Ten man Rainworth battle out a draw
Mark Simpson and Dan Coupland were on target for The Miners in a frenetic first 20 minutes, but they were made to settle for a point by the battling hosts despite ending the match with ten men and an outfield player in goal.
Rainworth's Kyle Jordan shot wide from 35 yards in the first minute, but Garforth responded by going up the other end of the pitch and opening the scoring. A great through ball by Mitch Hamilton found Mark Simpson who beat the offside trap to fire past goalkeeper Ben Townsend and into the net. Around the ten-minute mark however there were flashes of Pickering away when The Wrens turned the tables. Both came from aerial balls into the box, the first when Ross Goodwin headed home at the near post Max Pemberton's long throw-in on 8 mins, then the same player made it a brace when heading in Jack Waddle's delivery two minutes later.
Despite the setback Town didn't panic and with the home side struggling to handle our pace up front, the offside trap was our main enemy. Calum Ward put a low shot wide from 25 yards, before Simpson had the ball in the net from Hamilton's delivery, but was ruled offside. On 18 mins we were back level. Ward drew Townsend to the edge of the box and supplied Simpson, who's miskick found Coupland to his left to slide into an empty net. The Wrens captain had gone down injured in the process and was forced to leave the field. With no substitute goalkeeper available, defender Pemberton donned the gloves and jersey to replace him.
Simpson volleyed well wide from Luke Kitson's delivery on 25 mins, before Tomas Poole shot past the far post from a free-kick. An excellent break down the left saw Pemberton deny Ward from a narrow angle, the loose ball cleared away inside the six-yard box. Pete Lawrie punched away a powerful drive from Jordan, then Poole fired well over the bar after pouncing on a loose ball just outside the box. Two minutes before the break Town suffered a setback of their own when Hamilton, who'd been a thorn in the hosts' side down our left, went down injured. He attempted to play on, but had to be replaced at half time by Matthew Savage.
After all that excitement, things calmed down somewhat in the second half, at least in the first half hour. Both teams showed plenty of endeavour, but a mixture of stout defending and less than clinical finishing meant there were no further goals. Poole shot over the bar when supplied by Nightingale on 46 mins. The Nottinghamshire side were forced into another rethink on 63 mins when they were reduced to ten men. Ward was put clear but was fouled from behind by Steve Wankiewicz, and as the last man, was given a straight red by referee James King. As Town supporters learned the other week against Staveley however, things are not always what they seem playing against ten (or nine) men and again, to their credit, the sending off seemed not affect our opponents much. The final minutes of the game were to be as end-to-end as the first, and either team could have nicked a winner. Lawrie saved from substitute Nathan Modest on 82 mins, then shortly after Coupland shot over the bar when getting on the end of a Jack Lazenby corner. The midfielder then drew a save from Pemberton with a 25 yard curling effort.
In the circumstances, the home side will be the more pleased with a draw, but a point on the road for The Miners to continue our unbeaten run and add to an improving away record. Town are in League Cup action on Tuesday when we make the short journey to Yorkshire Amateur (kick-off 7:45pm).