Ponte at the Double!!!
Aaron Moxam comes back to haunt his former boss.
Earlier in the season, Rainworth suffered defeat at home to Pontefract Collieries in what was to date to be the only time this campaign they had failed to score.
It was also a chance to see Aaron Moxam and Liam Morris, two of the Premier Division’s leading marksman in opposition.
On the day Rainworth were to score, but it was Moxam, who scored an excellent hat-trick, that came out on top in the battle of the strikers.
For the first time this season Rainworth were able to name an unchanged team in consecutive matches.
The early exchanges were scrappy and Rainworth struggled to put together their passing game on a bumpy pitch that had a fair covering of grass on it.
It was Rainworth who had the first effort on goal when Declan Brewin’s effort on the turn went wide of the upright.
Pontefract almost scored in the 13th minute when after an excellent passing move, Moxam’s goal bound effort was well saved by Sam Leigh.
A minute later and it was Rainworth who took the lead an excellent ball from Ricky Hanson found Morris and he set up Matt Sykes.
Although the shot was on goal Ellis Halpane seemed to have it covered, but in inexplicably went through his hands and over the line.
Rainworth and Sykes should have had a second a minute later but with the goal at his mercy he somehow managed to put it over the bar from all of three yards out.
Rainworth were almost immediately made to pay for that miss when Andrew Catton’s free-kick hit the side netting.
The game was becoming a hard fought physical battle, with Pontefract working hard for the equaliser.
They almost produced it in the 35th minute when a cross from the left found Catton, but his header was straight at Leigh.
Rainworth were inches from a second when Brewin’s quick throw found Morris and his effort flashed across the goal and just wide of the upright.
Pontefract got their equaliser in the 41st minute when Aaron Moxam proved just why he is regarded as one of the deadliest finishes in the league. With three Rainworth defenders between him and goal, in the space of two turns he had created an opening and his effort arrowed into the top corner giving Leigh no chance.
The half came to an end with the scores level in what had been a below par performance by Rainworth.
Immediately on the restart Rainworth brought on Lewis Bingham for Brewin, who had unable to shake off a knock sustained towards the end of the first half.
In the 51st minute Halpane made up for his first half howler when he made an absolute world class save from Jamie Yorke’s screamer.
It was then Leigh’s turn to do the same making a brilliant one-handed save from a Mark Whitehouse free-kick.
Rainworth should probably have regained the lead when a Sykes free-kick was met by the head of Craig Morley, who should probably have scored but Halpane once again saved, this time on the goal-line.
There was no denying Moxam and his second was yet another piece of class when he turned Morley inside out before hitting an unstoppable shot into the far corner.
Still Rainworth came back and it was Dockwray’s effort that was finger-tipped over the bar by Halpane.
Rainworth brought on Thomas Pereira for Sykes in the 72nd minute and a minute later the ball found Morris but he put his effort over from five yards out.
The game was all but over when in the 75th minute Moxam hit a sublime chip from all of 35 yards and it sailed over Leigh and into the goal for a deserved hat-trick.
That was the end of the game as a contest and when the final whistle went Pontefract had deservedly won the game. On the day Moxam was unplayable at times and his hat-trick testament of his finishing prowess.
RAINWORTH MWFC: Leigh; Hanson; Smythe; Andrews; Morley; Campion; Brewin (Bingham); Dockwray; Morris; Yorke; Sykes (Pereira). Subs (not used): Bowring; L. Weaver.
Referee: M. Denton.
Man of match: Sam Leigh