RADCLIFFE manager Jon Macken praised his side’s character and determination after their 2-0 defeat to FC United of Manchester in the FA Trophy.

The match was marred by two controversial Boro red-card decisions with Danny Mitchley and Scott Metcalfe each seeing red on the night.

“We had to show a lot of character and resilience to play our football tonight,” he said. “When you go down to nine men that’s what you have got to do.

“You’ve got to show a bit of fight, grit, a bit of determination to try and make something of a game which was spoilt in a way.”

Goalkeeper Ollie Martin had to be at his very best against the Rebels and, despite conceding twice, he produced a fantastic penalty save along with plenty of other stops on the night to keep his side’s hopes alive.

“I thought Ollie played really well, a million per cent, he saved the penalty and then went on to make three other saves on the night,” added Macken.

“I thought we did really well tonight, we competed when we were allowed to compete.

“In the first half I don’t think we were brilliant, they were the better side but I think second half we showed a lot of resilience. We dug in and I think we played some good football at times with nine men.

“There were some good performances on the night but at the end of the day we got beat by the better side.”

The game was marred by a couple of controversial decisions including two penalty awards to Neil Reynolds’ side, leaving the former Manchester City man struggling to comprehend the decisions and hoping for better officiating when Boro host Stalybridge Celtic on Saturday.

“I don’t know what to say really,” he added. “I think sometimes with officials it seems that they want to make an impact in games.

“I’m not saying they were the correct decisions, I’m not saying they were the right decisions but at the moment officials seem to have a big impact in games that we

feature in.

“Stalybridge is going to be a tough game. There are a lot of tired legs in there after playing with two less men.

“It’s going to take it out of a few of them but that is why we have a squad. We have a squad to give game time to players when it is needed.”