With temperatures marginally above freezing, a much-changed Rutherford side stepped out of the dining hall and began the trek to the new Holywell rubber crumb to face unbeaten Faraday. They were met with their opposition immersed in intense drills, no doubt set up by the Ashby Rovers / Faraday quartet of Messenger, Elliott, Osmond and Webster. Typically, Rutherford’s warm up involved a light jog and a hope that the players from town would show up before the 6pm kick off. They did, and the game got underway with a Faraday referee for the first half.
The claret and yellow outfit, famed for dominating most IMS leagues in recent times, were backed by a sizeable crowd and made most of the early running, testing the new Rutherford CB pairing of Chambers and Kimbzy. Tipping, in the Rutherford net, saved smartly on more than one occasion in the first half while third-year full backs Buckley and Martin were dealing well with Faraday’s tricky wingers. A mistimed crunching tackle from Kimbzy offered Faraday an ideal free kick opportunity which was put over the top, while at the other end Catlow was decked by the ‘stocky’ Faraday keeper. The referee agreed with the partisan crowd and waved play-on, to the disbelief of those in red. Goalless at the break with Rutherford largely second best.
The second half started far brighter for the Cherries. The midfield trio of Mclachlan, Vousden and Rickenbach finally began communicating with each other, the latter perhaps feeling the effects of an eventful Mayhem evening 18 hours earlier. Lazlo Henry was getting some joy down the right hand side, but struggled to find lone striker Barber in goalscoring positions. Faraday’s centre backs Osmond and Webster did a job on Barber, who ended the game more battered than the lunch on offer in the Campus Living dining halls on Fridays – Webster’s experience of spending his Sunday mornings on the muddy fields of Charnwood in evidence here.
As Rutherford tired and the Faraday crowd grew larger still, the Cherries’ midfield substitutions made little impact to stem the tide and it was Faraday with the first glaring miss of the game. A low cross from the right somehow evaded the Faraday strikers; I’m reliably informed one has notched 8 goals already this season, but they must have all come against JP based on this performance. Kimbzy then decided to maraud forwards with the ball, much like Tal Ben Haim does at the start of the video below. The Faraday attackers pinched the ball and were through on goal, but Tipping saved the day for Rutherford. Chambers, Catlow and Barber all had half chances in the final 10 minutes but Faraday still had the lion’s share of the ball and could have had a penalty of their own – Rutherford perhaps grateful for the change in referee personnel at the break.
As the final whistle blew on what is perhaps the first goalless draw in the history of IMS football, the frustration on Faraday faces was clear. The better team, they failed to break down the committed defensive trio of Kimbzy, Vousden and the outstanding Chambers, and for that Rutherford were worthy of their point. Faraday still unbeaten, Rutherford still second, but both losing ground on frontrunners Bill Mo.
RESULT: RUTHERFORD 0-0 FARADAY
Alex Martin, Eugino Kimbzy, Chris Chambers, Henry Buckley
Lazlo Henry, Alex Rickenbach, Joe Vousden, Tom Mclachlan, Lewis Catlow
(Huz Azam, Jamie Owen, Matt Higgins)