Late Christmas present for Rainworth!! As soon as we arrived at the ground and heard how the teams were going to line up, "cricket score" popped into my head.
Rainworth were more or less at full strength, with a front pairing enough to frighten most defences, never mind the makeshift Town one!! That they only scored 7 between them was due in part to some good defensive blocks, but also to some very acrobatic saves from Town's debutant keeper, Alex Malong.
No pics from this game - the light was crap, and it rained throughout the 90 minutes, so the camera stayed in Kev's pocket.
Rainworth's media man Gordon Foster thought mine and Kev's presence might bring the Wrens some bad luck, but his fears were eased when IAN HOLMES was played in on goal in the second minute, and made no mistake slotting past Malong from the corner of the box.
Five minutes later, Malong fumbled the ball in the six-yard box, and CONOR HIGGINSON snapped up the chance, hammering home the loose ball. On 12, Malong tipped over a Higginson effort, then had to stretch to keep out a stinger from Jared Holmes.
IAN HOLMES was gifted the ball in the 31st minute, and went one-on-one with Malong before placing the the ball wide of the keeper. The Yellows were given a goal with 6 minutes of the half remaining when Ashley Kitchen's backward header looped over Ali Barcherini after the keeper lost his footing. H-T 1-3
Higgingson received the ball straight from the restart, and flew through the Hucknall midfield before being blocked unfairly on the edge of the box. Ryan Goward's free-kick was hit ferociously towards the top corner, but Malong produced yet another cracking save to deny the Wrens' winger.
IAN HOLMES completed his hat-trick on 55, curling a sweet 20+ yarder into the top corner from the corner of the box. Malong could do nothing but watch the ball sail past him into the net.
Malong was at fault for the Wrens' fifth goal though, his fumble allowing RYAN GOWARD to pounce on the loose ball and gleefully fire home. HIGGINSON grabbed his second in the 64th minute, running directly at goal before unleashing a terrific drive that gave the keeper no chance.
Ten minutes later, IAN HOLMES added his fourth of the afternoon, Danny Bacon picking him out at the far post. HIGGINSON completed his personal triple with three minutes left to play, sliding the ball home from close range after Malong had blocked the initial effort. F-T 1-8
Referee Nigel Murphy had a quiet game - but went about his business with no fuss and took the awful conditions into consideration when a couple of tackles went flying in. His assistants Craig Langton and Paul Dixon also had a quiet time of it - not much for them do to really. Strange to see them taking "right backs" though. Once or twice players looked to the "left back" where Assistants are usually positioned, only to find no-one there!!
Admission : season ticket
Attendance : 139
Miserable afternoon with miserable weather - not looking forward to Saturday afternoon when Hucknall entertain in form Lincoln United !!