Inches away from a replay
When David meets Goliath in the FA Cup, ninety-nine times out of one hundred Goliath usually comes out on top. Today at the Forest Town Arena David was inches away from that one in a hundred game and almost earned a replay.
Roberto Labbate’s equaliser in the 90th minute was ruled out when the assistant referees flag signalled the ball had gone out and awarded a goal-kick.
Rainworth MWFC belied the two-division gulf when their spirited performance meant their FA Cup tie against Evo-Stik side AFC Mansfield went the full ninety minutes before AFC Mansfield eventually won by the narrow 1-0 margin.
AFC Mansfield were on the front foot from the kick-off and in the 6th minute Ellis Wall’s effort was well over. Rainworth were however not in a charitable mood and they slowly worked their way into the game.
The home side almost opened the scoring in the 20th minute and the Rainworth defence g=had to be thankful to an AFC Mansfield forward for blocking the effort.
Undaunted Rainworth went straight down the other end and when Blessing Adeleye found Adam Jackson his effort was blocked for a corner.
A couple of minutes later there were chances at either end, as firstly Rainworth’s Jack Weatherer put his effort well over, whilst at the other end Wall’s effort met the same fate.
Then Rainworth’s Adeleye had a great opportunity as he ran into the area, but he delayed his shot and it was cleared.
Rainworth were made to pay for the missed opportunity when they immediately conceded a free-kick on the edge of the area and from Wall’s free-kick Jordan Annable reacted the quickest and prodded the ball home.
In the final minute Adeleye once again beat a couple of defenders but his goal-bound shot was saved a full-stretch by Tom Crosby. Shortly afterwards the referee blew to end the first-half.
AFC Mansfield started the second-half just as they had the first on the front foot and Kieran Barnes did well to block Nick Guest’s effort.
Rainworth continued to probe and an excellent passage of play and Adeleye’s and Liam Jepson’s interchange resulted in a corner. From the corner Jepson’s long-range effort went wide.
A scramble ensued in the AFC penalty area as Ashley Jones’s cross was cleared at the expense of a corner. Shortly afterwards Rainworth made a double substitution, Antonio Wedderburn and Liam Osborne coming on for Jones and Kyle Lee.
Rainworth were almost caught out when an effort on goal took a wicked deflection but fortunately foe them it cleared the crossbar. They quickly were on the attack and were unlucky when Crosby just beat Jepson to his cross into the area. The same players combined minutes afterwards, but Jepson’s effort was inches wide.
A period of AFC Mansfield pressure saw Warren Squires twice thwart Bradley Wells before pulling off an excellent save to deny his brother Kieran.
The game continued to be end-to-end and Adeleye’s cross to Jepson was just intercepted. At this point Rainworth made their final substitution bringing on Tom Sharpe for Jepson.
The final minutes so both sides threaten as Kieran Wells and Anton Foster both put efforts wide.
In the final minute of the game Rainworth thought they had equalised when the cross was put into the net by Roberto Labbate. The celebrations were short lived as the referee’s assistant had flagged for the ball going out and a goal-kick was awarded.
That was to be the final action of a Cup-tie in which neither side were ever comfortable as the referee blew for full-time.
RAINWORTH MWFC: Squires; R. Labbate; Sockett; Foster; Barnes; Jackson; Jones (Wedderburn); Weatherer; Adeleye; Lee (Osborne); Jepson (Sharpe).
Subs (not used): Gaughan; Denyer; Egner; Robinson
Referee: Mr. Anthony Wingate
Man of the match: The Team