Saturday, 4 October 2008

Saturday 4th October 2008

Rainworth MW v Dunkirk FC (F.A. VASE 1st round proper)

Made the trip to Kirklington Road on my own - Kevin has had a bereavement in the family and on these occasions, understandably, football takes back stage…

Went a different route to Rainworth today, tried out my new Garmin GPS… worked a treat - arrived with 20 minutes to spare.

On entering the ground, the Rainworth Chairman Brian Reece introduced himself and ushered me into the sponsors area - he handed me a diary, key ring and a box with a pen and the best toy I’ve had for ages ---- a “torch” (pictured), it's magnetic, has a bright blue light and a red pin light as well….brill !!! Apparently he reads this blog and wanted to give me a token of his appreciation - many thanks Mr. Reece.

Rainworth and Dunkirk are both at step 6 in the pyramid, the Wrens are in NCEL Div1, and Dunkirk are in the newly formed EMCL. The strong wind though meant that the game would be won by the team who were able to cope better with the conditions....

Wrens skipper Lee Wilkinson fouled Theo Smith in the 7th minute, and McCaughey 's free-kick was deflected, bringing out a fantastic diving save from Mark Hales in the home net. The ball was played into the box from the resultant corner and Referee Mr. Stickley saw an infringement -no hesitation in awarding a penalty. Aaron Brady hammered the spot kick into the roof of the net, giving Hales no chance.

On 20, the visitors went further ahead, another free-kick conceded - this time Hales failed to hold onto the ball and as it went lose in the 6 yard box, it was stabbed home by Brady...

The Wrens fought back and halved their arrears on the half-hour mark. A long throw from the left by Ashley Grayson was nodded down by Malc Brown and Danny Naylor was on hand to steer the ball over the line from close range.

Dunkirk almost made it three on 38, Brady heading over from two yards, but seconds later Rainworth had the chance to pull level, after being awarded a penalty (I have to admit I didn't see the incident). Mark Hales ran all the way from his goal to take the spot-kick - and promptly smashed the ball against Darren Wheater-Lowe's crossbar. If the ball had been cleared, the home net was empty!! Seems to be a strange choice of penalty taker -- a miss obviously leaves the opposite goal wide open.... H-T 1-2

Chatting with Rob and Caroline Whitehead during the interval, I said I though that with the wind behind them, the Wrens will win the game...(errr..note to self - stop predicting, you're rubbish at it!!).The second half started with both teams being a little over-physical, but there was nothing malicious, just 100% commitment from both sets of players.

Bignall, Whitehead and Bainbridge all had shots off target as Rainworth kept going forward, as they had to...but as an attack broke down in the 66th minute, the ball went to Adey Bascombe on the right wing. The youngster flew down the line, leaving Grayson in his wake before crossing from the by-line and finding Theo Smith on the far post. His thumping volley was far too good for Hales and the game was effectively over. Dunkirk almost added a fourth with 2 to go .. Mark Draper clearing Tom Baker's effort off the line. F-T 1-3

Not the best game ever, but Dunkirk handled the conditions well, and all round they were the better team on the day.

A cold afternoon with a biting wind - my hands were turning blue by the end of the game...last Saturday it was glorious sunshine, this week, big coat, wooley hat - left my gloves in the car - I won't next week!!

Anyway, another 4 goals - and as Dave Harbottle had predicted, the Boatmen kicked Rudy's bum - good and proper, and took the £1000 prize money ... ( by the way, Rob and Caroline have asked me not to visit Rainworth too many times - the last time I was there they went out of the FA cup !! )

£4.00 to get in and £1 for the usual excellent programme. Attendance - my estimate 50....there were a lot of local games on offer...

Tuesday I'm watching Mansfield on Sultana, but Wednesday hoping to drag Kev to Rolls v Magdala...

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