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Sat 18 Sep 15:00 - Evo-Stik League - First Division South Full time Attendance 172

Rainworth 0 Barwell 2—by Gordon Foster

RAINWORTH are still seeking their first Evo-Stik League goal in front of their own fans after Barwell maintained their 100 per cent record in their own debut season in the division.

Rainworth 0 Barwell 2—by Gordon Foster

RAINWORTH are still seeking their first Evo-Stik League goal in front of their own fans after Barwell maintained their 100 per cent record in their own debut season in the division.

The South Leicestershire club, undefeated Midland Alliance champions last season, hit the 60 league matches unbeaten mark with this victory over the Wrens.

Barwell home
34 photos

And although Rudy Funk’s side gave it their best shot and made a game of it, the confidence which such regular success breeds always saw Barwell just having the edge.

The game was settled by two second half strikes, the second from the penalty spot in the 85th minute when substitute Kevin Charley added to Jerome Murdock’s 59th minute goal.

In between Matt Baxter almost got a spectacular equaliser from almost on the half way line for the Wrens when he spotted Liam Castle off his line and tried a lob which had the keeper scrambling to concede a corner.

Rainworth included new boy Nathan Benger, a striker, in midfield to bolster that department, and although the former Belper man made way for Baxter on the hour mark he is still regarded by manager Funk as ‘a great signing who I hope will get us a few goals’.

Funk praised Barwell for their record, saying: “You can see why they have gone so many games unbeaten, but I really think it was a tight affair which could have gone either way until they scored.

“As you move up the divisions it becomes increasingly clear that you have to put your chances away. Barwell had two, and scored both, whereas we had a couple of chances but didn’t even go close.

“I’ve stressed the same thing from week one that we have to tighten up, and it’s a disappointment that some players are either not listening to or not carrying out what they are told.

“So I have now reached the point where I have to make a few changes in personnel. I hope by next Saturday to have one or two more players back who I can rely on to keep their discipline and do what is asked of them.”

The first half was indeed a fairly even contest even if Barwell just had the edge. But it was Rainworth who had the first chance in the fifth minute when Julian Topliss crossed into the six yard box where Craig Mitchell tried a clever backheel, unfortunately straight into Castle’s hands.

Barwell’s first real opening came in the 15th minute with Murdock picked out by Towers, only to shoot wide from six yards.

Lewis Dodd was pulling the strings in midfield for Barwell to excellent effect, while Brendan Sweeney was similarly productive for Rainworth, but Barwell had the ball in Mark Hales’ net in the 23rd minute, only for Scott Hadland to have his goal ruled out for offside after pouncing on Hales’ parry.

Two minutes later Hales cleared upfield for Rainworth to win a corner which Barry Alberry headed narrowly wide.

As the end to end match continued Nigel Julien shot too high for the visitors, while Castle made a brilliant full stretch save of Ryan Carolan’s angled free kick which looked destined for the top far corner.

And, in first half added time, Hales advanced to cut the angle just enough to force Murdock to shoot wide.

Mitchell was denied by a fortunate rebound off a defender five minutes into the restart after an enterprising interchange with Jermain Hollis, before overall man of the match Dodd made his first critical contribution in the 59th minute. Dodd launched a move via Towers who slipped the ball sideways for Murdock to beat Hales with a crisp low 20-yard drive into the corner of the net.

Rainworth immediately sent on Baxter as the home side looked to undo the damage. But when Hollis blazed a path through the middle and poked the ball forward into the area it was just too far out of the reach of Topliss.

Baxter came up with his long range pot shot in the 74th minute, Castle relieved to palm it for a corner, but Sweeney’s flag kick flew through the six yard box without a telling touch.

Play immediately switched to the other end, but when Hadland made space for his shot he saw his effort strike Craig Charlesworth and deflect over the bar.

Castle had to go full stretch again, diving to his right to push away Mitchell’s spearing drive, but Barwell were soon back.

Dodd’s 22-yard volley took a deflection for a corner in the 83rd minute, but a minute later he wriggled and squirmed his way into the area where he was brought down by Hales’ outstretched arm—and Charley made the points safe with a text book spot kick just inside Hales’ left hand post.

And even with four added minutes there was no way back for Rainworth.

RAINWORTH: Hales, Hollis, Carolan, Alberry, Charlesworth, Draper, Jackson (Hunt 89), Benger (Baxter 60), Mitchell, Topliss (Pickess 64), Sweeney. Subs not used: Jones, Dobbs.

BARWELL: Castle, Lower, Giddings, Green, Francis, Dodd, Towers (Charley 73), Hadland, Murdock (Dutton 87), Julien, McDonald (Dyer 80). Sub not used: Blythe.

REFEREE: Chris Akers of Armthorpe.


MEN OF THE MATCH: Rainworth—Brendan Sweeney; Barwell and overall—Lewis Dodd.

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Team selection

Team selection has not been published for this fixture yet.

League round up

Other First Division South results

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Loughborough Dynamo
Grantham Town
Sutton Coldfield Town
Market Drayton Town
Spalding United
Newcastle Town


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League table

# Team Pl Pts
16. Leek Town 42 47
17. Loughborough Dynamo 42 46
18. Market Drayton Town 42 44
19. Stamford 42 42
20. Rainworth Miners Welfare 42 40
21. Shepshed Dynamo 42 21
22. Spalding United 42 16

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