Sometimes you just try too hard.
After Saturday’s disappointment, management and players were determined to put in a performance against todays visitors Brigg Town. However fate was once again to deal them a cruel blow, just as it did in similar circumstances in last year’s fixture
Just as on Saturday if games were won solely on possession, corners and chances created, then Rainworth would have been victorious. Alas they are won on goals scored, a commodity that Rainworth are finding so hard to come to terms with, and as on Saturday, tonight they came up short.
For the majority of the first half the game took place in the Brigg half and the corner count soon mounted the final touch all that was missing from a succession of fine build up play. Rainworth thought they had scored in the 3rd minute, only to see Adam Murray’s goal bound shot deflected for a corner. Brigg did nearly score against the run of play when Liam Dickens made room for himself only to see his weak finish easily collected by James Martin.
Once again Rainworth so nearly broke the deadlock when a great Adam Murray ball found Jamie Brown, but his cross just drifted over the crossbar. Brigg once again counter-attacked, but Jamie Coulson’s attempt was shepherded back to the keeper by Sam Saunders. It wasn’t long before Rainworth once again threatened the Brigg goal and in the 16th minute Jamie Clarke just headed wide from a Matt Varley long throw. Another Adam Murray ball found Jamie Brown, but his cross was just cut out.
The pressure by now was intense and in the 21st minute from a Ricky Hanson corner Dan Waring nearly punched into his own net. From the subsequent corner the ball found Nathan Modest, but his fierce shot went just wide of the post. Rainworth’s corner count was getting into double figures, but it was Brigg who had the next chance when Oliver Fisher’s fine cross was headed over by Dickens. This was quickly followed by a chance for Brigg’s Paul Grimes, but his rushed shot just went wide.
From yet another Rainworth corner Varley headed wide from Hanson, this was fast becoming one of those nights. Then it happened, a fine pass from Grimes found William Peers in the 41st minute and his shot beat Martin and nestled in the Rainworth net. Brigg nearly added to the score when a fine Grimes shot from outside the area was well saved by Martin. The whistle went for half-time and once again a half dominated by Rainworth saw the opposition in the lead.
At half-time Rainworth substituted Greg Archer for Varley and Rainworth continued to take the game to Brigg. In quick succession Murray found Brown whose cross was just cut out before it reached Jamie Clarke at the expense of a corner. From the corner Clarke’s header just went the wrong side of the post, the failure to push home the advantage when on top is the story of Rainworth’s season. In the 57th minute Scott Rickards replaced Modest and shortly afterwards a mix up in the Brigg defence almost gifted a goal.
Although Rainworth had the lion’s share of the play, Brigg were always a threat on the attack and in the Coulson missed a good opportunity, his shot eventually going out for a corner. On a surreal night, Brigg found themselves two goals up when Archer’s weak header back to Martin was intercepted by Grimes and deftly placed into the net. Rainworth promptly went down the field and from a Hanson cross Clarke placed his header wide of the keeper. What seemed to be the turning point in the match for Rainworth soon disappeared when two minutes later weak defending allowed Coulson time and space to score Brigg’s third.
Rainworth stilled pushed forward but with a two goal cushion, Brigg could sense victory and an incident in the 82nd minute just about ended any chance Rainworth had of getting anything from the game. Murray broke through the middle and with Anthony Bowsley attempting to hold him back the referee played advantage as Bowsley’s continued to hang on, Murray’s elbow struck him in the face. The referee booked Bowsley and sent Murray off, it is always a contentious issue when it appears that the instigator becomes the beneficiary.
Down to ten men still didn’t daunt Rainworth and from Hanson’s free-kick the ball struck the upright with the keeper well beaten. Brigg were now contend to soak up the pressure and although Sam Saunders came close with a header Rainworth were unable to add to their solitary goal. The final whistle went and Brigg celebrated their first win and points of the season, for Rainworth their bright start to the season was fast becoming a nightmare.
Immediately after the final whistle, Rainworth manager Kevin Gee tendered his resignation on yet another night when Rainworth’s performance belied the result. However goals win football matches and Brigg showed how it was done with far less opportunities. During Kevin’s reign at Rainworth the expectations have grown, he must take credit for turning the club around from what had been a team of perennial relegation fighters to one of mid-table security. Whoever comes in at Kirklington Road must build on Kevin’s legacy and hopefully solve the conundrum of the elusive goal scoring.
RAINWORTH: Martin; Hanson; Dudley; Lloyd; Varley (Archer45); Saunders; Brown; Murray; Modest (Rickards 57); Buttle (Walker 75). Subs (not used) Claxton; Cullingworth.
Referee: Mr. Duncan Carratt of Rotherham.
Man of match: Jamie Brown.