The Chance Passed Them By.
Rainworth went into the match against Staveley Miners Welfare on the back of two wins, but for the most part, on the day, their passing game was non-existent.
In the end their new found determination kept the score down to a single goal but it was never enough against a Staveley side that always looked the likely winners.
Rainworth have within their ranks Aaron Moxam a striker, who despite their poor start to the season, is already among the league’s leading scorers. On the rare occasions today the ball reached him they looked a threat, alas for the most part their passes found the opposition.
The early exchanges saw both sides cancelling each other out as they tried to get in the ascendency, the first effort on goal came from Staveley’s Jamie Coulson’s header, but it was easily gathered by Ben Townsend.
A couple of minutes later Rainworth’s Julian Topliss’s run and cross was blocked at the expense of a corner.
Rainworth were nearly caught out in the 13th minute when Kieren Watson got behind their defence, but Townsend did enough to force him wide and his effort ended well wide.
Staveley were starting to get on top as Rainworth struggled to put a sustained passing move together.
Rainworth had Ryan Booker to thank, when after Steve Carty had left a number of players in his wake, he blocked his dangerous cross.
Rainworth did show what might have been when they at last found Moxam at the edge of the area, his mazy run was only stopped when he was crowded out and off balance his shot lacked power.
Staveley were still carrying the biggest threat and a couple of minutes later Watson put his effort well over.
On 31 minutes Rainworth did manage to put together a passing move when Tomas Poole and Moxam combined, but Jordan Claxton was just unable to hit with any power and Gareth Briggs easily gathered.
Staveley went even closer a minute later when the dangerous Watson hit the crossbar with Townsend beaten and he went close again shortly afterwards when from Shaun Nesbitt’s long throw he headed over.
As the half drew to a close it was all Staveley with Watson and Nesbitt both going close.
With the final kick of the half, Curtis Morley’s free-kick brought an excellent save from Townsend.
Rainworth were the first to threaten in the second half when Topliss found Moxam but his attempted chip was easily gathered by Briggs.
On 50 minutes Nesbitt’s long throw, that was to trouble Rainworth all match, was headed just over the crossbar by Coulson.
Staveley cranked up the pressure as they went in search of the elusive opening goal and only a brave stop by Townsend, with his feet, prevented Watson getting it.
Rainworth made a double substitution in an attempt to put some rhythm in their passing game bringing on Matt Sykes and Declan Brewin for Owen Heather and Claxton.
However it was Staveley who opened the scoring in the 58th minute when from a corner Coulson rose above everyone for the opener.
At long last Rainworth started to put together some passes but when the ball found Moxam in the area Staveley’s defence were able to clear the threat.
The game was now a more even affair and Carty, another Staveley threat, almost created a chance only for Ben Goodwin to clear.
Rainworth did have a short period of dominance as Poole found Sykes with an excellent ball but his goal-bound shot was deflected for a corner.
The nearest Rainworth came to scoring was in the 74th minute when an excellent Phil Buxton ball found Moxam and as Briggs advanced out of his goal he clipped it by him, only to see Luke Rafferty make an incredible goal line clearance, with the Rainworth fans thinking he’d scored.
Both sides were going all-out attack and on 85 minutes Topliss went close when he put his header just over the crossbar.
Rainworth made their final substitution bringing on Nick Langford for Joe Cheeseman.
It was Staveley however who had the last effort when Liam Nelthorpe put his effort high and wide.
At the final whistle it was Staveley who deservedly won a game they dominated until Rainworth’s second half substitutions brought some parity.
RAINWORTH MWFC: Townsend; Widdowson; Goodwin; Buxton; Booker; Cheeseman (Langford); Heather (Brewin); Poole; Moxam; Topliss; Claxton (Sykes). Sub (not used): Clarke.
Referee: Mr. Abbas Khan.
Man of the match: Aaron Moxam.