It was all over by half time
The match was all but over by half time, in truth the fact that the match started at all was due to the valiant efforts of the ground staff and that the flash storms abated. Rainworth were hoping for a strong Mansfield Town side and with it a bumper crowd
Mansfield brought a very strong side and the fact that over 250 hardy souls turned out on such an inhospitable evening was testament to the bond that exists between the clubs. We at Rainworth would like to give our heartfelt thanks to Mansfield Town for providing the kind of team we had hoped for, and all the fans who braved the elements, it was very much appreciated.
As for the match it was all but over in the first quarter as Mansfield overran Rainworth with a clinical display of one touch and pressing football. Rainworth’s’ cause was not helped by the fact that four players originally selected missed the game, three of them caught in the flash flooding caused by the freak weather. It would be wrong to claim that the outcome would have been any different, as Mansfield’s form in the first half was irresistible.
The first Mansfield goal came in the 5th minute after an interchange of passes Chris Clements superb pass found Ben Hutchinson who easily found the back of the net. Rainworth managed to withstand the constant onslaught until the 25th minute when one of the stars of the evening Hutchinson found Ross Dyer who coolly slotted the ball home for the second. It could have been worse for in the 20th minute Calvin Andrews, who also had a fine game had had his header ruled out for a marginal offside.
In the 32nd minute the goal of the game, a superb cross from Dyer on the right but an even better one touch finish by ’man of the match’ Hutchinson made the score 3-0. Rainworth continued to try and play football, but on the night the gulf in class was showing and in the 37th minute they gifted the ball to Jordan Ball, who needed no further encouragement to make it 4-0. That’s how the score finished at half time, with the Rainworth faithful, fearful for the second half.
As the second half began, Rainworth had made a couple of substitutions, whilst the Mansfield line-up remained unchanged. The fifteen minutes in the changing rooms had been well used by the Rainworth coaching staff and their new game plan had an immediate effect. The game was much more evenly balanced in fact Rainworth were probably shading it. Both sides continued to make changes during the half but although there were half chances neither side troubled the score line as the game ended.
It has been said before that when a team meets opponents from a much higher level that their chances of success is one in a hundred, unfortunately for Rainworth this was not that ‘one’. Mansfield Town brought their ‘A’ game and for 45 minutes Rainworth struggled. The big positive for Rainworth was they were able to address that and it would be fair to say they matched their higher placed opponents in the second half.
The positives for Rainworth are that in the Evo-Stik Division One South, there hopefully won’t be any teams of the quality of Mansfield, and that there are still over three weeks to work on their shortcomings. The most pleasing aspect was that after taking a battering they were able to show the resilience to come out and give a performance. This will stand them in good stead for the forthcoming League campaign.