'Rainworth Strangers' in a stalemate
RAINWORTH recorded their second successive league goalless draw, and their third blank at the front end in successive matches as their mini goals drought continued at the Aspire Stadium this afternoon.
A dreary affair had 0-0 written all over it as hosts Newcastle Town lacked as much bite as did the visitors, with both sides’ sets of teeth apparently left in a glass in their respective bathroom cabinet.
Even any flowing football was at a premium, although in Rainworth’s case there was probably some excuse with four new faces in the line-up.
Of the side which started the previous Tuesday’s Doodson Cup tie at Eastwood, Kieran Walker had moved on to Boston United, while goalkeeper Alessandro Barcherini, defender Dan White and midfielder Danny Bacon were all sidelined by injury.
So in came four new signings, two of them on loan. Goalkeeper Scott Low was signed from Ilkeston on the morning of the match, defender Sam Purcicoe and attacking utility player Jermain Hollis arrived from Grantham Town—Purcicoe on loan and Hollis for his fourth spell with the Wrens, and the quartet was completed by midfielder Jonathan Williams from Gainsborough Trinity.
Purcicoe almost put his new temporary club in trouble in the fifth minute when he sliced an attempted clearance from inside the six yard box, but Low was quick to fall on the ball before the home forwards could pounce.
Rainworth were not quite as poor as their hosts in the first half, and Ryan Goward, Conor Higginson and Ashley Kitchen all saw efforts go off target, in Kitchen’s case a header from a corner.
But Andy Nicholls’ attempt for the home side met the same fate as they managed to create a rare opening against a well-drilled defence in which Kitchen in particular impressed.
Early chances at both ends raised hopes of a brighter second half, Nathan Sutton finishing wide for Newcastle and Callum Lloyd seeing his well-struck 25-yarder held under the bar by home keeper Dave Parton.
But it did not take long for the stupor to return, although Higginson temporarily raised the temperature with a well-worked attempt from the right which was well saved.
It took a well-timed challenge by Mark Camm to deny Jon Hughes the chance to settle it for the home side five minutes from time, but victory for either side would have been an injustice.
NEWCASTLE: Parton, Lowe, Bridge, Ruddock, Moyo (Askey 67), Carter, Gordon (France 19), Nicholls, Kenny (Hughes 79), Sutton, Diskin. Sub not used: Wint.
RAINWORTH: Low, Purcicoe, Hanson, Camm, Kitchen, J. Holmes, Lloyd, Williams, Higginson, Hollis (Kimberley 87), Goward. Subs not used: Jenkins, Bennett.
REFEREE: Ben Cooke of Atherstone.
MAN OF THE MATCH: Ashley Kitchen.