Matthew Dolan

Driven by a strong wind, rain swept constantly across Rockliffe but the playing surface was a credit to the groundstaff.

All day rain had soaked the pitches and it would not have been unreasonable to expect the surface to be saturated. But while the surrounding grass had pools of standing water, there was nothing wrong with a playing area that many league grounds would be proud of.

As umbrellas turned inside out and recording equipment was protected with towels and polythene, players, coaches and some hardy fans were soaked to the skin before kick-off.

A measured start from both sides gave way to the opening goal after 18 minutes as a right-wing corner from Matty Dolan, above, appeared to go straight in despite the best efforts of a clutch of players to get a touch.

It was a lead which lasted until seconds before the half-time whistle when a low cross from the left-hand edge of the penalty area somehow evaded goalkeeper James Montgomery, allowing Liam McAlinden to register the easiest goal he will ever score in his career as he was virtually on the goal line when the ball reached him.

Making the best of a stroke of fortune, which was in truth poor defending from Ejiro Okosieme, Wolves struck three times in seven minutes early in the second half.

With 55 minutes played Robbie Parry sent over a left-wing cross when level with the left-hand edge of the penalty and Kyle Oliver turned into his own goal when attempting to clear.

On the hour a low drive from Dominic Iorfa inside the penalty area thudded back off Montgomery's right-hand post, the ball ricocheting around before Sam Whittall tucked in from close range.

Two minutes later Sam Winnall burst through just left of centre and smashed home low beyond Montgomery.

In the closing stages Dolan rattled Aljaz Cotman's bar with a decent effort from out wide, but there just wasn't enough created over the remaining half hour to suggest a way back.

It was, though, an unfair scoreline on Jamie Clapham's side, who although playing particularly well, didn't deserve to be on the end of what on paper looks like a hiding.

Boro: Montgomery; Bennett, Weldon, Dolan (Capt), Burgess, Okosieme (Sirrell 63), Brobbel (Waters 75), Oliver, Wyke, Kneeshaw (Edwards 67), Fowler. Unused subs: Ripley (gk); Rivers.