Last day derby draw hits points target
Evo-Stik League Division I South
Rainworth MW 1 Glapwell 1
Report by Gordon Foster
RAINWORTH wrapped up their season by achieving the draw they needed to hit the 40-point mark in Easter Monday’s local derby with Glapwell.
It was a case of one target achieved and one missed for, even if they had won, they would not have improved on their final league placing, because Market Drayton – the only club the Wrens could have overtaken – recorded a thumping 4-0 victory over Loughborough.
Glapwell, for their part, arrived with their Play-off hopes in tatters after Saturday’s 3-0 defeat by Belper, and had only local pride to play for.
Rainworth were forced into making a change from Saturday’s goalless draw at Stamford. With Cameron Fearon having suffered a groin strain at the Vic Couzens Stadium Lee Briggs dropped back from left midfield to central defence alongside Tommy Hannigan, so Kyle Gee-Pemberton moved to wide left allowing Chris Hewitt to start up front.
Meanwhile Barry Alberry continued as stand-in goalkeeper for newly-wed Mark Hales after keeping a clean sheet at Stamford.
The Wrens had the better of the first quarter of the match and led through Matt Baxter’s 11th minute goal, but gradually Glapwell began to assert themselves, and Michael Harcourt capitalised on a mix-up in defence to equalise on the half-hour.
However, Rainworth might have opened the scoring after just 19 seconds when Danny Naylor’s surging run forward ended with a shot pulled just wide.
Alberry showed he was not fazed by wearing the jersey with a confident punch from a long throw in in the sixth minute, and then a flowing four man move by the visitors saw Matt Telling shoot wide in the eighth minute.
Three minutes later Rainworth were ahead. Lee Cooksey’s excellent work on the right enabled him to find Hewitt in the box, and although he could not get in a shot he laid it back for Baxter to spear an unstoppable 20-yard howitzer into James Lindley’s bottom right corner.
As Glapwell tried to respond Alberry just beat Ian Brown to a race for possession for a cross from the left, but Rainworth were close to a second goal on the quarter-hour after more good work by Cooksey, whose angled cross was fractionally too far ahead of the unmarked Gee-Pemberton in the Glapwell box.
Glapwell lost ace marksman Ian Brown to injury in the 18th minute, but his replacement Adam Kimberley showed up well for the remainder of the game, and went close in the 27th minute following good work by Harcourt as the visitors began to get their act together better.
On the half-hour mark Baxter tried his luck with a 30-yard dipper which Lindley held comfortably, and from his clearance upfield Glapwell equalised. The otherwise excellent Hannigan and Alberry appeared to get in each other’s way in the six yard box, Harcourt headed against the bar, and the Glapwell man was quickest to react, netting the rebound.
It was a rare lapse by an effective defence in which Ryan Carolan was again effective at left back, while the solid Briggs twice got in the way of shots just before the interval.
Rainworth had a scare three minutes into the restart when Alberry’s miscued clearance fell to Ian Holmes who immediately ran in on goal, only to shoot wide as Alberry redeemed himself by advancing to cut the angle.
Briggs was harshly penalised just outside the area from what looked a ball-winning challenge in the 53rd minute, but the defensive wall dealt with Harcourt’s free kick.
Cooksey gave Hewitt a sniff of a chance to restore Rainworth’s lead two minutes later, but the ball, caught on the breeze, ran a little too far ahead of him and Lindley was able to gather.
Alberry twice distinguished himself with fine saves, although in the event neither really mattered because in both cases an offside flag was raised, and when Kimberley threaded a neat ball through to Harcourt he shot straight at the Wrens’ keeper.
Rainworth’s attacks were fewer and further between, but Baxter had a chance in the 72nd minute, slicing Cooksey’s low cross behind at the near post.
Holmes chipped over from a good position for Glapwell with nine minutes remaining, then at the other end a well flighted cross from Carolan just eluded the heads of both Baxter and Mark Camm.
But it was Alberry who saved a point with a fine 88th-minute stop as Glapwell substitute Evan Garnett broke into the area.
It was a fitting finale to his Rainworth career for a man who has served the club so well over the years, and although Carolan probably deserved the man of the match award on the day, a touch of sentiment saw it awarded to Alberry.
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 63), Holmes, Brown (Kimberley 18), Harcourt. Subs not used: Shelley, Richmond.
REFEREE: Anthony Tankard of Ecclesfield.
GOALS: Rainworth – Baxter 11; Glapwell – Harcourt 30.
MEN OF THE MATCH: Rainworth – Barry Alberry; Glapwell – Michael Harcourt.