Groundhog Day Revisited
Rainworth MWFC’s inability to convert their chances once more cost them, with a third in four 1-0 defeat, this time against mid-table Kimberley MW.
Like the previous week the 63rd minute was their undoing, failing to deal with a cross from the left that ended up in the back of the net. Whilst still not a crisis, bottom club Arnold Town winning for the first time and with a run of fixtures against teams in the top half of the league, Rainworth know they must address their shortcomings, sooner rather than later.
Rainworth started the game at a fast pace and as early as the 2nd minute Cameron Davidson’s effort flashed just the wrong side of the upright. Kimberley’s reply was an effort from Sean Green, but it was straight at Andy Francis.
Rainworth continued to have the better of the opening quarter with Jonathon Drake’s long-range effort going just wide and Josh Asuman’s goal-bound effort was fortuitously diverted for a corner.
However, despite their strong opening it was Kimberley who should have opened the scoring when in the 22nd minute Jason Dawson was adjudged to have brought down Green in the area and the referee awarded a penalty. Fortunately for Rainworth Francis’s excellent form continued and his full-length diving save denied Green’s effort from the spot.
The pattern of play continued with both sides creating chances without either threatening their opponents’ goal, although Ethan Wiesztort went close with his 30th minute effort just going wide of the upright, with Charlie Mansfield well beaten.
The half ended as it had begun with Rainworth once more going close, but Max Curzon was unable to get enough of a touch on Asuman’s through ball and it went wide.
It was Rainworth who started the quicker of the two in the second half and Drake’s long-range nearly wrong-footed Mansfield, but he was able to regather the ball at the second-attempt. Just when it appeared neither side could find a finish, Rainworth were indebted to Francis when he pushed Sacha Markelic’s effort onto the post and minutes later at the other end Asuman’s effort came back off the upright with the keeper well beaten.
The only goal of the game came in the 63rd minute when their seemed little danger from a cross from the right but Adam Morley reacted the quickest and his header found the net. Rainworth continued to lack penetration in the final third and in the 72nd minute made a double substitution, Charlie Hardwick for Davidson and Callum Pursglove for Curzon.
Rainworth came close in the 83rd minute when after an excellent inter-change Will Spray’s goal-bound effort was diverted for a corner. A minute later and Kimberley almost gifted Rainworth an equaliser when Pursglove’s cross was mis-kicked by Sam Farn and it flew inches over the crossbar.
Rainworth made their final substitution on 85 minutes when Shomari Doyle replaced the injured Drake and he almost scored in the 87th minute but his effort was blocked.
The three minutes of injury time reflected the previous ninety, with Rainworth’s Spray’s effort going just wide, whilst Green spurned a second penalty opportunity, this time putting it high over the crossbar.
Rainworth will be concerned about their inability to convert their opportunities, especially whilst they remain in the relegation battle, but know if they can solve that conundrum, they can push even the top teams close.
RAINWORTH MWFC: Francis; Copestake; Toon; Drake (Doyle); Spray; Dawson; Wiesztort; Davidson (Hardwick); Asuman; Fry; Curzon (Pursglove).
Subs (not used); Taylor; Henry.
Referee: Mr Paul Buck.