A Good Old Fashioned Derby
Rainworth MWFC and Clipstone over the years have always held a healthy respect for each other, producing some memorable battles, with Clipstone currently holding the upper hand having won in their last three meetings.
Today’s meeting at Kirklington Road was no different with both sides having periods of dominance and whilst both sides were guilty of errors, no-one could question their commitment. In the end the game ended in a draw with the result in doubt until the final whistle.
The fans will only have to wait just over three days for a re-match, when both will lock horns again, this time at the Worksop Van Hire Stadium in the Notts Senior Cup.
It was Rainworth who started the match on the front foot and in the 7th minute a great ball from Tomas Poole found Matt Sykes and he gave Jamie Bailey no chance as he drove the ball home for the opening goal.
The game settled down after this with both sides probing, but neither able to produce anything in the final third.
It wasn’t until the 18th before Clipstone had their first effort on goal, but Ellis Wall’s effort was straight at Ben Townsend who easily gathered.
Rainworth almost got a second in the 24th minute when Sykes’s free-kick was deflected and Joe Cheeseman just failed to get a touch. A minute later and Poole set up Ryan Herbert but his long-range effort just cleared the crossbar.
Clipstone also had their chances and Sam Forster’s tempting cross on 28 minutes deserved better, but there were no takers.
At this stage the game was end to end and another good Rainworth break saw Harry Bamforth’s effort blocked by the keeper. At the other end Rainworth were guilty of putting themselves under pressure when they allowed a cross to get into the area, but fortunately Forster’s effort was wide.
Clipstone were now on the front foot and Townsend did well to block former Wren Kieran Watson’s effort. On 37 minutes Rainworth gifted Clipstone the equaliser when a defensive mix-up between Townsend and Jake Adlington saw the ball fall at the feet of Forster who had the easiest of tasks of putting the ball into the empty net.
That was the signal for a Clipstone onslaught until the half-time whistle with Nathan Forbes going close as Rainworth struggled to get out of their half.
Rainworth had Townsend to thank when he made an excellent finger-tip save from James Ashmore’s free-kick as the referee brought the half to a close.
The opening minutes of the second half became a midfield battle as both sides fought for supremacy as they pushed for a second goal.
Rainworth came close in the 56th minute when Jack Barnett’s goal-bound free-kick was deflected for a corner. On 63 minutes Rainworth brought on Declan Brewin for the injured Harry Bamforth.
Rainworth threatened again in the 69th minute when Poole’s clever flick found Nick Langford but his shot lacked pace and it was easily gathered by Bailey.
Clipstone went straight down the other end and another mix up seemed to be over when Townsend appeared to have the ball in his hands with Watson in close attendance. As the ball was cleared Watson went down in the area, the referee waved play on but his assistant flagged and after a discussion awarded a penalty. Andrew Fox stepped up and gave Townsend no chance finding the bottom corner.
Rainworth brought on Julian Topliss for Poole and immediately went on the attack in search of the equaliser. It wasn’t long in coming as an excellent through ball found Brewin and although Bailey did well to block the initial shot, he had no chance with the follow up.
The game was becoming frenetic as both sides pushed for a winner and Townsend did well making an excellent save from Watson.
Clipstone finished the game on the front foot but Townsend did well saving in quick succession from Ashmore and Watson in the dying minutes.
Whilst both sides may have thought they should have won on the balance of play a draw seemed a fair result.
RAINWORTH MWFC: Townsend; Adlington; Griffin; Barnett; Cheeseman; Ludlam; Herbert; Bamforth (Brewin); Langford; Poole (Topliss); Sykes. Sub (not used): Claxton.
Referee: Mr. James Bell
Man of the match: Rob Ludlam