A Side that has Forgotten How to Win!!
They had the opportunity but were unable to capitalise whilst on top.
Today’s home Evo-Stik NPL Division One South fixture against Stocksbridge Park Steels, the first of a busy four match holiday period, promised an opportunity to drag one of the teams on the fringe of the relegation battle, into it.
It was a game neither could afford to lose and whilst Rainworth had their chances they failed to capitalise on them, a side seemingly who had forgotten how to win.
With the importance of the game it was understandable that both sides started nervily and it was Stocksbridege who had the first attempt on goal in the 4th minute, albeit well wide.
A minute later Rainworth attacked down the right as Gino Kelleher found Darren Masaram whose pass set up Kuwesi Ofushine but his effort was well wide.
The 12th minute so another Rainworth chance but Dan White’s header from Kelleher’s free-kick is well wide.
Then a moment that has been systematic of the season so far, as poor defending leaves Lee Garside through on goal. He makes the most of the opportunity and slots the ball into the far corner for Stocksbridge’s opening goal.
Rainworth have only themselves to blame and in truth Stocksbridge had been playing the better football,
In the 22nd minute after some good built up Rainworth created a good chance but Kuwesi Ofushine’s effort lacked the power to trouble Liam Flynn.
In this period there were a lot of misplaced passes, with neither side looking threatening.
Rainworth continued to have chances to equalize but in the 26th minute Ford’s effort was always going wide and in the 31st after some good build up Dan White’s effort was always going wide.
Just as Rainworth looked like they had forgotten how to score, from Gino Kelleher’s corner Ford headed on and Romaine Graham was on hand to smash the ball home for the equaliser.
This signalled a period of Rainworth dominance and when Kelleher found Masaram who in turn set up Graham, Flynn could only watch as Graham’s effort flew just past the upright.
That was the last chance before half-time and the 1-1 scoreline was a fair reflection of the game.
Both sides set off at a fast pace in the second half, with half-chances at both ends and in one of them Graham is injured whilst in the act of crossing the ball on the edge of the area.
The 54th minute saw a fine run by Kelleher, but his shot lacked power and was easily gathered by Flynn.
The 58th minute saw the introduction of Henry Sibenge to replace Graham who had been unable to run off his injury.
Rainworth looked the more likely to score and in the 64th minute a great Theo Brown run and cross saw Ford’s looping header just clear the bar.
A minute later it was Rainworth who had a good chance when after a fine move Sibenge’s effort was straight at the keeper.
The pattern continued with Ford setting up Sibenge, but he snatched at the chance and put his effort wide.
Rainworth had a warning in the 74th minute when from a cross Garside’s header, just flashed past the far post.
The warning wasn’t heeded as from a free kick Garside found himself free and he made no mistake heading it into the far corner.
Rainworth had had opportunities without ever looking like scoring and Stocksbridge took full advantage when their chance came.
Stocksbridge had a penalty appeal turned down in the 84th minute, but the referee who was well placed waved play on.
The final minutes saw a Rainworth onslaught on the Stocksbridge goal with Sibenge unable to add the finishing touch on a couple of occasions.
With the game well into stoppage time Freeman’s long throw was cleared but Brown shot wide and the referee blew for full time.
There was little between the sides apart from the fact Stocksbridge finished the two opportunities whilst Rainworth seemed like a side incapable of doing so.
Rainworth knew they were in a relegation battle before the match, now they know the tag ‘relegation possibles’ has become ‘relegation probables’.
RAINWORTH: Turner; Freeman; T.Brown; White; Hannigan; Ofushine; Kelleher; Nwadike (Brock); Mansaram; Ford (Kenlock); Graham (Sibenge). Sub 9not used): Robinson.
Referee: Mr Andrew Dunne.
Man of Match: Kuwesi Ofushine.