It's not just about scoring!
A long mid-week trip to an in form Thackley, with players unavailable through work commitments, injury and suspensions, was never going to be easy. On the night Rainworth contributed to their own downfall, highlighted by the fact that two of Thackley’s goals were into an unguarded goal.
The game kicked off with Thackley having the advantage of a strong breeze and Rainworth were given a warning in the 3rd minute when Daniel Pett put his effort just past the post.
Rainworth should have taken the lead in the 7th minute when Liam Morris had all the goal to aim at but only managed to drag his effort the wrong side of the upright.
At this stage there was no sign of the capitulation that was to follow as Liam Theakstone was just unable to get the necessary finish to a couple of good Rainworth moves.
Another warning to Rainworth came from Andy Wood when he headed his effort straight into Sam Leigh’s arms, either side would have been a goal.
A minute later and he was on the scoresheet as Thackley outflanked a static defence and as Leigh raced to the edge of his area Ryan Farrel’s toe was the first to the ball, leaving Wood with the easy task of placing the ball in the empty goal.
At this stage Rainworth were well in the contest and almost scored when Morris set up Matt Sykes, but the goal-bound effort was blocked for a corner.
From the corner Rainworth were awarded a free-kick just outside the penalty area and debutant Liam Nelthorpe beat Dale Coleing all ends up for the equaliser.
With the elements in Thackley’s favour Rainworth appeared to have weathered the early storm and even threatened to increase their score.
That was until an all too familiar defensive error in the 27th minute allowed Tom Dugdale to break clear and put Thackley back in front.
Rainworth almost equalised in the 33rd minute but Jamie York could only put his effort straight at the keeper.
Well into added time and just as it looked as if Rainworth had done well against the elements Thackley were awarded what best could be described as a ‘soft’ free-kick. The ball was swung into the area and helped by the wind beat everyone and struck the far upright, then Liam Hudson and into the net.
That was the final act of a half when for the most part Rainworth had been competitive and with a little better defending and luck should not have been behind.
The second half kicked off with Thackley the first to threaten but fortunately for Rainworth they failed to hit the target.
In the 51st minute Rainworth’s Brad Wilson put his effort just the wrong side of the post. They went even closer in the 62nd minute as Nelthorpe’s goal-bound effort was blocked for a corner.
A minute later and Rainworth’s pressure finally was rewarded when Theakstone put his effort on the turn into the far corner.
That was as near as Rainworth were to come as a minute later only a last ditch tackle by Regan Edridge prevented another Thackley goal. Minutes later however they were not so lucky as yet another defensive error was punished by Pett.
Still Rainworth came back and in the 74th minute York’s effort was saved but it rebounded to Theakstone who made no mistake to once again put Rainworth within one goal of Thackley.
Rainworth brought on Nathan Clarke and Ben Townsend for York and Hanson as they pushed for the equaliser. It almost came in the 82nd minute when Nelthorpe’s cross was met by Theakstone’s head but it went just wide.
A minute later and it was a familiar tale, yet another Rainworth error gifted Joe Brown Thackley’s fifth.
Still the scoring in the end to end match hadn’t finished and in added time Pett put the ball into an empty net with Rainworth seemingly already on the bus home.
There was still time for one last Rainworth attack and Theakstone was unlucky to see his goal bound effort wedge under Coleing.
In the end Thackley came out deserved winners in a match were they defended better and finished better albeit with a lot of help on the night from Rainworth.
RAINWORTH MWFC: Leigh; Hanson (Townsend); Smythe; Nelthorpe; R.Edridge; Wilson; York (Clarke); Barnett; Morris; Theakstone; Sykes. Sub (not used): Watts.
Referee: Mr R Sherwood
Man of the match: Liam Theakstone