A Win, But No More
Rainworth MWFC were flattered by their 3-0 victory over Harrogate Railway Athletic and but for Harrogate being reduced to 10 men on 30 minutes the result may have been different.
A near full strength Rainworth side frustrated for long periods when the ‘simple’ ball was often overlooked, resulting in promising attacks breaking down.
Rainworth had an early scare in the 5th minute when Ryan Sharrocks free-kick was just clipped past the far post by Chris Fisher.
In the 8th minute they thought they had taken the lead when Declan Brewin’s cross was hit home by Aaron Moxan, only for it to be ruled out for offside.
It was Brewin again on 11 minutes but his cross was too high for the onrushing attackers.
The game was becoming a midfield battle with neither side able to create any meaningful chances until Gregg Kidd went close as his run and shot was blocked by Townsend. Harrogate went close again when it was Jordan Hendrie’s effort that was blocked.
The game changed on 30 minutes when Chris Ovington was shown a straight red for an over-the-top tackle on Tomas Poole.
The game continued to be punctuated by both sides inability to string together more than a couple of passes before gifting the ball to the opposition.
Rainworth almost took the lead on 42 minutes when a great run by Matt Sykes found Moxam and his goal-bound shot was kicked off the line.
Three minutes later Brewin produce a piece of individual brilliance leaving defenders in his wake before placing the ball in the bottom corner for the opener.
There was just time for the game to restart before the referee blew for half-time.
The second half began with Rainworth on the front foot when Sykes’s run and shot was blocked for a corner.
Harrogate however continued to attack and Fraser Hansen, who was a threat all night, almost caught Townsend out with a ‘cheeky’ lob.
Rainworth continued to threaten but they were being let down by their final ball.
On 61 minutes they brought on Owen Heather for Brewin, however it was Hansen who threatened but Townsend easily saved his effort.
On 65 minutes Poole did well when he worked an opening, but with the goal beckoning he scuffed his shot.
A minute later and Carter Widdowson’s short corner was driven into the box by Sykes and his shot found the bottom corner.
Rainworth scored a third on 72 minutes when Moxam’s clever flick found Heather and despite Ben Ledger’s gallant attempt to stop it the ball found the far corner. It was the signal to bring on Bradley Maturin-Drew for Julian Topliss.
It was 10 man Harrogate who finished the game stronger with Paul Beesley going close on a couple of occasions.
Heather did have an effort tipped for a corner by Ledger but their attacks lacked any fluency.
At the final whistle Harrogate must have been wondering what might have been if they had kept eleven men on the field, whilst Rainworth were just thankful for three points.
RAINWORTH MWFC: Townsend; Widdowson; Goodwin; Barnett; Booker; Buxton; Brewin (Heather); Poole; Moxam; Topliss (Maturin-Drew); Sykes. Subs (not used): Clarke; Claxton.
Referee: Mr. James Oldham.
Man of the match: Phil Buxton.