A Rare Rainworth Phenomenon
Rainworth had only kept three clean sheets all season, tonight they produced their fourth, in what was yet another battling team performance.
The adage in Football is ‘Clean sheets win matches’ and so it proved tonight away against Premier opposition Hemsworth Miners Welfare in the League Cup, with Rainworth winning 2-0.
The goals came early in each half, both scored by Nick Langford and helped Rainworth to only their second victory in any competition since last October.
Both sides made a fast start to the match and it was Hemsworth who had the first effort on goal but it was cleared.
They were relieved in the 6th minute when the assistant linesman raised his flag for offside as Billy Law was through on goal.
Rainworth continued to battle against a very mobile Hemsworth side and they came close to opening the scoring on 16 minutes when Sam Leigh fumbled Tomas Poole’s free-kick.
Two minutes later and they did when Poole’s shot was deflected, Leigh could only palm it out and Nick Langford was on hand to score.
Hemsworth continued to probe as they searched for the equaliser, but the much improved Rainworth defence were their equal.
Although they probably should have scored in the 24th minute when the ball was met at the far post by Nash Connolly, but his effort hit the side netting.
Rainworth were hanging on for long periods but in the final minutes of the half came close to increasing their lead when Ryan Herbert’s cross was turned just the wrong side of the upright by Curtis Gregory.
Hemsworth had one last effort when Sam Jones shot was deflected for a corner just as the whistle blew for half-time.
Within four minutes of the restart Rainworth had doubled their lead when Poole set up Langford who hit a measured shot into the far corner.
On 56 minutes Rainworth brought on Declan Brewin for Gregory.
Rainworth almost conceded in the 62nd minute when Jones found Connolly but luckily, he put his effort the wrong side of the upright.
Hemsworth were now throwing everything at Rainworth but the defence continued to put their bodies on the line.
On 71 minutes Rainworth brought on James Munson for his debut in place of Langford, but it was Hemsworth who almost pulled one back when Townsend slipped, but quickly recovered to block the shot for a corner.
A minute later another fine Townsend save defused yet another Hemsworth attack. Law went close when his headed attempt had Townsend scampering as it flew past the upright.
Rainworth were unlucky when Phil Buxton’s long range effort was just wide and Poole’s free-kick was well held by Leigh.
This was followed by Herbert’s long range, but this once again was just wide.
The final minutes saw Hemsworth have one final push, but Rainworth were in no mood to give them anything and deservedly ran out 2-0 winners on the night.
RAIONWORTH MWFC: Townsend; Herbert; Weatherall; Poole; Ludlam; Griffin; Gregory (Brewin); Buxton; Langford (Munson); Harris; Claxton. Subs (not used); Mansell; Parkin.
Man of match: Matt Harris