Newcastle are The Finished Article
Newcastle prove they are a force once again.
Rainworth aspirations of retaining their Evo-Stik status is a long way from fulfilment at this moment in time. Saturday’s visit to Newcastle Town who sat second in the table would provide a benchmark as to how their progress was going, in a season punctuated by a lost pre-season.
Alas a goal conceded in the first minute did nothing to raise expectations and whilst they matched Newcastle for possession in the half they trailed 3-0 at the break, courtesy of some clinical finishing.
The second half was dominated for the most part by Newcastle and yet it was Rainworth who scored and Newcastle only added to their half time score in injury time.
Newcastle have been together for a couple of seasons, whilst Rainworth are at present a team thrown together from week to week and in the early exchanges this showed.
Rainworth had a couple of debutants, Jake Turner in goal replacing Walsall Loanee Liam Robinson who was unable to play in what would have been his last game before his loan ended, due to illness. The other was Henry Sibenge who was signed from Kimberley Miners Welfare in midweek.
From the kick off Newcastle went on the attack and when the ball found Tom France, there was more than a suspicion of off-side, the decision however didn’t come but the lob that followed gave Turner no chance for the opening goal.
This could have been the catalyst for Rainworth to succumb to a side who have learnt and expect to win, however they took the game to them and for long periods there was parity.
In the 18th minute Alex Kenlock hit an inviting cross and debutant Henry Sibenge was the first to react, unfortunately the ball went the wrong side of the post with Ryan Boot merely a spectator.
Newcatle doubled their lead in the 22nd minute when Jordan Cole showed them at their clinical best as he gratefully tapped in France’s inch perfect cross.
It was three on 30 minutes as Tom Orwin ran through unchallenged and set up France with the easiest of chances which he didn’t miss.
Rainworth thought they had equalised when Kenlock ran through the Newcastle defence and hit a 35 yard thunderbolt that looked a goal all the away until Boot pulled off an incredible save at the expense of a corner.
Newcastle almost added to their score when a lovely one-two between Cole and Tim Saunders ended in Saunders effort just passing the far upright.
It was Saunders again in the 42nd minute when he hit a fierce shot just wide of the post with Turner well beaten.
Rainworth replaced Alton Rennalls with Oliver Brock as Rainworth’s midfield struggled to cope with their counterparts.
The referee blew for half time in a game were Rainworth had matched Newcastle in territory and possession, but they trailed 3-0 as a result of Newcastle’s clinical finishing.
Within two minutes of the restart France almost made it four only to see his effort go the wrong side of the post.
At the other end Mitchell finds Kenlock, who evades the tackle but his cross is over hit and the chance is lost.
Rainworth bring on Will Rawdon for Kenlock, who had been having his best game so far in a Rainworth shirt.
The major difference between the two sides was the final ball, Newcastle constantly finding their man, whilst for Rainworth it was hit and miss.
Newcastle were a post away from increasing their lead as Orwin’s shot beat Turner but rebounded off the post and was cleared.
At last Rainworth managed to produce the elusive final ball as a cross was laid off by Sam Loughran and Sibenge’s shot arrowed into the corner giving Boot no chance.
This was to be the prelude to a period of Rainworth pressure without ever threatening to add to their goal.
Rawdon was booked for a professional foul and Ian Robinson replaced Mark Camm.
In the final minute Newcastle hit Rainworth on the counter attack and Elliot Osborne cut in from the left, hitting an unstoppable shot into the top corner to make the final score 4-1.
Today Newcastle played like a team who had been together for a long time, their football a joy to watch and their finishing very clinical.
Rainworth on the other hand looked like a team in transition and whilst they had their moments their survival will depend on points not performances. Lessons must be learned and quickly if they are to climb up the table, starting next week, today just emphasised that they are still in the foothills.
RAINWORTH: Turner; Andrews; T.Brown; White; Hannigan; Rennalls (Brock); Mitchell; Camm (Robinson); Loughran; Sibenge; Kenlock (Rawdon). Sub (not used) Houghton.
Referee: Mr. Tom Harty.
Man of match: Dan White.