Heartbreak for Rainworth in a Cracker
Local derbies are only occasionally crackers and this was one of those occasions.
Both sides fought for the ‘bragging rights’ and after ninety minutes plus stoppage time there was nothing between the two sides as they fought out a 2-2 draw.
After AFC Mansfield had their late penalty saved in an even but goal less first half it was Rainworth who dominated the majority of the second. After racing into a two goal lead Rainworth could and probably should have been out of sight with a little more composure.
To AFC Mansfield’s credit they applied pressure in the final five minutes and two late goals, one a penalty, earned them a share of the spoils.
Rainworth’s injury crisis continued with two players missing from Saturday’s bruising encounter at Maltby, leaving the squad down to the bare bones.
Within minutes of the start of the game AFC Mansfield almost took the lead but Matt Plummer’s effort was turned onto the crossbar and out for a corner by Ben Townsend.
They went close again in the 6th minute as Townsend saved with his feet from Bryan Hughes as AFC Mansfield had the better of the opening minutes.
Rainworth were the thickness of the post away from opening the scoring in the 8th minute after a good build-up saw Jack Barnett’s effort come back of the post with Jason White well beaten.
They went close again in the 17th minute when Jordan Claxton’s put his header wide from Carter Widdowson’s excellent cross.
Neither side were allowing any space and both were guilty of attacks breaking down because of offside offences.
Barnett’s goal bound effort in the 28th minute was deflected for a corner, whilst at the other end Chris Timmon’s header just cleared the bar as the play went from end to end.
A minute later and Phil Buxton did well to clear Jimmy Ghaichem’s dangerous cross.
Rainworth went straight down the field with Declan Brewin leaving four would-be tacklers in his wake but his final ball had too much pace for his fellow strikers.
On 38 minutes it appeared that it would be AFC Mansfield who would go into the break with a lead as a class in the area between Tomas Poole and Ghaichem saw the referee point to the spot. AFC’s keeper White’s penalty was hit hard towards the top corner but Townsend guessed right and pulled off an amazing save.
Although the half ended goal less the end to end game had kept both sets of fans on their toes.
The opening minutes of the second half saw Brewin’s effort saved by White and then Claxton lays the ball into Matt Sykes path but his cross is put just over by Julian Topliss.
Rainworth had a scare in the 49th minute when Garry Bradshaw’s effort hit the outside of the post.
It was Rainworth however who were on the front foot and White pulled off an excellent save from Aaron Moxam.
A minute later in the 56th he couldn’t prevent Poole form scoring after an excellent cross from Moxam.
Another quick break by Moxam sees his ball to Topliss put wide when well-placed.
In the 65th minute Rainworth doubled their lead when Topliss found Moxam at the far post and the league’s leading scorer rarely misses from there.
It was all Rainworth and another fine move saw Brewin find Moxam but his effort is just the wrong side of the post.
Rainworth continue to press and Topliss’s cross was just too strong for Moxam.
In the 82nd minute Brewin broke on goal but just over hit it and White was able to smother it, and he needed treatment.
The final minutes saw AFC Mansfield go to a long ball game and Rainworth began to struggle defending it and in the 85th a cross was put in by Lynton Karkach.
Rainworth who had played with only 10 men since Brewin's injury, brought on Steve Mansell.
In the final minutes, having withstood everything AFC Mansfield had thrown at them Ghaichem went down in the area from a Buxton tackle and the referee pointed to the spot. This time White gave Townsend no chance for the equaliser.
At the final whistle it was AFC Mansfield who were the happier of the two teams, snatching a point at the death.
RAINWORTH MWFC: Townsend; Widdowson; Sykes; Barnett; Buxton; Cheeseman; Brewin (Mansell); Poole; Moxam; Topliss; Claxton. Subs (not used): Clarke; Watts.
Referee: Mr. Andrew Dallison
Man of the match: Carter Widdowson