Eastwood Town 1 Rainworth MW 1
Eastwood and Rainworth played out a tired-looking 1-1 draw in front of a bumper Bank Holiday crowd on Monday.
Whether it was the heat, playing their fourth game in nine days, or a combination of both, unforced errors littered the game but as you would expect from a local derby no quarter was given or expected.
Probably for the first time in the history of the two clubs, Rainworth arrived at Coronation Park as favourites having made a number of impressive signings after withdrawing their request for voluntarily demotion from the league at the end of last season.
The Wrens enjoyed the lion’s share of the possession but it was the Badgers that created the better chances and should have had the game wrapped up before Rainworth substitute Jamie Clarke set up a nervy final 13 minutes with the equaliser.
Former Badgers striker Jason Bradley hit the first shot in anger in the 17th minute which flew wide with Alex Malong scrambling.
The best chance of the half saw Eastwood’s Liam Garner meet Kieran Wells’ cross just before half-time, but he saw his header fly agonisingly wide of the far post.
Rich Whyman wasted the first chance of the second-half for the hosts and with the defences generally on top it was going to take something special to break the deadlock.
Thankfully that moment of quality arrived in the form of Gavin Hurren’s pinpoint cross and Wells’ equally brilliant header which left Rainworth keeper James Martin grasping at thin air.
As the game wore on Rainworth manager Kevin Gee made two substitutions and the Wrens started to apply pressure on the Badgers goal. That pressure finally told when the Badgers defence failed to clear a blocked drive, and Clarke followed up to score.
Both teams pressed for a winner as the game opened up a little. Wells’ lunge almost connected with Jevon Seaton’s cross and Tris Whitman’s cross-shot went narrowly wide, but the best chance fell to Rainworth goalscorer Clarke after Eastwood custodian Alex Malong presented him with the ball inside the box.
Thankfully the big stopper managed to block the striker’s shot to secure a point for the Badgers.
Monday, August 26, 2013:
Eastwood: 1 Alex Malong 2 Tyrone Burton 3 Paul Riley 4 Gav Hurren (c) 5 Sam Craven 6 Rich Whyman 7 Russell Peel (Ash Robinson 61) 8 Liam Garner (Ben Gowing 81) 9 Kieran Wells 10 Tris Whitman 11 Jevon Seaton. Subs not used: Dan Dobbie, Brad Munn, Chris Shaw
Rainworth MW: 1 James Martin 2 Ricky Hanson 3 Mark Dudley 4 Callum Lloyd 5 Matt Varley 6 Sam Saunders 7 Jamie Brown 8 Jared Holmes 9 Jason Bradley (Jamie Clarke 74) 10 Nathan Modest (Joe French 90) 11 Jordan Claxton (Greg Archer 74). Subs not used: Damian Magee, Keiran Walker
Ref: Adam Burgess Best Badger: Liam Garner
Report by Andy Cope
All photos by Brian Eyre