Halfway to Paradise
Winning run comes to an end.
In 1961 Billy Fury had a hit with the song ‘Halfway to Paradise’ and some of the lyrics could have been written to sum up Rainworth MWFC’s season so far.
‘You lead me halfway to paradise, so near, yet so far away.’
A team who are only three goals shy of the century in all competitions and have only failed to score in two of their league games all season, must be doing something right. However only four clean sheets in the league and just over eighty conceded sum up just how frustrating they can be at times.
Tonight with a ‘bare-bone squad’ available, against a very good Parkgate side, they displayed their full repertoire.
In the 5th minute Matt Thompson was only inches away from converting Ricky Hanson cross for the opening goal.
Two minutes later and neat footwork by Steve Wankiewicz saw his effort fly just the wrong side of the upright with Joshua Lill a spectator.
It seemed only a matter of time before they would score as Liam Theakstone’s 15th minute goal bound effort was hit straight at the keeper.
Parkgate did have their moments and on 21 minutes Ben Thornton gave a glimpse of what was to come but his shot on the run failed to trouble Ben Townsend this time. A few minutes later and it was Adam Johnson, but he too put his effort wide.
For the majority of the half however it was Rainworth who carried the biggest threat and in the 27th minute Parkgate were relieved to clear Declan Brewin’s driven cross before a Rainworth boot put it into the net.
A minute later and Liam Nelthorpe’s sliced shot was hit home by Theakstone for the opening goal.
Three minutes later and Theakstone was unlucky not too double both his and Rainworth’s score when he turned his man and hit a curling shot past Lill only for it to hit the post and rebound to safety.
Parkgate almost equalised when they counter attacked only to see Matt Plant’s telling interception defuse the situation.
In the final minutes of the half it was Thompson who came closest to doubling the lead as his cross beat everyone only for it to once again rebound of the upright.
On the half time whistle Rainworth’s single goal lead didn’t give a true reflection of their dominance.
Within two minutes of the restart Parkgate had equalised as poor defending allowed the ball to be crossed into the area and Joshua Moore added the finishing touch.
Then in the space of two minutes in the 57th & 58 minutes the game changed as firstly Sykes’s shot on the volley was tipped around the post by Lill. Then a long ball out of defence produced an error in the Rainworth defence allowing Thornton a free run on goal and Parkgate to take the lead.
Yet another piece of poor defending by Rainworth in the 65th minute allowed Thornton to score his second and Parkgate’s third goal.
It was Rainworth who now were pressed and in the 71st minute from a corner Wankiewicz prodded the ball home.
Rainworth brought on Nathan Clarke for Bradley Wilson as they pushed for an equaliser.
It almost came in the 80th minute when Theakstone drove into the box and hit a driven cross which Brewin just failed to connect with for almost certainly would have been a goal.
For the remainder of the half Rainworth pressed for that elusive goal, whilst Parkgate played out time whenever they could.
It had been a hard fought game in which both sides had opportunities, Rainworth were however made to rue their missed ones in the first half and their second half gifts.
RAINWORTH MWFC: Townsend; Hanson; Andrews; Wilson (Clarke); Wankiewicz; Plant; Thompson; Nelthorpe; Theakstone; Brewin; Sykes. Subs (not used): C. Widdowson; Watts
Referee: Michael Scriven
Manof the match: Ricky Hanson