Rainworth Return with another Clean Sheet
With only 90 minutes football in 25 days one could have expected Rainworth to be a bit lethargic in the opening exchanges, in tonight’s League Cup tie against Parkgate, but they showed none of the expected rustiness.
On the front foot from the start, the game changed in the 5th minute when with Nathan Modest outpacing the Parkgate defence, former Wren Tim Whittaker’s desperate attempt to tackle from behind resulted in a free-kick and a red card.
From the resultant free-kick Rainworth went in front, but for the remainder of the half Parkgate were inspired and Rainworth blew hot and cold whilst Andy Francis in the Rainworth goal had a busier night than expected.
In the opening exchanges Rainworth’s fast passing game soon had Parkgate camped in their own half. The game changed in the 5th minute when with Modest run on goal brought to a halt by former Wren Tim Whittaker’s attempted tackle from behind, just outside the area. Although it was a genuine attempt to win the ball Whittaker was deemed to be the ‘last man’ and it left the referee with no option but to show the red card.
From the free-kick, Matt Sykes's powerful shot gave Jamie Housley no chance, going in off the underside of the crossbar for the opening goal.
The goal signalled a ten-minute assault on the Parkgate goal with Housley at times all that stood between Rainworth and further goals.
Sykes was inspired and in quick succession he had an effort inches over from distance and then a minute later only a full-length save from Housley prevented him doubling the lead. Then Housley did well to block Modest’s goal bound effort at the expense of a corner.
Rainworth at this point appeared to go into cruise control and 10-man Parkgate took full advantage as they began to get back into the game.
In the 20th minute only an instinctive save by Andy Francis, who at that point had gone 310 minutes without conceding, prevented a Parkgate equaliser.
That effort appeared to wake Rainworth from their slumber and Modest’s dangerous cross was only inches away from being converted by Alex Nightingale. A minute later and Sykes’s shot was parried by Housley and Max Pemberton’s follow-up was well over.
At the other end another chance for Parkgate as an inviting cross finds no takers and it is cleared. It was now end-to-end and Rainworth almost doubled their lead as Kyle Jordan’s cross is put just the wrong side of the upright by Ross Goodwin.
Once again Francis prevented a Parkgate equaliser with another important save, as they continued to bely the fact they are down to ten men.
Just when it seemed there would be no further score before half-time, on the stroke of 45 minutes Modest’s well placed cross was driven home by Jordan to double Rainworth’s lead. There was still time for yet another Parkgate chance to be spurned as the referee blew for half-time.
At the start of the second-half Rainworth brought on Kyle Walker for the injured Modest.
Rainworth began the second-half as they had the first on the front foot and Housley did well to save Sykes’s fierce effort.
On 55minutes after an excellent passage of play Rainworth extended their lead when Jordan beat Housley at the near post. A minute later and he did well to prevent Walker’s goal-bound effort making it four.
In this period of Rainworth dominance Walker’s excellent cross was headed wide by Jordan and Nightingale put his effort over when well placed. On 65 minutes Rainworth made their second substitution bringing on Charlie Dawes for Goodwin.
Parkgate continued to have the odd attack and in the 68th minute Chris Telling put his effort, from distance, well over. Rainworth made their final substitution in the 74th minute replacing the injured Nightingale with Brad Wilson.
The final minutes saw Rainworth pushing for the fourth as 10-man Parkgate visually tired and Housley once again did well to prevent Jordan’s effort crossing the line.
On the stroke of full-time Pemberton’s effort flashed just the wrong side of the upright with Housley well-beaten, that being the final act of an entertaining match.
Rainworth will be pleased to have now gone 432 minutes without conceding a goal but know if they are to be successful in their pursuit of a top 10 finish they must be better with their passing and more ruthless in their finishing.
RAINWORTH: Francis; Bennett; Ludlam; Goodwin (Dawes); Adams; Wankiewicz: Sykes; Pemberton; Modest (Walker); Jordan; Nightingale (Wilson).
Subs (not used): Knowles; Townsend.
Referee: Mr Peter Walker