfway line and sent Prince Heywood down the right. His ball squared across the face of goal was idweal for Ben Wharton to finish first time.

Wharton missed two good chances to put the game to bed early in the second half, the first from 12 yards with the goal gaping and the second a half-volley from the same distance that he got under.

Another chance went begging for Macken’s side as a beautifully-timed cross from Metcalfe was met by Callum Grogan, who diverted the ball against the crossbar.

Droylsden striker Sefton Gonzales – who has had a habit of scoring in the past against Boro – had the chance to pull one back on 72 minutes.

But he hesitated when one-on-one with Martin, the delay giving the Boro number one time to smother the ball and see out a clean sheet.