Armthorpe Pay the Penalty
Aaron Moxam is one of the last people you give a chance from penalty spot and definitely not three!!
In the last two games Rainworth MWFC had pushed the league’s top two teams to the limit only losing both by the odd goal and with a little luck could have got something from both.
Today against an Armthorpe Welfare side who had neither a point nor a goal to show for their opening four league games, they struggled.
In the end Armthorpe made it much easier than it should have been conceding three penalties, scoring and missing one of their own and having a player dismissed for a piece of unbelievable indiscipline.
Rainworth’s striker Aaron Moxam needs no encouragement to score goals as his record and current ‘7 Day’ suiters will confirm, so to give him three opportunities from the penalty spot could only be described as suicidal. Add to that a player who was yellow carded for abuse and with the referee pleading with his captain to quieten him down, he was left with no alternative but to issue a second yellow card and with it his subsequent dismissal.
The early stages of the game were unmemorable with both sides struggling to overcome the nerves a bottom of the table match brings.
Armthorpe created the matches first chance but Steve Gardner’s effort was straight at Ben Townsend, shortly afterwards a deep cross was just missed by Liam McHugh.
The first Rainworth move of note came in the 21st minute when a fine passage of play saw Declan Brewin bear down on goal, but he put his effort inches wide with Liam Copley well beaten.
Armthorpe’s relief was short lived as Danny Claridge was brought down for a penalty as he drove into the area. Moxam made no mistake from the spot beating Copley comprehensively from the spot.
The game meandered with neither side able to create a worthwhile chance with Rainworth’s Matt Syke’s long range effort in the 30th minute being the closest either side came to an effort on goal.
Rainworth received a wake-up call on 41 minutes when they were almost caught out by a quick Armthorpe free-kick that was to be the last chance of a disjointed half in which neither side had managed to dominate.
The second have started with a bang when on 48 minutes Sykes’s outstanding flighted ball found Moxam and he needed no second invitation to double Rainworth’s lead.
On 53 minutes Phil Buxton’s effort from just outside the area flew agonisingly wide with Copley beaten.
Two minutes later and Armthorpe should have been level when Claridge was adjudged to have committed a foul on the edge of the area, it got even worse when from the subsequent free-kick he was adjudged to have handled in the area for a penalty. Jack Bonser stepped up and promptly put his penalty wide of the post for Armthorpe’s third penalty miss in the last two games.
A minute later and Rainworth almost increased their lead when Syke’s cross was reached by Copley as Matt Thompson was ready to pounce. Rainworth made their first substitution bringing on Jack Hutchinson for his debut in place of Thompson.
Rainworth were indebted to Townsend on 61 minutes when he made a fine block to deny Darren Mansaram and the rebound was hit well wide by Luke Williams.
Sykes almost added to Rainworth’s tally when he caught Copley in no man’s land, but his effort struck the side netting.
A minute later and there seemed no danger as Jason Stevens chased back with Williams but the two collided in the penalty area and the referee awarded a penalty and a yellow card to Stevens. This time the penalty was taken by Craig Morley who made no mistake from the spot to reduce the arrears.
Rainworth made a double substitution bringing on Carter Widdowson and Owen Heather for Stevens and Brewin.
Rainworth began to have a period of pressure and in quick succession Sykes’s free-kick went just wide and Buxton’s was easily gathered by Copley.
The 78th minute saw Armthorpe shoot themselves in the foot when Gardner expressed his displeasure at a refereeing decision and was subsequently booked for foul and abusive language. On another day it could have been a straight red, but despite the referee requesting captain, Neil Sheppard to ask him to quieten down, his request fell on deaf ears. This led to a second yellow card, cumulating in a red card and Gardner’s dismissal.
With only ten men Armthorpe were struggling and Rainworth came close to increasing their lead but Heather’s long range effort just cleared the crossbar and Sykes’s run and shot found the side netting.
The rest bite was short lived and when Sykes drove into the area Copley’s mistimed challenge resulted in yet another penalty. Once again the lethal Moxam stepped up and gave Copley no chance for his and Rainworth’s third.
On 89 minutes Armthorpe did threaten but Sheppard’s effort just cleared the bar.
In injury time an excellent move between Sykes and Claridge and when the subsequent cross found Moxam he was fouled in the area for yet another penalty. There was never any danger that Moxam would miss and he got his fourth goal of the match.
In the dying minute Townsend produced an incredible double save denying Armthorpe their second as the referee blew for time.
RAINWORTH MWFC: Townsend; Stevens (Widdowson); Claridge; Buxton; Cheeseman; Ludlam; Brewin (Heather); Holmes; Moxam; Thompson (Hutchinson); Sykes. Sub (not used): Clarke.
Referee: Martyn Fryer.
Man of the Match: Aaron Moxam.