Rainworth Prove they can Battle, as they take the Points.
'When the going gets tough, the tough get going', and tonight's performance epitomised that saying.
Rainworth MWFC continued their ‘away day’ start to life in the Toolstation Northern Counties East Premier Division at Albion Sports tonight, and had to make four changes to the starting XI which narrowly lost at Garforth Town last Saturday.
Work commitments and injury meant Liam Kerry; Gareth Campion; Matt Taylor and Liam Theakstone came into the starting line-up.
It was almost the perfect start for the Wrens in the opening minutes when as a slip by an Albion defender allowed Lewis Bingham to break on goal and he was unlucky to see his effort just clear the crossbar.
It was Albion Sports however who dominated the early exchanges as Rainworth’s performance in that period was a little disjointed, understandable for a team in only its eighth match together and missing key players.
It came as no surprise when in the 10th minute they took the lead when Danny Cunningham picked up the ball in the middle of the half, there seemed no danger but his powerful effort beat Kerry’s full length dive and nestled in the corner of the net for the opening score.
Rainworth at last found some continuity and when Bingham and Theakstone combined a minute later and a striker of his ability needed no second invitation as he hit his shot over the keeper and into the net for the equaliser.
Albion Sports almost regained the lead again when Cunningham broke on goal, but this time his effort missed the target.
The game was very open but it was Rainworth who were the team looking vunerable, however against the run of play it was Bingham who had the next effort on goal but his effort just cleared the crossbar.
Albion Sports should probably have regained the lead when Brice Tiani went past three defenders, but when it seemed he must score his weak effort was easily gathered by Kerry.
Rainworth continued to be thankful for Albion Sports poor finishing as they battled to keep in the game.
The half ended with scores level, it had been a half of survival for Rainworth in a battling display.
If Rainworth had any thoughts of their fortunes changing for the second half, they were soon dashed when in the 49th minute Albion Sports deservedly took the lead. A cross from the left was met by the head of Ferdinand Annor and it flew into the top corner giving Kerry no chance.
Albion began to dominate and Rainworth were thankful for Kerry when he did well to prevent Marcus Edwards adding to the score.
The 57th minute saw Rainworth produce the football they are capable of and Albion were grateful for the upright when Theakstone hit an absolute screamer that beat Jack Bentley all ends up. The ball hit the inside of the upright and fortunately for the home side flew across the goalmouth and out.
Rainworth brought on Thomas Pereira for the tiring Matt Taylor as Rainworth began to press for the equaliser.
This came in 68th minute when Pereira found Theakstone who coolly rounded the keeper and slotted the ball home for the equaliser.
More was to come and arguably the move of the match saw Sam Dockwray and Theakstone combine to set up Bingham who made no mistake in slotting the ball into the corner for the lead.
Albion Sports started to regain control and Matty Dalton should have done better when his shot cleared the bar when well placed.
In the 80th minute Rainworth brought on Cameron Mitchell for Liam Theakstone, who had excelled on his first start of the season.
The final minutes were tense as Albion Sports threw everything at Rainworth, but they were in no mood to throw away their hard fought lead.
At the final whistle there was a sense of pride tinged with relief, it hadn’t been the usual fluid performance but one of grit and determination that hopefully will stand them in good stead for the battles ahead.
RAINWORTH: Kerry; Hanson; Proctor; Bowring; Campion; Plant; Taylor(Pereira 59); Dockwray; Theakstone (Mitchell 80); Bingham; Williams. Subs (not used): Blakeley; Watts.
Referee: Jan Suchecki.
Man of match: Lewis Bingham