Rainworth Miners Welfare and Clipstone couldn’t be separated on Saturday as they played out a 2-2 draw at Kirklington Road.
Both sides had periods of dominance and whilst both were guilty of errors, no-one could question their commitment. In the end the game ended in a draw with the result in doubt until the final whistle.
It was Rainworth who started the match on the front foot and in the seventh minute a great ball from Tomas Poole found Matt Sykes and he gave Jamie Bailey no chance as he drove the ball home for the opening goal.
The game settled down after this with both sides probing, but neither able to produce anything in the final third.
It wasn’t until the 18th minute before Clipstone had their first effort on goal, but Ellis Wall’s shot was straight at Ben Townsend who easily gathered.
Rainworth almost got a second in the 24th minute when Sykes’ free-kick was deflected and Joe Cheeseman just failed to get a touch. A minute later and Poole set up Ryan Herbert but his long-range effort just cleared the crossbar.
Clipstone also had their chances and Sam Forster’s tempting cross on 28 minutes deserved better, but there were no takers.
Another good Rainworth break saw Harry Bamforth’s effort blocked by the keeper while Forster’s effort was wide for Clipstone, who were now on the front foot and Townsend did well to block a Kieran Watson effort.
On 37 minutes Rainworth gifted Clipstone the equaliser when a defensive mix-up between Townsend and Jake Adlington saw the ball fall at the feet of Forster who had the easiest of tasks of putting the ball into the empty net.
That was the signal for a Clipstone onslaught until the half-time whistle with Nathan Forbes going close as Rainworth struggled to get out of their half.
Rainworth had Townsend to thank when he made an excellent finger-tip save from James Ashmore’s free-kick as the referee brought the half to a close.
The opening minutes of the second half became a midfield battle as both sides fought for supremacy as they pushed for a second goal.
Rainworth came close in the 56th minute when Jack Barnett’s goal-bound free-kick was deflected for a corner.
Rainworth threatened again in the 69th minute when Poole’s clever flick found Nick Langford but his shot lacked pace and it was easily gathered by Bailey.
Clipstone went straight down the other end and another mix up seemed to be over when Townsend appeared to have the ball in his hands with Watson in close attendance. As the ball was cleared Watson went down in the area, the referee waved play on but his assistant flagged and after a discussion awarded a penalty. Andrew Fox stepped up and gave Townsend no chance finding the bottom corner.
The equaliser wasn’t long in coming as an excellent through ball found Brewin and although Bailey did well to block the initial shot, he had no chance with the follow up.
Townsend made excellent saves from Watson (twice) and Ashmore as Clipstone finished the game on the front foot, but the encounter would end all square.