No Christmas Cheer
Rainworth’s mini-slump continued in the Boxing Day Fixture at Clipstone when the hosts deservedly ran out 3-0 winners.
With goalkeeper Chris Gill unavailable and newly signed Jason Fisher crying off with a broken thumb, it meant a late debut for veteran keeper Alan Widdowson.
The game was effectively lost in the first half when Rainworth failed to capitalise on the advantage of a strong wind, in a half were they were always second best and trailed by the only goal.
Whilst there was an improved performance in the second half, a penalty and a strike from the league’s leading marksman Alex Denton ensured it was Clipstone who went into the New Year in the better spirits.
Rainworth almost caught Hernandez out in the 8th minute when Matt Sykes snap shot was caught on the wind.
It was Clipstone however who looked the more threatening and should probably have taken the lead a few minutes later, when Ryan put his effort over when well placed.
Such was the Clipstone dominance at this stage that you would have been forgiven for thinking it was they who had the advantage of the wind.
Walker saw his effort flash past the post and Guy must have thought he had scored only to see Widdowson pull off a remarkable save at the expense of a corner.
A goal seemed inevitable and it came when Clipstone broke and Somes’s cross was put into the bottom corner by Walker.
Rainworth had their moments but it wasn’t until the final minute of the half when Liam Morris had a couple of chances, the first saved by Hernandez and the second taken off his toe when it seemed the equaliser was inevitable.
Rainworth started the second half brightly and began to string some passes together, but they had the post to thank in the 49th minute when the wind aided a corner.
It got even worse in the 53rd when Clipstone were awarded a penalty when Matt Plant was adjudged to have fouled in the area, Walker stepped up and doubled the lead.
Rainworth almost pulled one back in the 57th minute when Connor Smythe’s effort was saved at full stretch by Hernandez.
It was Smythe again in the 64th minute when after a mazy run left defenders in his wake he shot over the bar.
Just when it looked that Rainworth were getting back into the game Alex Denton hit a shot that gave Widdowson no chance and finally put the game out of reach.
At the final whistle Rainworth could have no complaints as Clipstone continued their excellent season.
RAINWORTH: Widdowson; Hanson; Smythe; Barnett; Plant; Andrews; York (Clarke); Dockwray (Brewin); Morris; Thompson; Sykes (Bingham). Sub (not Used) J. Weaver.
Man of match: Connor Smythe.