Rainworth are singing in the rain.
On a dark wet night, when the prospects of it being on are in the balance, the last team you want to be playing are the run-away league leaders in the cup.
There was mixed news before kick-off, Rainworth were down to a bare eleven players from the first team squad, Coalville on the other hand were giving some fringe players a game. Their squad however was still very strong and had one of the league’s leading goal scorer’s Ryan Robbins on the bench. As for goal scoring Coalville had scored 12 in their last three games, whilst Rainworth hadn’t scored in their last three.
The game kicked off with Rainworth taking the game to Coalville and in the 9th minute were unlucky not to take the lead when Jared Holmes shot on the turn; came back off the post. Rainworth had the next opportunity to score in the 15th minute when Karl Slack bore down on the keeper only to see his shot saved by the keeper’s legs. Just when it looked like Rainworth were getting on top Jerome Murdock picked the ball up in the Rainworth half and from fully 30 yards struck a low powerful shot into the corner of the goal. This had been Coalville’s first real effort on goal and gave an insight into why they are top of the league.
Rainworth continued to attack and in the 19th minute Jared Holmes slid an inch perfect pass to Ryan Goward whose shot was once again saved by the keeper’s legs. In the 24th minute an incident in the penalty area between Jared Holmes and the Coalville keeper; resulted in yellow cards for both players. This was to have a major impact on the game as in the 27th minute the keeper came rushing out of his area and caught Karl Slack as he was through on goal. The keeper’s second yellow card saw him sent off and Coalville reduced to ten men.
As half-time approached Jared Holmes found Karl Slack and his well struck shot just cleared the crossbar. In the 40th minute Adam Burton was booked for a mistimed tackle as both sides fought for supremacy. On a rare sortie into the Rainworth half, Coalville had a shot cleared off the line by Mark Camm after a bouncing ball had not been cleared. There were no further opportunities for either side after that and the half ended with Coalville leading 1-0.
Coalville brought on two substitutes for the start of the second half in an attempt to gain control of the game. However Rainworth continued to play their passing game and in the 49th minute when the ball found its way to Kieran Walker his well struck shot went in off the post for the equaliser. In the 51st minute Cameron Stuart was the recipient of yet another yellow card for a bad tackle on Jared Holmes; who continued to frustrate the Coalville defence with his accurate passing and combative style.
The game was increasingly being played in the Coalville half, Karl Slack was thwarted by the keeper’s legs and then Ryan Goward by a last ditch tackle. Rainworth took the lead in the 54th minute when yet another pinpoint Jared Holmes pass found Karl Slack who coolly slotted home. This saw a succession of opportunities spurned by Rainworth as they pushed for the third goal. In the 80th minute Karl Slack was replaced by Jordan Klaxton as Rainworth replaced tired legs. As is usually the case in football the side who spurns their opportunities; lives to regret it and Rainworth soon found themselves back on level terms. A Cameron Stuart free kick that just cleared the crossbar should have alerted them, but a comedy of defensive errors in the 86th minute saw Ash Way equalise. Worse was to follow when in the 89th minute Ryan Robins struck the shot that the Coalville bench thought had won them the tie; there was more than a hint of offside but the linesman thought otherwise and the goal stood.
Still Rainworth came back and in the 90th minute a Kieran Walker long throw was headed back into Ricky Hanson’s path and his well struck volley found the back of the net. With the scores level at 3-3 the whistle blew to send the tie into extra-time.
Rainworth fell asleep at the start of extra time and were fortunate not to concede within the first minute of the restart. Once again the ball wasn’t cleared and in the 93rd minute the Rainworth defence found Ryan Robbins with a wonderful pass. Now one of the leagues’ most lethal scorers’s needed no second invitation and duly struck the ball into the net to restore Coalville’s lead 4-3. Rainworth continued to push forward and Jared Holmes was once again unlucky to see his shot beat the keeper and rebound off the crossbar. Not long after in the 104th minute an Ashley Kitchen cross was headed in by Lee Cooksey to restore parity 4-4. The crowd were warming to this manic game but there were no further goals in the first period of extra time.
The second period kicked off with both sides pushing for a winner. The next goal came from the penalty spot in the 110th minute as Jared Holmes was brought down and duly converted it sending the keeper the wrong way. Still this action packed game hadn’t finished and in the 118th minute Kieran Walker hit yet another powerful shot to make the score 4-6 to Rainworth. The last action of the game was the sending off of Coalville’s Leigh Everitt for a stamp in full view of the referee on man of the match Jared Holmes.
RAINWORTH: Barcherini, Walker, Burton, Camm, Kitchen, Cooksey, Hanson, Bacon, Slack (Claxton) J.Holmes, Goward. Sub (not used): Harris.
COALVILLE: Quirke(Gibson), Kay, Chatfield, Woodward(Blakeney), Everitt, Stuart, Way, Carline, Carney, Murdock (Robbins), Leigh. Subs: Matcham, Dodd.
Referee: Craig Taylor.
Man of Match: Jared Holmes