Red card helps patchwork Rainworth
Bridlington Town came to Rainworth MWFC sitting 3rd in the league, having only been beaten twice since the end of October.
In contrast Rainworth went into the match with five players unavailable, forcing them to bring back players recovering from injury earlier than they should.
The game ended 1-1 but both sides had their keepers and the woodwork to thank that there weren’t more goals. Rainworth’s injury problems were helped by a 34th minute red card reducing the visitors to ten men.
The early moments of the first half belonged to Rainworth as in the 2nd minute only a last ditch interception prevented Declan Brewin’s cross reaching Jamie York.
On five minutes Matt Plant’s goal bound header was cleared at the expense of a corner. From York’s corner Rainworth should have taken the lead when Regan Edridge failed to get full contact with his header with the goal beckoning.
The next period belonged to Bridlington when in the 9th minute an excellent save by Ben Townsend from Brett Agnew prevented them taking the lead.
Agnew was causing the Rainworth defence problems when in the 18th minute he beat Regan Edridge only for his effort to go wide of the post.
Minutes later poor Rainworth defending was lucky not to have been punished as the shot cleared the crossbar, in a period of Bridlington dominance.
Bridlington did have the ball in the net after 28 minutes only for it to be disallowed for offside. They came close minutes later when Chris Adams effort grazed the crossbar.
The dynamics of the game changed when in the 34th minute Bridlington’s Josh Heseltine was given a straight red for what the referee deemed a dangerous tackle on Regan Edridge. Edridge received treatment for a couple of minutes on the pitch, followed by lengthy treatment on the touchline.
There were no other chances as the referee brought the first half to an end with the score-line goal less.
On 49 minutes Rainworth brought on Liam Morris in place of York.
Andy Norfolk attempted to catch Townsend off his line in the 51st minute but he was able to block it for a corner.
Rainworth almost scored in the 54th minute when Jordan Edridge’s free-kick was brilliantly tipped around the upright by James Hitchcock.
A minute later Morris’s shot on the turn flashed across the goal and just wide of the far upright with Hitchcock well beaten.
The game was becoming end to end with Bridlington looking the more likely to score and only a fine block by Townsend prevented Norfolk scoring.
Rainworth hit back and Matt Sykes was inches wide when his shot flashed past the far upright. In the 66th minute a fine move which saw Morris flick the ball to Theakstone who ran on goal and easily beat Hitchcock for the opener.
Even with ten men Bridlington were a threat and the ever dangerous Joel Sutton put his effort just over.
It was an excellent block by Townsend that prevented Tim Taylor’s fiercly hit shot from getting the equaliser.
Rainworth were unlucky not to double their score in the 79th minute when Theakstone’s drive went inches the wrong side of the far upright.
However they had the crossbar to thank in the 81st minute when a Chris Jenkinson header rebounded and was cleared.
Rainworth went straight down the other end and only a finger-tip save by Hitchcock from a Syke’s’s effort that looked to be destined for the top corner prevented a second goal.
Bridlington always looked dangerous on the counter and when a ball over the top was headed into the ground by Townsend, Will Waudby had the simple task of putting it into an empty net for the equaliser.
A minute later and Rainworth must have thought they’d retaken the lead as Morris set up Theakstone only for Hitchcock to somehow block the goal bound shot.
In the final minute Sutton delivered an excellent ball across the Rainworth six yard area but no one was on hand to take advantage.
It was to be the last act of a game that was full of incident in which the red card had helped a below strength Rainworth to a share of the points. There had been chances at both ends and the only surprise was that there had only been two goals.
RAINWORTH MWFC: Townsend; Wilson; Andrews; Hanson; R. Edridge; Plant; Brewin; J. Edridge; Theakstone; York (Morris); Sykes. Subs: C. Widdowson; Watts.
Referee: Adam Burgess
Man of the match: Ben Townsend