The Senior Cup is never easy for Rainworth!!
Last year Rainworth played two Central Midland sides in the Notts Senior Cup, one went to penalties the other they lost
So tonight’s game against Bulwell FC, the current leaders of the Black Dragon South Division with a run of eight consecutive victories was not going to be easy. Rainworth made four changes from the team that lost at Romulus, with Jason Gregory, Ricky Hanson, Scott Rickards and Jordan Ball all starting.
The first chance of the game fell to Bulwell when from a corner their looping header landed on the crossbar, this was to be a rare Bulwell chance in a half Rainworth were to dominate. They nearly scored in the 8th minute when Ball’s cross is hit just past the post by Kieran Walker.
In quick succession Walker has another shot cleared and Gregory’s looping shot just goes past the post. Whilst Ashley Longstaff almost set up Ball only to see it turned out for a corner. Rickards then hit a free-kick that nearly found the top corner, but a Bulwell head managed to deflect it for a corner.
At this stage Rainworth were dominating, without really threatening the Bulwell goal. It all changed in the 32nd minute when Bulwell’s Emmanuel Kashila-Kanyinda almost scored, only for James Martin’s block to be decisive. The wake-up call had the desired effect as Rainworth once more threatened the Bulwell goal.
Sam Saunders headed wide, quickly followed by a finger-tip save from Longstaff and probably the best chance of the game put wide by Hanson. In a half Rainworth for the most part controlled, they were unable to find the elusive goal.
The first action of the second half saw Ball thwarted by the keeper when through on goal and it seemed a goal would never come. That changed in the 54th minute when Hanson beat the off-side trap and as he was closed down passed to Longstaff who confidently placed the ball into the net, for the opening goal.
Rainworth’s first substitution saw James Cullingworth replace Gregory in the 58th minute and almost immediately Longstaff evades his marker, but his scuffed shot goes just wide of the post. Longstaff went close again as his fierce shot beats the keeper and the post.
The second Rainworth substitution saw Jamie Clarke replace Hanson in the 65th minute and the final one saw Jack Hawkins replace Longstaff in the 74th minute. Cullingworth was starting to cause problems and from a deep cross Ball headed wide. Just as it seemed they would never score, the 78th minute saw Ball hit an absolute screamer into the top corner, for the second goal.
Rainworth almost added another when Ball found Clarke whose goal-bound shot was kicked off the line and his follow-up blocked. Bulwell almost gave themselves a life-line when Richard Saunders hit a firm shot just over the bar.
This only served to rouse Rainworth into an even greater effort and Ball’s cross was almost put into the empty net by Hawkins, Mark Dudley found himself in the referee’s book for a tug and in the final minute Clarke had a great chance only for him to hit it straight at the keeper.
In a game Bulwell always were second best, they still made life difficult for Rainworth who struggled to convert their plethora of chances.
RAINWORTH: Matin; Gregory (Cullingworth 58); Dudley; Lloyd; Walker; Saunders, Hanson (Clarke 65); Magee; Longstaff (Hawkins 74); Ball; Rickards. Subs (not used): Varley; Rogers.
Referee Andrew Dallison
Man Of Match: Jordan Ball