Performance Gives Hope For The Future
No points, but a great effort against a top side.
A visit anywhere on a Tuesday night in the Evo-Stik Division One South is a foreboding task for Rainworth at the moment with work commitments and suspensions decimating the available squad.
A trip to Mickleover Sports who boast a one hundred per-cent home record was not something they would have chosen, but the squad had been strengthened by new signings.
From the whistle Mickleover went straight on the attack and as early as the 2nd minute they had their first attempt on goal, but Andy Dales attempted lob was well over.
A minute later and a Liam Roberts fumble almost gifted them a goal, but captain Dan White rescued the situation at the expense of a corner.
Roberts more than made up for his error when in the 7th minute he brilliantly saved a Karl Demidh shot that looked a goal from the minute it left his boot.
Whilst nearly all the chances were falling to Mickleover, White marshalled the Rainworth defence and their goal was rarely threatened.
That was until in the 20th minute Jacob Hazel thought he’d scored, only for Roberts to pull off an incredible save to deny him. The effort would not have counted however as the referee had awarded a free-kick for offside.
The first Rainworth chance came in the 25th minute when Mark Camm found Matt Jones but when he crossed the ball debutant Sam Loughran kicked fresh air in his eagerness.
In the 29th minute Rainworth fail to clear a bouncing ball in their six-yard box and Hazel gratefully accepted the gift to open the scoring for Mickleover.
The next chance fell to Rainworth but Jack Andrews driven cross was met by Loughran, but his effort went just over the bar.
Nico Degirolamo had a similar opportunity at the other end minutes later, but he too put his effort over.
The final chance of the half fell to Rainworth as an Andrews cross was headed down by Loughran, but Tristram Whitman couldn’t keep his volley down.
Whilst Mickleover had dominated most of the stats, Rainworth had battled and deservedly only trailed by the one goal.
Demidh’s shot in the 54th minute was tipped over by Roberts as the pattern of the first half continued.
It was quickly followed by efforts by Dales and Arcadi Esposito but neither troubled the keeper.
Rainworth brought on Oliver Brock and Alex Haughton for Jones and Whitman.
There was an immediate impact as Haughton ran at the Mickleover but by the time his pass reached Loughran, he had strayed offside.
An Alton Rennalls effort was wide of the upright and then as Haughton raced on to a through ball, he pulled up clutching his hamstring. Rainworth replaced him with Aaron Richards.
A rare White error almost gifted Karl Ashton, but Roberts made a good save at the expense of a corner.
Then well into stoppage time Ashton hit an unstoppable shot from the edge of the area that arrowed into the top corner for the second goal.
Mickleover were good value for their victory, but Rainworth can take heart from the battling performance they produced on the night.
On this showing Mickleover must have a great chance to gain promotion this season, whilst Rainworth will be relieved this will be the last Tuesday night game for some time.
RAINWORTH: Roberts; Asher; J. Andrews; Hannigan; White; Rennalls; Jones (Brock); Camm; Whitman (Haughton) (Richards); Rawdon. Subs (not used): Turner (gk); Robinson.
Referee: Mr. M. Scriven.
Man of the match Dan White.