The Band Played, As Rainworth Sank!!
Today’s F.A. Cup Preliminary Round fixture between the two Miners Welfares Rainworth and Staveley needed no Giant Killers.
Rainworth play one level above Staveley in the football pyramid, but on this showing they will not be playing at step 4 next season. Today they were outclassed by step five side Staveley and the scoreline could have been more emphatic if they had converted all their chances.
Rainworth have never recovered from the loss of virtually their entire first team line up of last year, this combined with the manager’s resignation on the eve of the new season hasn’t helped. Unfortunatelly time and sympathy from the fans is fast running out and they expect a major improvement from the team in the coming weeks.
In the first few minutes of the tie, neither side were able to gain the upper hand. That changed in the 8th minute when in Staveley’s first attack Austin McIntosh broke down the right and his cross found Nathan Forbes who cut inside and coolly slotted the ball home.
Rainworth almost got on the score sheet, when in the 12th minute a Matty Jones cross was met by Tristram Whitman’s head and was cleared off the line. Debutant Rob Gill struck the clearance well over the bar when well placed.
Another Rainworth chance fell to Craig Mitchell but his miskicked effort came to nothing as Rainworth continued to handicap their efforts by giving the ball away at regular intervals.
Staveley continued to have the better chances and in the 27th minute they increased their lead when Ryan Damms converted McIntosh’s inch perfect cross. Rainworth were starting to look like a team that had accepted their fate.
They did create a chance when Chris Hewitt’s cross was headed over by Gil, but Staveley were still creating the better of the chances. The 35th minute almost saw Staveley get a third as the Rainworth defence once again failed to cut out a cross, but the shot flew over the bar.
The final attack of the half saw another McIntosh run and cross, but fortunately Matt Thorpe’s header clipped the crossbar. The half-time whistle went and Rainworth were fortunate to go into the break only two goals in arrears.
Rainworth started the second half brightly and Mitchell’s cross was just reached by a defender before Gil could administer the final touch. They however had West to thank when in a four minute spell only his brilliance prevented Staveley adding to their score.
Rainworth brought on Gavin Short for Kieran Coupe as they attempted to stem the persistent Staveley attacks. It seemed to help as firstly Gill’s flick on was nearly met by Mitchell and then a Gill free-kick was easily saved.
Staveley countered and a cross by Kurtis Morley was headed wide by Ellis Wall. Rainworth made their final substitutions bringing on Steve Owens and Scott Rogers for Hewitt and Gary Atkins.
The game was becoming loose and both sides missed chances, with Owens putting the best one into the side netting and another well over.
The final score of the game went to Staveley when Oli Ryan ran onto the ball as the Rainworth defence appeared to stand still.
The referee blew the final whistle with Staveley deservedly winning 3-0, Rainworth on the other hand have a myriad of concerns to address.
Rainworth: West; Coupe (G. Short); Williams; Gregory; Baugh; Atkins (Rogers); Hewitt; Jones; Gill; Whitman. Subs (not used): D. Short; Charlesworth.
Referee: Andrew Park.
Man of Match: Danny Williams.