A wonder goal broke Rainworth MW hearts on Saturday as the Wrens began their Toolstation Northern Counties East Premier Division adventure with a 3-2 defeat at Garforth Town.
For much of the match it looked like they would come away from the game with at least a share of the spoils if not all three points.
However, Sam Dockwray’s virtuoso performance was finally upstaged by Andy Hawksworth’s ‘wonder’ goal in the final minutes.
It was Garforth Town who had the first effort, but Mark Simpson’s shot in the thirrd minute was well wide.
Both sides probed each other’s defences without either being able to create the final touch.
It was Rainworth who started to create chances, and in the 16th minute Lewis Bingham found space on the left and his cross found Max Curzon, but he put his volley over.
A minute later it was Rainworth’s Danny Williams whose fiercely hit cross just evaded Bingham and Lewis Chambers.
It was Chambers who threatened again in the 20th minute but his long range effort was well over.
Rainworth were relieved in the 23rd minute when Garforth broke on goal and only Matt Plant’s last ditch tackle prevented a score at the expense of a corner.
From the resultant corner they had Ben Bowring to thank for clearing a bouncing ball as it was about to cross the line.
In the 30th minute Rainworth should have scored when Ben Hunter fumbled the ball, but after a sequence of ‘after you’, when at least three Rainworth players had the opportunity to score, Garforth managed to clear their line.
Their relief however was short-lived when a fine Rainworth flowing move saw Curzon find Bingham who laid it back into Dockwray’s path. The finish from 25 yards was clinical as it rifled into the bottom corner to open the scoring.
Rainworth almost repeated the move, but this time Bowring’s effort flew over and shortly afterwards Chambers shot on the turn just cleared the crossbar.
Garforth made Rainworth pay for their wayward finishing when on the stroke of half-time they conceded the ball in midfield and Daniel Harris broke clear and his cross was met by Simpson for the equaliser.
Rainworth started the second half as they had ended the first by conceding a goal only two minutes after the restart as substitute Ash Preece’s cross was met on the half-volley by Andy Hawksworth.
It was almost three a minute later but as Simpson broke on goal, Joe McCormack managed to deflect the ball with his outstretched arm and Plant gratefully cleared the danger.
But Rainworth once again scored another excellent goal when Curzon laid the ball back to Dockwray who hit an unstoppable thunderbolt for the equaliser. It was apt that Dockwray scored as he was virtually unplayable in midfield all match.
Rainworth must have thought they had taken the lead in the 54th minute when Bingham’s goal-bound shot was brilliantly saved by Hunter at full-stretch.
Rainworth made a couple of substitutions bringing on Thomas Piera for Bowring and James Blakeley for Curzon.
Garforth’s Simpson almost caught Rainworth out again and would have scored but for Plant’s timely intervention.
Dockwray then hit a beautifully weighted through ball to Bingham, but his chip was held on the line by Hunter.
In the 84th minute it was Dockwray again this time setting up Chambers but he was unable to keep his shot down and it flew over.
With only three minutes remaining the game had a draw written all over it, which was until Hawksworth hit an absolute ‘wonder’ goal from 35 yards to win it for Garforth.
Rainworth will look back and think with a little more composure and if they’d looked after the ball better they could have won, however there is no denying they had little chance with the winning goal.
RAINWORTH: McCormack; Hanson; Proctor; Bowring (Pereira 61); Harris; Plant; Curzon (Blakeley 73); Dockwray; Chambers; Bingham; Williams. Subs not used: Ward; Iliffe.
REFEREE: Andy Smith