Francis Epitomises Rainworth Performance
Rainworth battled hard against promotion contenders Sherwood Colliery at Debdale Lane today, losing by the only goal of the game.
It was Sherwood who had the first attack, but Louis Weaver’s effort was well wide of the target. Then after a period of midfield action, Andy Francis did well to block Jamie York’s effort and it was cleared.
Rainworth’s first effort on goal came in the 11th minute but Jonathon Drake’s effort was strait at Liam Kerry. Sherwood went straight down the other end and Gareth Curtis was only denied by an excellent one-handed save by Andy Francis. From the resultant corner Julian Topliss should have done better when he put his close-range effort well over.
Ben Copestake was involved at both ends in the 20th minute his excellent cross was headed straight at Kerry by Nick Fry. Whilst at the other end his mis-timed back pass set up Curtis only for an incredible block by Francis which saved the day.
Francis did even better in the 33rd minute when Weaver’s free-kick looked destined for the top corner only for him to pull off another excellent save. Weaver did have the ball in the net minutes later, but the referee had whistled for offside well before.
At the half-time whistle Rainworth, who had defended manfully with the odd threat on their opponents’ goal and they were rewarded with a goalless score-line.
Rainworth continued to battle at the start of the second half and in the 54th minute Callum Pursglove’s goal bound effort was blocked at the expense of a corner. The game began to get stretched but Ewan Robson’s header was straight at Francis and Sherwood were happy to concede a corner after Joe Toon’s powerful run into the area.
The only goal of the game cam in the 63rd minute when a long ball found Curtis unmarked in the area and his well-placed header found the corner, despite a valiant attempt by Francis. Rainworth attacked from the kick-off and were inches away from an equaliser after Fry’s cross was fumbled by Kerry but Pursglove’s effort was cleared off the line.
Rainworth made two substitutions in quick succession as Max Curzon replaced the injured Josh Asuman and Charlie Hardwick replaced the injured Cameron Davidson. Rainworth were starting to press for the equaliser and Fry’s fierce drive went inches wide.
On 85 minutes Rainworth made their final substitution Josh Henry replacing Copestake. Seconds later made an absolute ‘world class’ save to deny Cameron Dear and in the final minute he also denied Curtis.
Sherwood just carried the greater threat up front but Rainworth pushed them all the way in a game that looked nothing like a ‘top three’ versus ‘bottom four’ clash.
RAINWORTH MWFC: Francis; Copestake (Henry); Toon; Drake; Spray; Dawson; Wiesztort; Fry; Asuman (Curzon); Davidson (Hardwick); Pursglove.
Subs (not used); Taylor; Wright.
Referee: Mr Max Atherton
Man, of the match: Andy Francis