It started as a football match and ended as a pantomime!!
In conditions more suitable for ducks; both sides provided an entertaining match with moments of pure class. Only for it to deteriorate in the final minutes into a pantomime; spoiled by the villain in black and his two ugly sisters.
In the wettest year on record; it came as no surprise that the match was subject to a 9:30 am inspection. Although passing that the continuous rain meant that a further inspection was necessary before the match could proceed. Finally the match got the go ahead; much to the displeasure of the home groundsman.
The game got under way and both sides took time to adjust to the weather and the state of the pitch. In the first real attack of the game Rainworth scored a goal of pure class. Conor Higginson’s pace took him clear of the defence on the right and his fiercely struck cross was dummied by Ian Holmes for Ryan Goward to strike his volley into the corner of the net. Conor Higginson continued to get the better of the Brigg defence; something he would achieve all match; and in the 12th minute only a fine save by the keeper prevented him from increasing the lead. In the 16th minute Jared Holmes tried to curl his shot into the far corner; only to under hit it and allow the keeper to save.
Having had most of the play Rainworth allowed Brigg’s Paul Grimes time to turn; he needed no second invitation and duly placed it in the far corner of the net. Rainworth continued to use Conor Higginson’s pace and in the 28th minute only a fine save by the keeper once again denied them. Another fine interchange of passes between Ian and Jared Holmes gave Conor Higginson yet another chance only once again Brigg’s keeper came to the rescue. Jared and Ian Holmes once again combined but Brigg managed to block the cross for a corner. That was the last action of an entertaining half which had left Rainworth wondering why they were not in the lead.
The second half started with Brigg getting the better of the opening exchanges and Rainworth were struggling to get into the game. Eventually Rainworth gained parity; when two crosses were defended for corners. From the second in the 69th minute after the ball ricochet around the six yard box; Kieran Walker headed the ball into the roof of the net. The game was now end to end; Rainworth’s passing style against Brigg’s more direct style. Just as it seemed that Rainworth would weather the final Brigg onslaught they conceded a needless free kick on the edge of their box. In the 90th minute Paul Grimes struck a peach of a free kick round the wall and into the top corner of the net.
Although hard to take a draw would have been a fair result from a game that despite the conditions was full of incident and in parts excellent football. However it was not to be; Christmas would not be the same without a pantomime and a villain. Enter the villain in black who somehow found 5 minutes of extra time for two substitutions and a minor stoppage. Then just as the game was coming to a close he deemed Jared Holmes’s tackle to be a foul even though he clearly won the ball. The resultant free kick was blocked and as the ball was crossed into the area the Rainworth players switched off. Up popped Liam Davis to head home what proved to be the winning goal. There was just enough time for the kick off and the final whistle in a match that neither side deserved to lose. Rainworth are fast becoming a potent force going forward; but their customary lapses at vital times are giving cause for concern.
RAINWORTH MWFC: Barcherini. Walker. Hanson. Camm. Kitchen. Kimberly. I Holmes. Bacon. Higginson. J. Holmes. Goward. Subs (not used): Burton; Jenkins; Nshindano.
BRIGG TOWN: Green. Archer. Dudley. Flett. Hellewell. Gee (Davis 45). Davis. Dickens. Lee. Grimes. Buttle (Holden) Subs (Not used): Bowsley. Downey. Fenty.
Referee: C Akers
Man of Match: Ryan Goward