No Favours from the ‘Man in Black’.
A game where the pitch became the talking point!!
When a team who haven’t lost in 14 league matches, winning 11, plays a team fighting relegation, the result must be a forgone conclusion, mustn’t it?
Well today’s game between Spalding United and Rainworth MWFC, on a ‘cabbage patch’ of a pitch, was decided by two refereeing decisions and a ‘freak’ own goal.
Whilst the pitch was the same for both sides it definitely favoured the much bigger Spalding side, although both sides struggled to play football on it.
In the 9th minute it was Rainworth who nearly opened the scoring as Gino Kelleher’s through ball found Romello Nangle, but Michael Duggan did well to narrow the angle and his effort found the side netting.
Spalding were the next to threaten and only a double save by debutant David Reay from Lewis Webb and Jordan Hepenstall prevented them taking the lead.
The game was never going to be a classic as the pitch made passing a lottery.
Rainworth threatened again when another debutant Eliot Brown outpaced the defence but Duggan just managed to save at the expense of a corner.
Chances were limited and Hepenstall and Webb both put theirs well wide for Spalding.
The closest Spalding came to scoring was in the final minute of the half Dan White blocked Lee Clarke’s goal bound shot at the expense of a corner. From the corner Jamie Stevens powerful header just went over in what was to be the last action of the half.
The start of the second half continued much as the first with any chance of a passing game ruined by the state of the pitch.
The 48th minute saw Spalding take the lead when as the ball was cleared Theo Brown appeared to have been caught from behind by Hepenstall, but the referee waved play-on and as the ball was played back Tom Waumsley met it and placed it into the net.
Rainworth had the next chance but Dean Freeman’s effort was just wide. Then debutant Eliot Brown’s effort was blocked and Kelleher put the rebound over.
Rainworth brought on Aboubacar Sylla on for Kuwesi Ofoshine.
Then yet another moment of controversy as Nangle was just going past the last defender when he appeared to be pulled down by Stevens once again the referee waved play-on.
In the 82nd minute Rainworth’s Kelleher shot wide on the turn.
Spalding made the game safe with virtually the last kick of the match when Jack McGovern’s speculative cross took a wicked bounce and ended in the net. Whilst the goal will be credited to him, in reality it should be credited as a ‘pitch’ own-goal as on anything like a normal pitch it would have bounced harmlessly by.
Rainworth must pick themselves up for they have a huge six-pointer next Saturday at Market Drayton and nothing but a win will do if they are to improve their chances of escaping relegation.
RAINWORTH: Reay; Freeman; T.Brown; White; Hannigan; Kelleher; Ofushine (Sylla); Nwadike; E.Brown; Graham; Nangle. Subs (not used): Brock; S.Robinson; I.Robinson.
Referee: Mr. Martin Dexter.
Man of match: Dan White.