RADCLIFFE Boro finally managed their first UniBond Premier League victory of the season - but only after they nearly contrived to undo all their hard work.

Ironically, Boro have played better this season and lost, but goals from Kieran Lugsden and Simon Kelly proved enough - despite Boro being reduced to ten men when goalkeeper Danny Hurst was dismissed for two bookable offences.

Midfielder Martyn Forrest was forced to don the gloves for the final quarter of the game, and he did his team-mates proud with two fine saves, that would have done his ex-Bury keeper father - John - proud.

Boro fielded new signing Chris Downey up-front, and the former Mossley striker was immediately in the action when he chipped Town keeper Leigh Walker with only two minutes on the clock; the effort landing just wide.

Both teams were struggling to adapt to the monsoon-like conditions, and it wasn't until 20 minutes in when the next chance of the game came -Stephen Hill firing a low shot wide from 35 yards.

Lugsden and Forrest both went close with efforts, before the game's first contentious moment.

A Grantham breakaway saw Hurst make a fine save from Doug Wade, and Jason Turner headed home the re-bound. However, the referee controversially adjudged Turner to have been off-side and the goal was ruled out.

Buoyed by this slice of good fortune, Boro poured forward and took the lead on the stroke of half-time. Lugsden was rewarded for his work-rate when he robbed Steve Julian and slotted home after a critical slip by the defender.

Boro then extended their advantage 12 minutes into the second half, when skipper Simon Kelly scored a stunning strike by swivelling in the box and finding the bottom left hand corner from 15 yards.

Scott Wilson nearly scored with an outrageous lob that hit the bar from 40 yards, before the penalty incident turned the game on its head.

Kelly was adjudged to have tripped Turner, and Hurst was booked for dissent before Wade slotted home with ease. Hurst then kicked the ball into the stand in frustration and was booked for a second time.

Forrest took up keeping duty and was nearly out-foxed from Lee Glover's free-kick, but he was saved by Hill's goal-line clearance. Hill was Boro's outstanding player of the game, and his no-nonsense defending was crucial in Boro's eventual victory.

Forrest made some smart saves from Wade and Mike Sneddon, but it was Boro's day and the win left manager Andy Johnston beaming.

"It was a relief to gain our first win, although I thought we played better in our first four games than we did today," said Johnston.

"The players never stopped working and I cannot think on the balance of play and chances created, anyone can think we did not deserve to win."

BORO: Hurst, Duffy, Kelly, Hill, Kearney, Heald (O'Neill), Wilson, Forrest, Warner, Lugsden, Downey. Not used: Eames, Evans.