A Team for All Seasons
This season Rainworth are a completely new team still unable to field the same eleven from match to match, but there’s no denying the potential.
On Saturday for the first 45 minutes they battered Athersley Recreation and only had a 2-0 lead to show for it. Tonight against a very good Cleethorpes Town team they were put on the back foot for most of the first half, but after 22 minutes they led 3-0.
Tonight Rainworth showed three changes from Saturday’s starting line-up with Jobe Shaw, Lewis Chambers and Lewis Bingham coming in for Gareth Campion, Matthew Sykes and Liam Theakstone.
However the new management’s philosophy permeates into whichever line-up ends out on the park and the results at the moment are all positive.
Rainworth took the lead with only 2 minutes on the clock as Chambers cross was met by Connor Smythe, Jody Barford blocked the effort but Liam Morris was on hand to put the ball in the net.
Cleethorpes Town pressed hard for an equaliser but Peter Winn’s header from a free-kick was too high. A couple of minutes later Rainworth had Nathan Burrows to thank as he tipped Darren Hanslip’s powerful header over the bar.
Rainworth were riding their luck and it was yet another header by Nick Goodwin that Burrows was called on to save. Immediately afterwards a fine Cleethorpes move saw Danny Trott through on goal, but his shot hit the underside of the crossbar and bounced clear.
Rainworth thought they had increased their lead when Matthew Thompson had the ball in the net from Morris’s cross, only to have it disallowed for a push.
Although Cleethorpes continued to dominate it was Rainworth who extended their lead in the 20th minute. Thompson’s free-kick was met by Matt Plant and his volley would have done any striker proud.
Two minutes later and an excellent run and cross by Smythe found Morris who needed no second invitation to finish, giving the keeper no chance.
Rainworth were having their best spell of the match and an excellent move between Chambers and Bingham almost saw Bingham add to the score-line.
Rainworth’s good fortune ran out in the 33rd minute as Winn’s powerful shot was half stopped by Burrows but he couldn’t prevent it crossing the line.
Chambers who was doubtful before the game had to leave the field with a re-occurrence of the injury and was replaced by Ben Bowring.
There was still time for Rainworth to add to their score in the 43rd minute as Morris mesmerised the Cleethorpes defence and when the ball found Sam Dockwray his firm drive found the corner of the net.
It had been a strange half Cleethorpes had the bulk of the play, but there was no denying Rainworth’s clinical finishing and a 4-1 half-time lead.
Rainworth came out for the second half with a determination and it wasn’t until the 53rd minute that Cleethorpes threatened. Once more they rode their luck as the ball flew across the penalty area but there wasn’t anyone there to strike it home.
The pressure from corners was beginning to build and Hanslip’s effort in the 57th minute flew over. They went even closer in the 64th minute when Winn’s effort grazed the top of the crossbar.
Finally Cleethorpes made one count as Marc Cooper’s header flew into the net.
This led to a period of sustained Rainworth pressure and a great move in the 69th minute saw Bingham’s cross just headed over by Morris with Barford well beaten. It was Bingham again in the 73rd minute when his goal-bound effort was deflected for a corner.
There was no denying them as Thompson’s inch perfect pass found Bingham in the 75th minute, Barford came off his line but the audacious lob gave him no chance.
The match was played at a fast and furious pace and both goals continued to be threatened. Rainworth came close when Bowring’s cross was driven over by Bingham. Then it was Bowring’s turn to clear Hanslip’s shot off the line and summed Rainworth’s determination on the night.
Another great run and shot by Smythe could only be blocked by Barford and Cleethorpes were glad to only concede a corner as Morris closed in. A minute later saw a great set up for Thompson, but his effort just flew over.
Cleethorpes wouldn’t lie down and when a cross found Jack Richardson unmarked in the box and his header gave Burrows no chance.
There was still time for Bingham to complete the night’s scoring as a defensive error saw him through on goal and once again he lobbed Barford to make the final score 6-3.
Cleethorpes on another night may have got something out of the match but there was no denying Rainworth whose finishing was on another level.
As for the man of the match award anyone in the Rainworth team could have won it but Liam Morris just shaded it on the fan’s vote.
RAINWORTH MWFC: Burrows; Hanson; Smythe; Andrews; Plant; Shaw; Chambers (Bowring); Dockwray; Morris; Bingham; Thompson. Subs (not used): Periera; Curzon; Mitchell; L.Weaver.
Referee; Harry Hawkins.
Man of match: Liam Morris