Lincoln Go To Toyne!!
Today’s Evo-Stik Division One South home game against Lincoln United would probably go a long way in defining Rainworth’s season.
Their first two games had been against opposition who would have been expected to contest the play-off positions, Lincoln United however were expected to be in the mix of teams fighting relegation.
The game started well with Rainworth on the front foot, good work by Tristram Whitman set up Matty Jones but his shot cum cross ended going out for a throw in. A minute later they should probably have taken the lead but with only the keeper to beat Gary Atkins and Craig Mitchell collided and the chance was gone.
The game started to meander with both sides struggling to create any chances of note, Lincoln however were starting to edge the midfield battle.
In the 25th minute a momentary lack of concentration and a strike of sheer class was to change the whole nature of the game. Lincoln’s Glyn Cotton played the corner to the edge of the penalty area and Andy Toyne hit a fierce drive that gave Neil West no chance for the opening goal.
From this point in the half Lincoln started to create the better chances and in the 36th minute almost fortuitously doubled their lead when Sean Wright’s cross struck the crossbar.
Wright was becoming more influential in the game and from his cross Bruno Holden just put his header over the bar. Not content in the opposition creating chances, a misplaced Rainworth pass almost gifted Holden, but his effort was well saved by West.
In the final attack of the half Holden should probably doubled the score, but with the goal seemingly at his mercy his miskicked shot went straight to West. The half ended with Lincoln deservedly leading by the solitary goal.
The second half started just as disjointedly as the first half with neither side able to dominate, although Lincoln seemed to have the edge. In the 55th minute they thought they should have had a penalty when Kallum Smith went down in the area, but the officials weren’t impressed.
Rainworth’s first opportunity since the game’s opening minutes came when a Scott Rogers shot was deflected to Steve Owens, but he put his shot wide when well placed. This was quickly followed by a Craig Mitchell shot on the turn as Rainworth made a major effort to get back into the game.
It all came to nothing as from a throw in the 64th minute the ball found Toyne and after evading a couple of tackles he slotted the ball into the far corner, once again giving West no chance.
Rainworth brought Jason Gregory on for Craig Charlesworth, but to no avail as Lincoln almost added to their lead when Smith hit the outside of the post. West then made a fine save as Scott Ruthuen’s goal bound shot looked for all the world a goal.
Rainworth made a double substitution with Joe Harrison and Chris Hewitt coming on for Scott Rogers and Gary Atkins and the fresh legs seemed to make a difference. Rainworth almost got back into the game when firstly Gregory’s header was held by Robert Peet and then Owens dipping shot just cleared the bar.
It was a case of too little, too late as the whistle went for full time with Lincoln deservedly winning 2-0. In truth it had been a poor performance by Rainworth and a large improvement is needed over the coming weeks if they wish to retain their Evo-Stik status.
Rainworth: West; Coupe; Williams; Baugh; Charlesworth (Gregory); Rogers (Harrison); Atkins (Hewitt); Jones; Whitman; Mitchell; Owens.
Referee: Mr A. Wilson.
Man of the match: Danny Williams.