Rainworth Blown Off Course
A game between the two form teams in the league, which promised to be a footballing feast was ruined by a gale force crosswind.
Rainworth battled against the elements in the first half and went into the break trailing 2-1 after conceding a ‘wind assisted’ opener.
It was Cleethorpes who played the conditions better in the second half and whilst the final score of 3-1 flattered them, on the day they deserved their victory.
Rainworth made two changes from Tuesday’s team with Sam Dockwray returning and Liam Theakstone replacing Matt Sykes who picked up an injury in training.
Rainworth made a bright start kicking against the elements when a fine passing move saw Liam Theakstone find Liam Morris, who set up Jamie York, however his shot just cleared the crossbar.
In the 7th minute a moment of controversy when a Cleethorpes clearance hit the referee and fell into the path of Rainworth’s Liam Morris. As Morris broke clear, Tim Lowe appeared to clip him from behind and bring him down, after a long lecture from the referee he was relieved to only see yellow.
However Lowe was not so lucky in the 15th minute when he miscued his clearance and Morris pounced giving Miles Fenty no chance for the opener.
Rainworth almost increased their lead just three minutes later as a 20 yard shot by York flashed just wide.
Minutes later saw a moment of controversy in the Rainworth penalty area as Danny Trott and Chris Gill collided provoking loud penalty appeals from Cleethorpes, the referee was unmoved and waved play on.
Cleethorpes levelled in the 20th minute, a goal that owed much too poor Rainworth defending and the wind as the ball struck Brody Robertson from a driven corner and unfortunately for Rainworth ended up in the net.
The wind was causing major problems for Rainworth when at times they struggled to clear the ball any distance. It came as no surprise when in the 23rd minute Laurence McKay headed home a well struck corner to take the lead.
Rainworth went close again when Liam Theakstone found Morris but his header flew just wide.
Cleethorpes continued to threaten the Rainworth goal with the wind acting as a twelfth man.
Rainworth did manage to create another chance before the half-time whistle when a fine passing move ended with Morris’s shot just going the wrong side of the upright and Fenty just a spectator.
It was Rainworth who produced the first effort of the second half as Smythe's long range effort was half-stopped by Fenty and put out for a corner.
Rainworth almost conceded a third, when losing the ball in midfield and Trott broke one on one with Gill who did really well to save his shot with his legs.
The 69th minute saw Smythe’s free-kick flash agonisingly past the upright and crossbar.
Three minutes later and Morris’s effort on the turn left Fenty relieved when it went just over.
A minute later and Theakstone’s cross cum shot was caught by the wind and just when it seemed it would score it came back off the inside of the post.
For all Rainworth’s pressure it was Cleethorpes who were now enjoying spells in their opponents half and causing discomfort.
Rainworth brought on Tate Clarke for Theakstone and James weaver for Dockwray.
With Rainworth pushing desperately for an equaliser it was Cleethorpes who broke the first effort was blocked by Gill but it rebounded to Trott who drove it into the far corner with virtually the last kick of the match.
Whilst the scoreline didn’t reflect how close the contest was, Cleethorpes just edged the game with their controlled second half.
RAINWORTH: Gill; Hanson; Smythe; Barnett; Plant; Andrews; York; Dockwray (J.Weaver); Morris; Brewin; Theakstone (Clarke). Sub (not Used): Watts.
Referee: Mr. Matt McGrath.
Man of match: Jack Andrews