As local derbies go this one was a thoroughly entertaining affair. Both sides came out to play football and plenty of chances were created. But, at the end of the day, the home side were left a little deflated after surrendering a 2-goal lead in the final 10 minutes.
It’s fair to say that both teams suffered from Saturday’s games and both fielded understrength teams.
The first chance of the game fell to the visitors, Ryan Williams had an effort blocked and Matty Plummer’s follow up was tipped onto the bar by Ben Townsend and out for a corner. The Bulls went close again on 6 minutes with a neat passing move involving Williams, Bryan Hughes and Gary Bradshaw, the latter seeing his effort turned around the post by Townsend.
It was now the home sides turn to go close, Jack Barnett seeing his low drive cannon back off the post and the follow up was blazed over the bar by Aaron Moxam. The next chance was a wayward header from Jordan Claxton after a good run and cross from Carter Widdowson.
The game began to settle and Barnett had a shot blocked on 25 minutes, White punched away the resulting corner. At the other end AFC Captain Chris Timons header narrowly over.
White then saved a 25-yard free kick, albeit at the second attempt. On 38 minutes Jimmy Ghaichem twisted in the box and was upended by Tom Poole. The referee immediately pointed to the spot. Up stepped Jason White, AFC’s regular penalty taker. His penalty was struck well but a superb diving save from Ben Townsend, diving full length to his right, to push away the stinging drive.
So the teams went in all square at the break with all to play for and if the 122 who turned out to watch thought the 1st half was entertaining it was only going to get better.
A change of tactics for AFC as they opened up a little more, which only succeeded in letting Rainworth in behind them. Two chances were squandered in the opening minutes of the half. Firstly, Dec Brewin shot straight at White and then Julian Topliss fired high and wide with just White to beat.
But the home side were definitely in the ascendency, the visitors were next to go close a Hughes cross was met by Bradshaw who’s header clipped the right hand post with Townsend beaten.
It was the home side who finally broke the deadlock on 56 minutes, a Moxam cross was missed by two defenders and fell to Poole who fired past White from 8 yards.
A bit of a scare for Rainworth Captain Phil Buxton when cutting out a Ghaichem cross he was inches from putting the ball into his own net.
Rainworth went two up on 65 minutes when from an AFC free-kick the home side broke and almost a carbon copy of the 1st goal but this time it was Moxam applying the finishing touch.