Keepers not in a giving mood!!
Today’s Evo-Stik Division One South game between Carlton Town and Rainworth Miners Welfare had only two goals, but that didn’t tell the full story.
The game got off to a slow start and although Rainworth’s Matthew Varley had the first attempt on goal his shot was well over. Carlton Town started to settle down and in the 6th minute a Jordan Villums back header was well held by James Martin.
Rainworth struggled to get their passing game going on the heavy surface but in the 12th minute Walker was unlucky when his shot just cleared the bar. Both sides continued to test the opposition defences and Villums found Joe Brothwell, but his well hit shot was held by Martin.
Rainworth thought they had scored when a minute later a Scott Rickards thunderbolt looked a goal from the minute it left his boot but Jonathan Viscosi somehow managed to tip it over the bar at the expense of a corner. Later in the half he once again saved well after Jamie Clarke had set up Ashley Longstaff.
The half-time whistle went with the game goal less, but this was due more to the excellence of both keepers, although at times it was also aided by some wayward shooting.
The second half was barely three minutes old when Longstaff found Clarke who laid the ball into Sam Purcicoe’s path, hitting an unstoppable shot past the helpless Viscosi. The pressure continued as first Longstaff’s shot was well saved by Viscosi and then Callum Lloyd’s shot went wide of the post.
It was anything but a one-sided period as from a Carlton free-kick, Martin made an out of this world save to prevent an equaliser. At the other end yet another fiercely struck Purcicoe shot was blocked by Viscosi and Clarke just failed with the rebound.
This saw the start of a period of Carlton dominance without the end product it deserved, although Longstaff still threatened at the other end only for his shot to just clear the crossbar.
Then an incident that must have had Carlton thinking it just wasn’t their day when in the 68th minute the Rainworth goal led a charmed life. In the space of 60 seconds the ball struck both posts and Martin made two saves the second was absolutely World Class.
In the 70th minute Rainworth took off Rickards and brought on Lincoln City loanee Matthew Bowles for his debut, and within minutes he had threaded an inch perfect ball to Longstaff, who was flagged offside. All the Rainworth fans thought he had marked his debut with a goal when in the 75th minute he hit an absolute screamer which appeared to have hit the back of the net. Unfortunately for him and the fans it must have missed the post by inches hit the back wall and struck the rear of the net.
Then after doing so well for 78 minutes, Rainworth decided to give their near neighbours a Christmas present. From a corner they left Grant Brindley unmarked at the near post and he gleefully placed the corner into the net for the equaliser.
There was still time for Walker to have an attempt kicked off the line and at the final whistle the scoreline was 1-1, with both keepers having excellent games and they were in no small part responsible for keeping the scoreline low .
Although Rainworth will be disappointed with conceding a soft goal, they should take some satisfaction from James Martin’s near faultless performance and an appetising second-half substitute debut appearance by Matthew Bowles.
RAINWORTH: Martin; Gregory; Dudley; Lloyd; Walker; Varley; Purcicoe; Magee; Longstaff; J. Clarke; Rickards (Bowles 70). Subs: (not used) Hawkins; Green; Rogers; M. Clarke.
Referee: Nicholas Hopton.
Man of Match: James Martin