The Late, Late Show by Rainworth.
Wasted opportunities almost cost in poor conditions.
Rainworth travelled to Cannon Park fresh from an excellent victory against Pickering Town the previous Saturday. However they knew they would face a hard task with the Arctic conditions and bumpy playing surface not being conducive to their fluent passing game.
Added to that Retford United had two former Wrens in their ranks, goalkeeper Jamie Davies and striker Jason Bradley and both were to play their part in the 2-2 draw.
Rainworth made just one change in personnel from last Saturday as Gareth Campion returned in place of Craig Morley, who has since left the club
The first half belonged to Rainworth but poor final passes and finishing combined with some excellent keeping by Davies meant the sides went into the interval goalless.
The second half was much more even and it was Rainworth who were punished, when poor closing down resulted in Retford racing into a two goal lead in the space of three minutes both courtesy of Bradley.
It took Rainworth until the 69th minute to pull one back and their equaliser came well into injury time to claw back a point in their first draw of the season.
Rainworth were the first to have an attempt on goal when in the 3rd minute Liam Morris put Jamie Yorke through but his finish flew inches over the bar.
From the early exchanges it became apparent that Rainworth would have to dig deep on an unresponsive pitch and so it proved.
It was Yorke again in the 12th minute but his advance was stopped on the edge of the area as a result of a foul, but Matt Sykes’s free-kick went well over the bar.
Four minutes later and Yorke’s free-kick was met by Jack Barnett at the far post but his effort ended behind the goal.
On twenty four minutes Yorke’s free-kick saw a rare fumble from Davies but Rainworth were unable to capitalise on the error.
Rainworth thought they had taken the lead when Morris set up Sykes but his goalbound effort was brilliantly turned around the post by Davies at the expense of a corner.
Sykes took the resultant corner and Davies could only palm it out as it was swinging into the top corner, again Rainworth were unable to capitalise.
Rainworth continued to look the side most likely to score and after a good run Connor Smythe’s effort just went over.
In the final minutes of the half a great 40 yard ball by Jack Andrews out of defence found Morris but he failed to fully connect and Davies easily gathered.
That was to be the final action of a half Rainworth should with a little more composure have been in front.
Early in the second half Gareth Campion received a very harsh yellow card in what appeared to be a foul against the Retford player and meant he will receive a ban for accumulating five cautions.
It was also a period when Retford began to play their way back into the game and from a corner in the 53rd minute Bradley opened the scoring with a far post header.
The score saw Retford visibly grow in confidence and Rainworth’s play became more ragged and it came as no surprise when they failed to close down and a Bradley back-heel doubled their lead three minutes later.
A minute later and only a superb tip over the bar by Davies from a goalbound header from one of his own defenders prevented Rainworth pulling a goal back.
On 63 minutes Rainworth brought on Liam Theakstone for Declan Brewin as they chased the game, they however had only themselves to blame as they continued to waste opportunities.
First Sykes put his effort wide and Yorke’s through ball to Theakstone was blasted high and wide.
Then at last they got some reward as Sykes hit an unstoppable effort from outside the area, which even Davies at full-stretch could get nowhere near.
Rainworth by now were going all out for an equaliser but a combination of poor finishing and under hit passes mirrored their first half efforts.
Barnett’s free-kick was the nearest they came as Davies did well to prevent the equaliser.
With only a couple of minutes remaining Rainworth brought on Lewis Bingham for Sam Dockwray as Retford tried to play out time.
However well into stoppage time Rainworth scored the equaliser and it was a goal that would have graced any match. Sykes hit a deep cross into the penalty area and Yorke met it on the volley dispatching it into the top corner with Davies a mere spectator.
The final whistle went not long after in a game both teams would probably have thought they should have won.
Both Rainworth goal-scorers were contenders for man of the match, but that went to Jack Andrews who since moving back to the defence has put in a string of excellent performances, today being yet another.
RAINWORTH: Leigh, Hanson, Smythe, Barnett, Campion, Andrews, Yorke, Dockwray (Bingham), Morris, Brewin (Theakstone 73), Sykes. Subs not used: Plant, Pereira, J. Weaver.
Man of Match: Jack Andrews