It's Easier with Eleven
Rainworth MWFC faced the daunting task of visiting Barrow Town, who were full of confidence after their 4-1 defeat of NECL side Shirebrook FC.
Once again Rainworth MWFC were hit by injuries and unavailability, barely able to field a team let alone substitutes. However, they dominated the early part of the game racing into a two-goal lead, that only changed when they were reduced to 10 men in the 23rd minute.
The innocuous event leading up to the dismissal was handbags, until the ‘red-mist’ overcame Antonio Wedderburn and he left the referee no choice but to show him a red card.
Although Barrow pulled one back, just before half-time, the 10 men managed a third and looked as if they might get something from the game. Fatigue and a couple of defensive lapses saw a relieved Barrow run-out 5v3 winners.
Barton were the first to threaten when James Parker beat the offside-trap, but Kieran Barnes did well to block his effort.
Rainworth opened the scoring in the 6th minute when Liam Jepson pounced on a loose and drove into the area, but as Grant Hartley advanced out of his goal, he coolly slotted it into the corner for the opening goal.
Two minutes later Jepson once again causes panic in the Barrow defence, but his effort is just wide.
Rainworth’s second came from Wedderburn’s corner in the 14th minute when Jacob Lowe rose above everyone and headed it into the top corner. The onslaught continued as first Roberto Labbate’s effort was fumbled by the keeper and then Joe Sockett’s effort from distance was well gathered.
It seemed only a matter of time before they increased their lead, but that was to change in the 23rd minute. A clash resulted in a pushing and shoving melee and when Wedderburn raced to join in, he saw the ‘red mist’ and after his push ended with him catching his opponent in the face, the referee was left with no alternative but to show him a red card.
Rainworth almost got their third courtesy of Barrow when a strongly hit back-pass almost went over the line.
With Five minutes remaining in the half the ten men looked like reaching half-time with a two-goal lead, but when a deflection fell into the path of top-scorer Zak Ginvert, he made no mistake slotting it past Warren Squires to reduce the deficit.
Three minutes later and the lead was almost wiped-out when Parker’s effort was turned onto the post by Squires and cleared. The pressure was beginning to tell and seconds before the half-time whistle Squires pulled off a stunning save to deny Parker.
From the second-half kick-off, Barrow were straight on the attack and Jacob Webster did well to clear at the expense of a corner.
Rainworth once again shocked Barton when in the 52nd minute the ten men broke and when the ball found Webster in the area his shot on the turn found the corner to re-instate their two-goal lead.
Barrow were beginning to have the lion’s share of the play and Squires pulled off excellent saves to deny Ryan Kirk and Parker. Whilst at the other end Blessing Adeleye’s effort was blocked.
With Rainworth visibly tiring Parker took full advantage of his half-chance and slotted it home to reduce the lead.
Barrow had a great chance to equalise in the 61st minute but when Ginvert found himself through on goal, he rushed his attempt and it went wide. Walker had Hartley scrambling but his effort from distance just went the wrong side of the upright.
After defending heroically with ten men, the equaliser was a bit of an anti-climax when lax defending allowed a corner to find its way into the net. Ginvert had the ball in the net in the 74th minute but he was ruled offside.
Barton took the lead in the 80th minute when Danny Page’s free-kick found its way into the net through a gap in the wall.
The final goal came with Rainworth unable to match Parker for pace and he coolly slotted his effort into the corner. Rainworth’s frustrating night got even worse when in the final minute Roberto Labbate was shown a second yellow card, which saw him dismissed.
Rainworth deserved something from today’s match but Wedderburns stupidity made the task in hand much harder than it should have been.
RAINWORTH MWFC: Squires; R. Labbate; Sockett; Webster; Barnes; Lowe; Wedderburn; Hutchinson; Adeleye; Walker; Jepson.
Subs (not used): N. Labbate; Egner (Gk)
Referee: Michael Butterworth