Everything but goals
How no one scored beggars belief.
Garforth Town came to Kirklington Road with a record of five wins in their last six matches. In contrast Rainworth’s season has been up and down at best and after an encouraging 5-0 victory against Worksop Town they had failed to score in their last two games losing both.
Today’s game had everything but goals and whilst both sides came close neither were able to get the ball over the goal-line.
It was Garforth who threatened from a corner in the 3rd minute but Rainworth’s defence managed to clear. They went close again in the 7th but a good tackle by Phil Buxton diffused the situation.
The 8th minute had the home crowd off their seats as an excellent one-two between Nick Langford and Matt Sykes saw Paul Hagreen somehow deflect Sykes’s goal-bound shot for a corner.
The game became a midfield battle with neither side able to find a pass to threaten either goal.
Garforth did manage a shot on target in the 17th minute but Mark Simpson’s effort was straight at Ben Townsend who saved easily.
On 20 minutes it was Rainworth’s Tomas Poole who placed his shot straight at Hagreen when through on goal, it was an even closer call in the 27th minute when Hagreen managed to kick Rob Ludlam’s effort off the line.
The pattern continued and on 35 minutes Ryan Herbert’ effort was blocked, that was quickly followed by a Poole effort blocked and Sykes’s follow up going for a Garforth throw-in.
It was Garforth who came closest to scoring in the final minutes of the half when after a quick break Jake Adlington did well to clear as the ball threatened the Rainworth goal-line. This was quickly followed by Mitch Hamilton’s run into the area but this time Connor Griffin cleared off the line.
At the half-time whistle both sides must have been disappointed at finishing the half without at least one goal to their names.
The second half continued as the first half ended with both sides creating and missing chances, in the opening minutes Townsend did well to stop a shot cum cross.
Rainworth were forced into a substitution in the 61st minute when the injured Poole had to be replaced by Declan Brewin.
The impact was almost immediate when Sykes put Brewin through, but his shot was easily cleared. Minutes later and Brewin turned the defence inside out but both his goal bound efforts were blocked.
Rainworth had a scare in the 68th minute when a fine run by Luke McCrum into the penalty area almost ended with Joe Cheeseman putting the ball into his own goal.
McCrum turned defender a minute later when he headed Adlingtons dangerous cross from an excellent Buxton through ball, out for a corner.
From the resulting corner Sykes’s short corner was played back into his path only for his effort to flash past the upright.
At this stage it was all Rainworth and when Sykes’s through ball found Julian Topliss, Hagreen made a fine save with his legs. Minutes later another Sykes through ball was just cleared before Nick Langford could add the finishing touch, at the expense of yet another corner.
From the corner Rob Ludlam’s header was tipped over by Hagreen.
Rainworth did have a scare in the 82nd minute when Garforth appealed for a penalty after a tackle in the area but the referee was quick to award a corner.
On 82 minutes Rainworth brought on Bradley Maturin-Drew for Langford.
In injury time Maturin-Drew rang the defence ragged and with only the keeper to beat delayed his shot and was crowded out. The ball fell into the path of Sykes but his goal bound shot was finger-tipped around the post by Hagreen.
At the final whistle the only statistic that belied the effort of both sides was neither side had managed to score a goal.
RAINWORTH MWFC: Townsend; Adlington; Griffin; Buxton; Cheeseman; Ludlam; Herbert; Poole (Brewin); Langford (Maturin-Drew); Topliss; Sykes. Sub (not used): Watts.
Referee: Mr Robert Hathaway.
Man of the match: Phil Buxton.