RADCLIFFE picked up their first three points of the Premier Division season, winning a cagey encounter at Stalybridge Celtic 3-1.

In testing conditions, two goals late in the second half were enough to see the visitors come away with the victory, which sees Radcliffe climb to 18th in the BetVictor League Premier Division table, with a couple of games in hand on the teams above.

Boro started the game on top, with the first chance falling to Matthew Wolfenden. He battled well for a ball over the top and hit a first-time half-volley that went narrowly wide.

In a cagey half with few chances for either team, the first goal of the game, scored by Stalybridge, came in the 41st minute.

A long ball was met by Scott Bakkor, who fed Ross Dent on the right-hand side of the area, from where he fired his shot past visiting goalkeeper Ollie Martin to make it 1-0.

Just as it looked as though Radcliffe would go into the break a goal behind, they produced an equaliser on the stroke of half time.

Javid Swaby-Neavin’s shot forced a corner after Alex Fojticek’s save.

Scott Metcalfe’s delivery found captain Harry Winter, who towered home a header at the back post, his first goal for Radcliffe.

The early stages of the second half saw early chances for both sides.

Fojticek dropped Tyrese Sinclair’s ball into the box, but Winter sent the loose ball over the bar.

Almost immediately after. Celtic’s Greg Wilkinson and Bakkor combined to give Declan Walker the chance to cross for Craig Hobson, his header going well over.

Radcliffe’s Liam Ellis had two golden chances, the first coming after a driving run by Sinclair and pull-back but Ellis’ shot on the slide was met saved by the keeper.

Fojticek denied Ellis again after he pounced on a loose ball played across the defence by Celtic.

The visitors finally found the breakthrough in the 74th minute.

Sinclair slid a delightful disguised pass through to substitute Matthew Crothers, who curled his shot past Fojticek and into the back of the net.

As the home team pushed for an equaliser, Boro secured their victory with a third goal. Swaby-Neavin’s long throw into the box caused chaos in the Stalybridge defence. Fojticek came to claim but dropped the ball, which found its way to Wolfenden and he coolly finished into an open goal for a 3-1 lead and sealing a first league win of the season for Jon Macken’s men.

Boro will now look to build on a strong performance when they travel to Grantham this Saturday.