Starting To Look Like a Team
Rainworth’s poor start to the season has started to improve and with some new additions they are starting to gel as a team.
Tonight at Athersley they deservedly won a match played in a very strong wind and with a couple of enforced second half substitutions that appeared to derail their flow.
Athersley kicked with the strong wind in the first half and they were the first to have an attempt on goal but it came to nothing.
Then an incident that beggared belief cast a shadow on the game when the Athersley captain initially stood on Aaron Moxam and then kicked him in the back in full view of the referee. With most of the crowd expecting the inevitable red card, the referee produced only yellow. When later questioned about the incident his answer was that he hadn’t seen the kick.
The game was being spoiled by the conditions but it was Rainworth who were producing the better football and it came as no surprise when they took the lead in the 11th minute. Tomas Poole’s free-kick was blocked on the line but it fell into Rob Ludlam’s path and he struck it sweetly into the bottom corner.
A couple of minutes later another Poole free kick found Ryan Booker at the near post, but he only succeeded in putting it into the keeper’s arms.
Rainworth did have a scare in the 17th minute when a long punt upfield forced Ben Townsend out of his goal and when the ball was sent goal wards Booker was on hand to clear the danger.
Rainworth nearly increased their lead when Ludlam’s driven cross was put just inches the wrong side of the upright.
The wind was definitely in Athersley’s favour and their 29th minute corner struck the upright and the follow-up was narrowly wide.
On 36 minutes a great ball from Carter Widdowson was met by Moxam’s head going inches over the bar. A minute later and Rainworth were two up when Poole’s excellent free-kick beat everyone and nestled in the far corner.
Athersley nearly scored with a free-kick of their own but they were thwarted by an excellent save by Townsend.
At the half-time whistle it had been an excellent performance into a very strong wind by a Rainworth side who deservedly led by two goals.
Rainworth had to replace Declan Brewin, who complained of feeling unwell, with Jordan Claxton who himself was returning from an injury.
Athersley started the half on the front foot and Townsend was quickly in action defusing their quick break.
Poole who was a constant threat with free-kicks had another goal bound effort blocked in the 49th minute.
It was becoming more of a contest as Athersley picked up the pace and Townsend was called on once again, when an excellent cross was headed powerfully goal wards.
It was Rainworth however who increased their lead in the 69th minute when an excellent move found Topliss and he made no mistake from close range.
Rainworth were forced into making a second substitution when Booker had to be replaced by Joe Cheeseman and shortly afterwards Poole nearly increased Rainworth’s lead only for the keeper to make an excellent save at full stretch.
On 81 minutes Rainworth’s solid resistance was broken when Athersley scored direct from a free-kick.
In the final minute of normal time they scored again when a through ball found Kia Hancock and he just managed to flick it past Townsend.
That was to be the last score of the match and Rainworth had produced their first back-to-back victories of the season.
RAINWORTH MWFC: Townsend; Widdowson; Goodwin; Buxton; Booker (Cheeseman); Ludlam; Brewin (Claxton); Poole; Moxam; Topliss; Heather. Sub (not used): Hutchinson.
Man of the match: Ryan Booker.