Gamble turns into a costly lesson
Rainworth management made the decision to reward the players who started in the first win of the season, at Borrowash Victoria on Wednesday evening, and for 20 minutes the decision appeared to be the right one.
A wonder strike by former Wren Liam Theakstone in the 21st minute broke the deadlock and defensive frailties allowed a second four minutes later.
Lightning pace and quick counter-attacks saw two further goals before half-time with Sherwood Colliery displaying the fire-power that has seen them with a 100% record in the league so far.
Rainworth turned to the experience from the bench at half-time making a double substitution and although the second-half saw parity, in truth they were never able to seriously threaten the Sherwood goal.
The game opened with Sherwood playing with a strong breeze at their backs and they almost opened the scoring in the eighth minute. Lewis Weaver whose pace was a threat all game found a yard of pace and his excellent cross was met by Ewan Robson at the far post, but he failed to get the ball from under his feet and it went out for a goal-kick.
From the goal-kick Luke Walker powered down the left and when he passed to Jacob Webster, there was a glimmer of a chance as his through ball found Scott Wesley in the area, the assistant’s flag for offside brought the move to an end.
Sherwood almost made Rainworth pay when failing to close down Jamie York in an advanced position, luckily his effort was straight at Warren Squires. A minute later and Ricky Starbuck’s through ball found Weaver but his effort lacked power and it was easily gathered by Squires.
The Rainworth faithful don’t need telling anything about former Wren Theakstone’s lethal finishing, but even they were treated to something special in the 21st minute. A through ball found Theakstone with his back to goal on the edge of the area and in a flash, he cushioned the ball, turned and volleyed the ball into the top corner giving Squires no-chance. If it happened on ‘Match of the Day’ it would have been an early contender for ‘Goal of the season’.
Four minutes later and familiar frailties saw Rainworth’s lack of pace allow Weaver to win the race for the ball and an exquisite lob over the advancing Squires saw Sherwood double their lead.
Spasmodic Rainworth attacks saw Liam Jepson good run and cross earn a corner but it was Sherwood who carried the biggest threat and it came as no surprise in the 40th minute when they scored their third. Yet another through ball left the Rainworth defence floundering and although Robson’s effort was off-target, Theakstone was on hand to drill it home.
Whilst the first twenty had been close the second had seen a Sherwood attacking ‘master-class’, finished off by Theakstone’s wonderful pass that left Gareth Curtis with the easiest task of converting the fourth goal.
At the half-time whistle Sherwood led 4-0 with a ruthless display, with a little help from Rainworth emphasising why they are one of the favourites for the title this year.
Rainworth brought on experienced Antonio Wedderburn and Jacob Lowe for Joe Sockett and Tom Sharpe for the start of the second-half.
It seemed to have an immediate effect as in the opening minute Jepson’s dangerous cross into the area was put out for a corner.
Whilst Rainworth gained more parity in the second half they were lacking any ruthless cutting edge and were limited to half-chances.
Blessing Adeleye’s effort in the 55th minute lacked power and it was easily gathered by Liam Kerry in the Sherwood goal.
Sherwood’s Nathan Clarke put his header wide when well placed in the 60th minute and straight afterwards Rainworth made their final substitution bringing on Ryan Dakouri for Nick Labbate.
Rainworth had more of the play and Wedderburn put his free-kick wide of the post, whilst Webster’s long-range effort went over.
Rainworth finally had the ball in the net when Dakourie’s effort crossed the line but a chance of a consolation goal soon faded when the referee disallowed it and awarded a free-kick for a foul on the keeper.
They had one last chance on 88 minutes but Dakourie’s headed a free-kick wide of the upright. At the final whistle Rainworth could have no complaints, having been given a lesson in finishing by Sherwood.
RAINWORTH MWFC: Squires; R. Labbate; N. Labbate (Dukourie); Webster; Barnes; Sockett (Lowe); Sharpe (Wedderburn); Wesley; Adeleye; Walker; Jepson.
Subs (not used): Foster; Robinson.
Referee: Mr Gareth Carlisle