Glapwell and Rainworth finish all square in season finale
Glapwell’s final game of the season ended rather disappointingly after a 1-1 draw with local rivals Rainworth MW at Kirklington Road on Easter Monday.
It was a typical end of season fixture with neither side really doing enough to warrant the victory with the draw a fair result.
Glapwell made two changes from the 3-0 home defeat to Belper two days previous with Matt Telling and Chris Timons replacing Adam Kimberley and Evan Garnett. There was also changes to the formation with Adam Walker starting at right-back and Michael Harcourt starting up front.
Meanwhile, Rainworth were without their first choice goalkeeper Mark Hales who was getting married so regular centre-half Barry Alberry started in goal for the second game running having kept a clean sheet in his previous game at Stamford.
The game was only 18 seconds old when the first chance was created. Glapwell were guilty of standing off Danny Naylor as he advanced into the box but his shot was well wide of the goal but it served as a warning to Glapwell.
But it was a warning that Glapwell didn’t take note of as the hosts took the lead after just eleven minutes. After miscommunication amongst the Glapwell defensive line the ball fell to Lee Cooksey who burst into the box and crossed first time that was only cleared out as far as Matt Baxter who hit a first time shot past James Lindley from just outside the area.
It was a dream start for the hosts but Glapwell were slow to settle but they could have levelled when Matt Varley’s long throw was headed over the bar by Michael Harcourt.
But it was quite a disappointing start by Glapwell who were second to most things early on and looked shaky at the back at times.
And they were forced into an early change as Ian Brown was forced off after just 18 minutes to be replaced by Adam Kimberley. Brown had earlier landed heavily on his back after challenging for a high ball.
Kimberley’s inclusion just seemed to liven Glapwell up and they had their first real chance on 26 minutes. Although Kimberley’s shot was straight at Alberry in the Rainworth goal the makeshift keeper parried the ball out to add to the disappointment that they hadn’t tested him out earlier.
But Glapwell were now coming into the game as they searched for an equaliser and their next chance also came from Kimberley. Alan O’Hare’s long free-kick up field was laid off by Harcourt to Kimberley who curled his shot just past the post from 25 yards.
Glapwell were now in the ascendancy and again they exposed Rainworth’s weakness as Harcourt’s shot from the edge of the area should have been a routine save for Alberry but again he parried the ball out and the danger was cleared.
And just a minute later they were level. Lindley’s long clearance was misjudged by a defender and the ball fell perfectly to Harcourt who thought he had scored as he firstly headed the ball against the crossbar but he was first to react as he headed the rebound into the net past the despairing Alberry who looked out of his depth.
It was a goal that Glapwell had just about deserved for their play in the ten minutes leading up to it but the rest of the half was somewhat of a disappointment with neither team looking dangerous in front of goal.
But, on the stroke of half-time Glapwell could have taken the lead as, firstly, Ian Holmes’ shot was deflected just past Harcourt at the far post. And from the resulting corner the ball was only cleared as far as Matt Telling who shot well over the bar from 25 yards.
And just into the second half Glapwell had a big chance to take the lead as Alberry’s poor clearance fell straight to Ian Holmes who will have been disappointed to drag his shot past the post from 12 yards.
But the game again settled down with neither side taking too many risks although Glapwell will feel they should have had a penalty when Damian Magee was dragged down just inside the area but the referee ignored the appeals and waved play on.
However, Glapwell were starting to create a few chances as Lindley’s long kick was controlled by Holmes who crossed for Harcourt who could only head straight at Alberry at the back post. Then just seconds later Harcourt and Adam Walker combined well down the right side but Walker’s cross was just too high for Holmes in the middle.
In search of a winner Glapwell made another change on 63 minutes bringing on Evan Garnett for Alan O’Hare who had had a solid game in his unfamiliar role in midfield.
And another Glapwell chance followed as Kimberley played the ball into Harcourt who quickly sorted his feet out but he could only shoot straight at Alberry from the edge of the area.
But, as has been the case in recent games, Glapwell were nearly their own worst enemies as they unnecessarily gave the ball away. Matt Baxter picked up the loose ball and played it out right to Lee Cooksey who beat a defender and squared the ball back to Baxter, who had made a good run, but his shot was poor as he miss-hit it well over the bar.
Glapwell were then to feel as though they had the rough end of the official’s decisions as firstly Matt Telling played a good ball through to Evan Garnett who was clean through on goal when the assistant referee wrongly signalled for offside.
Then, Garnett should have been given a penalty as his shirt was being held in the area but the officials chose to play on and Garnett’s cross was hit wide of the post by Ian Holmes in the middle.
Another couple of opportunities were then halted, again, by the assistant referee who in both cases certainly gave the rub of the green to the defenders by flagging for offside and in one case very controversially as he flagged Ian Holmes offside as he bore down on goal.
As the game went into the final ten minutes there was only really Glapwell looking to win the game and they had a chance to do this when Garnett did well and played in Holmes who fired just over the bar from a difficult angle.
And, with just two minutes left Garnett could have won the game for Glapwell as he beat a defender down the right side and cut inside but he saw his effort parried away by Alberry.
But Glapwell were forced to settle for a draw to finish what has been, at times, a difficult season. The draw always seemed the most likely result and Glapwell finish the season in ninth place on 69 points, ten points outside the play-offs whilst Rainworth finish third bottom.
There must be a tinge of disappointment, though, for Glapwell who looked odds-on to make the play-offs in mid-March until they suffered a wretched run of five home defeats out of six games that, undoubtedly, ended their play-off dreams.
Meanwhile, in other league news Barwell are, obviously, the league champions and congratulations must go to them. In the play-offs Newcastle will play host to Grantham while Rushall face Brigg, both games on Thursday night with the final scheduled for next Monday.
Match report written by Paul Hepworth
Goals : Baxter (Rainworth) 11; Harcourt (Glapwell) 30
Rainworth : Alberry, Paling, Carolan, Briggs, Hannigan, Camm, Naylor, Baxter, Cooksey, Hewitt (Wright 73), Gee-Pemberton. Subs not used : Topliss, Charlesworth, Drake
Glapwell : Lindley, Walker (Commons 86), Magee, Varley, Kennedy, Timons, Telling, O’Hare (Garnett 68), Holmes, Brown (Kimberley 18), Harcourt. Subs not used : Shelley, Richmond
Glapwell Man of the Match : Michael Harcourt
Referee : Anthony Tankard (Ecclesfield)
Attendance : 135