Rainworth show true grit, and deservedly earn a draw.
Rainworth’s third friendly of the season saw them up against Blue Square Bet North side Gainsborough Trinity, a huge step up from the previous ones against Shirebrook and Ollerton.Gainsborough was nearly at full strength except for striker Mark Jones.
Rainworth MWFC on the other hand had Danny Buttle (Wedding Day) & Mark Dudley (Sunstroke) missing. In addition, Greg Archer, Sam Saunders and Jordan O’Callaghan were named as substitutes, but due to minor niggles the manger was only going to use them if absolutely necessary. Jared Holmes was available after his holiday and new signing Joe French was selected to make his debut.
In a closely fought opening the first chance fell to Gainsborough’s Adam Baker, but his shot went over the bar after a defensive lapse .Rainworth were the next to threaten the score line, when on 24 minutes Jamie Clarke’s flick to Callum Lloyd was hit just the wrong side of the post. They went even closer in the 26th minute when a free kick found Joe French and his goal bound shot was stopped by one of his own players.
Gainsborough’s next chance came in the 33rd minute when a goal mouth scramble was tidied up by James Martin. The best move of the match saw Rainworth’s Scott Rickards and Jamie Brown combine only for Rickards to hit his shot across goal in the 28th minute. The sucker punch was that Gainsborough broke up-field and Tom Ward set Jake Park up with the easiest task of scoring. The half time whistle brought the half to a close, in a closely fought encounter the clinical finish from a side two levels higher being the difference between the sides.
HT: Rainworth 0 – 1 Gainsborough Trinity
The second half saw Rainworth having the better of the early exchanges without ever seriously threatening the Gainsborough goal. As the half progressed Rainworth came close to an equaliser when in quick succession Calum Lloyd’s shot was deflected for a corner and Holmes just hit his shot the wrong side of the post. Rainworth were reminded just how quickly teams from a higher league can turn defence into attack when Bradley Barrowclough’s shot just cleared the crossbar, when it seemed easier to score.
Rainworth however had no intention of settling for an honourable narrow defeat, when in the 79th minute Brown and Hanson combined to set up Holmes, whose pile driver was inches over the bar with the keeper well beaten. For the remainder of the half Rainworth pressed for the equaliser, coming close on a number of occasions. Just when it looked as though their efforts would go unrewarded, Matt Varley’s emphatic header from a corner brought the deserved equaliser. There was just time for the restart when the referee blew for time.
FT: Rainworth 1 – 1 Gainsborough Trinity
The overall verdict of the fans was although work in progress, it was a well-deserved draw against a very good side, which with better finishing, may even have resulted in a win. There is much to be pleased with and things to work on. With another four weeks until the start of the league campaign, the major concern is that minor injuries will not turn into major ones.