Leighton Town Give Rainworth A Helping Hand.
It has been well documented that Rainworth haven’t progressed in the FA Trophy in the 2 years they have been eligible for it and with captain Mark Camm crying off with a virus just before kick-off; the omens didn’t look good.
Rainworth however had other ideas and although not at their fluent best had the better of the early exchanges and after winning two consecutive corners they took the lead. A well flighted corner was inexplicably handled by Leighton’s Stuart Deaton, and Ian Holmes duly converted the resultant penalty. Leighton however had not come all that way just to make up the numbers and in the 23rd minute Joe McCormack pulled off a point blank save from Leon Simpson. This spurred Rainworth on and in quick succession a Lee Cooksey header was cleared off the line and then the Leighton keeper just tipped Blair Anderson’s cross off Ian Holmes’s head.
The faithful Rainworth fans must have thought it was going to be yet another display spoiled by poor finishing; when in the 30th minute Ben Spargo had his two efforts on goal saved; when it looked easier to score. The half ended with yet more Rainworth near misses from Jared Holmes and Ryan Goward. The 1-0 score line once again didn’t reflect the Rainworth dominance and the fans thoughts went back to a similar situation at Carlton the previous Wednesday when they managed to lose a game 3-1; they should on chances created have won.
The first few minutes of the second half saw a nervy Rainworth almost gift Leighton an equaliser; but Joe McCormack kept them in the game with a couple of excellent takes. Just when it looked as though they had ridden out the storm a long throw beat all the Rainworth defenders and found its way into the net; to their relief it was disallowed for offside. Leighton’s Ross Hanley was booked for a bad foul on Ricky Hanson; who had to be replaced by Adam Burton. The game ebbed and flowed and once again Joe McCormack came to the rescue with a fine save from Leighton’s Lewis McBride.
Sanity at last was restored and for once Rainworth delivered the killer blow that had eluded them in previous games they had dominated. Callum Lloyd made a run out of defence and passed to Ben Spargo and his 35 yard strike screamed into the net to make it 2-0 Rainworth. The anxiety suddenly went out of Rainworth’s play and from a fine move Danny Bacon’s header was well saved. In the 63rd minute Ewan Clarke replaced Ben Spargo as the Rainworth assault went into overdrive. In the 66th minute Blair Anderson after a mazy run delivered a pin point cross to the far post for Ian Holmes to head home; 3-0 Rainworth. At this stage Rainworth made their final substitution Barry Payne replacing Jared Holmes.
Leighton didn’t let their heads drop and in a five minute period; Joe McCormack had to make three top class saves to prevent them scoring. Still Rainworth pushed forward; Ewan Clarke’s fierce shot flashed just wide and then in the 72nd minute Enzo Sivestri conceded a penalty for handball. Up stepped Ian Holmes: instead of claiming the match ball for a well-deserved hat-trick, he managed to threaten the flight path of a flock of geese flying overhead. In the 77th minute Ryan Goward had the ball in the net only for it to be disallowed for offside. Rainworth continued to press for the elusive fourth goal to no avail and had to settle for a 3-0 victory.
It was not Rainworth’s best display of the season; but it was definitely one of their most productive as far as goals scored went. Leighton battled to the end and you couldn’t fault the entertainment three goals; a missed penalty; two disallowed goals and any number of goal mouth incidents. It was a strange match; Rainworth deserved the victory but it was testament to Leighton that the M.O.M went to a defender Rainworth’s Lee Cooksey.
RAINWORTH MWFC: McCormack; Hanson (Burton 57); Goward; Cooksey; Walker; Bacon; Lloyd (Capt); J. Holmes (Payne 67); Spargo (Clarke 63); I.Holmes; Anderson; Sub (not used): Barcherini.
LEIGHTON TOWN: Dodge; Maltay; Bewley; Hewitt; Deaton (Capt); Nash; McBride; Hanley; Simpson (Maisiri 75); Bishop (Sinvestri 67) ; Morgan (Hassan 41); Subs (Not Used) Chaves; Cunningham.
REFEREE; James Thornhill (Ilkeston)
M.O.M. : Lee Cooksey (Rainworth)