Flat Rainworth unable to get into stride against Brigg

Rainworth V Brigg Town Football Action
Rainworth V Brigg Town Football Action

END-OF-SEASON lethargy came early to Kirklington Road on Saturday as Rainworth and Brigg went through the motions for a goalless draw.

A flat performance by both sides saw neither keeper unduly extended and the nearest anyone came to a goal was in the 79th minute when Ryan Goward cleared off the Wrens’ line from a Brigg corner.

Three minutes earlier Goward had stretched Zebras keeper Tom Woodhead with a rising cross-shot which had the Brigg custodian stretching up to tip over his bar.

Cameron Fearon had earlier gone close in the opening seconds after the interval, clipping the bar.

Lee Cooksey was a tower of strength at the heart of the Wrens defence, and was as more often than not the rock on which the Zebras foundered despite enterprising work by skipper Liam Davis and Sam Mulready.

The first ghost of an opportunity went Brigg’s way in the eighth minute, when Steve Kennedy miscued a clearance to Davis, who laid off to Darren Mansaram, only for the striker to be quickly closed down.

A minute later Bacon won possession well to send Curtis Shaw through, only for the ex-Mansfield midfielder to push his final pass just too far ahead of Spargo.

Back at the other end a rare error by Mark Camm, who miskicked altogether, let in Mulready, whose goalward advance was effectively halted by Cooksey and the recovering Camm.

Rainworth had a let-off in the 29th minute when Steve Owens pounced on Kennedy’s headed clearance and crossed low into the six-yard box, where Mansaram’s legs were too far over the ball.

Simpson’s body was in the way of a Bacon bullet a minute later following some effective play by Fearon, and Bacon was unlucky again as he rose at the back post to meet Goward’s floated free kick but couldn’t quite meet the occasion.

Hales was well behind a crisp Owens effort as Brigg added half a yard of pace, and then Cooksey and Shaw combined well to deny Davis from Mulready’s astute flick on.

But Rainworth had the last word of the half, Simpson’s cross falling invitingly for the well-placed Shaw who swung a leg at it but completely mis-kicked.

They also had the first word of the second period when, just 25 seconds in, Fearon headed Shaw’s left wing cross against and over the bar with Brigg almost caught cold.

By and large, though, as the half went on, both sides were guilty of giving away possession too readily and moves were breaking down at the final pass.

Goward’s rising cross shot from the left was tipped over the bar by Woodhead who then punched the ensuing corner clear, and three minutes later it was Goward popping up to clear off the line at the far post from a corner.

Romaine Graham showed no little skill for a man of his lofty build with a determined run out of defence to set Glass free, but Glass’s hurried shot was too high with Liam Theakstone lurking on the right, with Glass probably fearing that the youngster had strayed marginally offside.

The final word went to Brigg, right on the final whistle, with Mulready’s fast ground shot straight into the arms of Hales.

RAINWORTH: Hales, Fearon, Goward, Camm, Kennedy, Cooksey, Graham, Bacon, Spargo (Theakstone 74 mins), Shaw (Glass 61 mins), Simpson (O’Rafferty 76 mins). Sub not used: Paling.

BRIGG: Woodhead, Fisher, Heward, Field, Gee, Archer, Davis, Mulready, Mansaram (Mellin 74 mins), Owens (Chapman 79 mins), Dickman. Subs not used: Cannon, Musselwhite.

REFEREE: Andrew Park of Lincoln.

ATTENDANCE: 76.

MAN OF THE MATCH: Lee Cooksey.