Players recruited, team building begins.
Friday night’s opening Pre-Season friendly of the season away at Ollerton Town gave Rainworth MWFC the work out they needed, a ‘work in progress’ but with an air of optimism.
Pre-Season is a period to bond, work on strengths and weaknesses and be ready for the coming season when it really does matter.
The record books will record a 2-2 draw on the night, away against opposition from NECL Division 1, it will not add that Ollerton Town had already played two pre-season friendlies, whilst Rainworth had only had five training sessions, in the build-up.
The match itself was extremely competitive, local derbies always are, with neither side giving an inch.
The first half showed which team had been together the longest as Ollerton had the better of the exchanges in a half that produced two excellent goals.
The first after 5 minutes came from an excellent Max Pemberton free-kick that was headed into the top corner by Julian Lawrence.
Ollerton’s equaliser, was equally impressive, when on ten minutes former Wren Christopher Hewitt hit an excellent shot from just outside the area into the top corner, giving Ben Townsend no chance.
With the score 1-1 at half-time, manager Craig Denton brought on substitutes as he ‘shuffled the pack’ and it almost brought an instant reward. An impressive passing move saw Shomari Doyle’s goal bound effort tipped around the post by the keeper.
On 55 minutes Lawrence once again impressed as his stunning free-kick from just outside the area found the top corner with the keeper a mere spectator.
The lead lasted three minutes as a defensive lapse allowed the ever-dangerous Kyle Ludlow to score the equaliser.
Whilst the first half belonged to Ollerton, Rainworth started to take a firm grip of the second and on three occasions were unlucky not to have re-taken the lead.
Jack Waddle was unlucky to see his fierce shot clip the outside of the upright with the keeper well beaten, after an excellent passage of play.
Lawrence proved he is more than capable of leading the line with two excellent goals and he was only denied a hat-trick when his thunderous drive hit the underside of the bar and was cleared.
Finally, Lee Betts was denied when his effort was cleared off the line in a period of Rainworth domination that augers well for the forthcoming season.
Manager Craig Denton and his team have put together an excellent squad in a very short space of time, leaving the fans, who travelled, cautiously optimistic and eagerly awaiting Tuesday’s friendly at home to Dronfield Town.