Leaders have Rainworth over a Bar'ell
Evo-Stik League Division I South
Barwell 3 Rainworth MW 0
Report by Gordon Foster
LEAGUE leaders Barwell proved too tough a hurdle for Rainworth to clear as they sought to build on their excellent performance and win at Market Drayton in midweek.
In truth the Wrens were not a million miles away from the home side in terms of possession and passing football in midfield.
But despite an influx of new strikers they still lacked a cutting edge against a recently leaky defence, plugged at just the wrong time for the Wrens by the arrival of man of the match Guy Sanders from Zamaretto Premier side Leamington.
And although overall Billy Millar’s side defended stoutly, in the end the defeat was again down to individual errors.
Barwell took a 17th minute lead when Rainworth conceded what should have been a needless free kick which Scott Rickards put away, and doubled it nine minutes later when a static defence gifted Kevin Charley a free header.
Substitute Lewis Dodd completed the scoring midway through the second half and, despite Rainworth’s willingness to compete, home keeper Liam Castle was never unduly extended all afternoon.
After the encouraging display at Market Drayton it was hardly surprising that Millar said ‘same again’ for the starting 11 and the shape, the only changes being on the bench where strikers Stef Frost, Craig Mitchell and debutant Nick Langford were drafted in to join Lewis Jackson and Danny Naylor.
The game began with the earliest booking in a Rainworth match for a considerable time. Just 18 seconds had elapsed when home defender Dennis Pearce hauled down Kyle Gee-Pemberton who was on his way towards goal, prompting excellent referee Simon Barrow to produce a yellow card.
And the travelling fans’ hopes were raised again in the second minute with James Jepson’s through pass just too far ahead of Danny Simpson.
Jamie Towers drew attention to himself for the first time but certainly not the last when he broke out of defence from another Rainworth attack, only for his final cross to drift harmlessly past the far post.
Towers gave Ryan Carolan a searching examination until being withdrawn late on with the outcome settled, but it was a test which the young left back passed with flying colours in what developed into an intriguing personal tussle between the two.
It was still Rainworth enjoying the greater share of the early play though, Sanders tidying up well to thwart Simpson and then blocking the striker’s follow-up.
Barwell hit back, winning a couple of corners, before taking a 17th minute lead which, at that stage of the match, was a little against the run of play.
First Rob Paling misplaced a pass to Rickards who advanced towards the area, leaving the defender to try to atone for his error by fouling his man two yards outside the box. Rickards took the free kick himself and although Mark Hales got a hand to it and Carolan tried desperately to hook it away, the ball crossed the line.
And Paling will again have been disappointed at the second goal seven minutes later when he failed to tighten up on Kevin Charley, who was gifted a free stooping header onto Scott Lower’s deep cross and rocketed it into the net.
Having established a two goal lead, the Kirkby Roaders then also established overall control.
Tommy Hannigan, who along with Cameron Fearon again paired up well in central defence, joined the attack in the 36th minute to meet Paling’s long throw and saw his effort deflected for a corner.
And Gee-Pemberton showed Castle a little too much of the ball in first half stoppage time following another useful pass by Jepson.
Undaunted by the 2-0 deficit Rainworth began the second half with spirit, but Matt Baxter’s 25-yarder from Gee-Pemberton’s lay-off was straight at Castle, while at the other end Hannigan again had to be alert to close down Jai Stanley when the home side broke from another Rainworth free kick.
The industrious Luke Bardone wasted a glorious chance for Barwell in the 56th minute after good work by Stanley and Towers, lifting a low cross too high from inside the six yard area.
But Towers’ persistence paid off in the 64th minute when he wriggled free from two defenders near the right corner flag and delivered a low cross which substitute Lewis Dodd gleefully volleyed home to complete the ascoring.
Rainworth had sent on Naylor along with Frost and debutant Langford in a vain bid to prise open a home rearguard which Sanders held together so well, although Langford had the chance to mark his debut with a goal in the 70th minute, playing a neat interchange with Jepson but getting nothing onto his shot which Castle saved comfortably.
And when the busy Jepson sent Simpson cutting in from the left the new striker shot wildly over with better placed players waiting for the pass.
Rainworth’s luck was epitomised in the 77th minute. Castle’s attempted clearance struck Simpson who looked to have the goal at his mercy until a horribly cruel bounce on the bobbly surface carried the ball out of his range.
Rainworth escaped further punishment when Barlone’s low shot from a corner struck a post, and again in the 82nd minute when Francino Francis screwed wide from a corner.
BARWELL: Castle, Lower, Peace (Wykes ht), Sanders, Francis, Stanley, Towers (Dutton 78), Hadland, Barlone, Charley, Rickards (Dodd 31). Subs not used: Greenway, Letts.
RAINWORTH: Hales, Paling, Carolan, Hannigan, Fearon, Baxter (Naylor 61), Gee-Pemberton (Frost 66), Camm, Simpson, Hewitt (Langford 55), Jepson. Subs not used: Jackson, Mitchell.
REFEREE: Simon Barrow of Wilnecote.
GOALS: Barwell—Rickards 17; Charley 26; Dodd 64.
MENOF THE MATCH: Barwell and overall—Guy Sanders; Rainworth—Ryan Carolan.