Winning Start for Rainworth
Ant Lynham double secures the points
Loughborough Dynamo 1 Rainworth 2
Report by Les Lee
Ant Lynam’s brace of goals ensured Rainworth’s winning Evo-Stik League debut at Nanpantan Road.
Lynam struck in the 31st and 72nd minutes to secure the three points in a keenly contested curtain raiser to the season proper.
Loughborough had hauled themselves level with a 47th minute spot kick but the home side could not cancel out Lynam’s second goal despite a nail biting final few minutes.
The first chance fell to Rainworth in the ninth minute when Lynam headed on a long ball to Ryan Carolan, whose centre flew across the face of goal with no-one on hand to apply the finish.
Rainworth enjoyed a good five-minute spell during which they won three corners, the third one played deep to Brendan Sweeney whose ball back into di
Carl Adams managed to go clear of Carolan and into the area in the 15th minute, only to fire into the side netting.
But Rainworth were unlucky when, following a break along the left, Carolan’s crosss shot was cleared off the line.
Craig Mitchell brought a fine save out of home keeper Laurie Pearson in Rainworth’s next attack, the resulting corner being scrambled off the line by Verrall only as far as Sweeney whose shot was way too high.
Luke Edwards threatened down the right for Dynamo, who should have drawn first blood from the cross, Ash Way firing well wide with the goal at his mercy.
The miss was punished just after the half-hour when the Wrens grabbed the lead. Skipper Lee Wilkinson cleared the ball out of defence to Sweeney, whose incisive pass split the home rearguard to put Lynam in the clear, the striker firing under Pearson.
But Loughborough almost equalised right on half time when Way stormed into Mark Hales’ area, hitting his shot across goal and just beyond the far post.
Rainworth began the second half on the attack, and Carolan’s cross from the left to the far post found Chris Hewitt, who hit the ball first time but Pearson smothered.
Once again Loughborough pushed forward in numbers, and when Carolan made a lunging challenge on Luke Edwards the referee awarded a penalty which Adams netted comfortably.
Another quick Dynamo break, this time from a Rainworth corner, was halted on the edge of the area by Danny Naylor’s well timed tackle on Edwards.
But The home side had the bit between their teeth, putting Rainworth under pressure and pushing the defence up to make life difficult for the visitors.
However, the home defence was almost caught out in the 57th minute when Hewitt rounded two defenders and crossed to Lynam whose shot was deflected for a corner.
Keeper Pearson was injured in a collision from the resulting flag kick and was replaced by substitute keeper James Flinders.
And it was the keeper’s loose clearance in the 72nd minute which was picked up by Lynam who ran unchallenged into the area from the left and drilled his shot into the far corner.
Now back on top, Rainworth engineered another fluent build up, but Mitchell fired Carolan’s pull back from the by-line over the bar from close range.
Sweeney and Lynam both went very close as the Wrens sought to put the outcome beyond doubt, and Flinders went some way to atoning for his earlier error with a good save from Sweeney.
Mr Thornhill added four extra minutes to keep the away fans’ nails short, during which time they twice had to scramble the ball away to claim three deserved points.
LOUGHBOROUGH: Pearson (Flinders 57), Rennalls, Lester, Dale-Brown (Stevenson 79), Jenno, Gibbons, Edwards (Williams 75), Clamp, Verrall, Adams, Way. Subs not used: Hohn, Masters.
RAINWORTH: Hales, Fearon, Carolan, Wilkinson, Charlesworth, Draper, Roberts (C. Hewitt 25), Naylor, Mitchell (Pickess 80), Lynam, Sweeney. Subs not used: M. Hewitt, Jones, Dobbs.
REFEREE: James Thornhill of Ilkeston.