Local Knowledge an advantage
The Muglet Lane slope favoured the side kicking down it.
Maltby had use of it in the first half and at half time led by two goals to nil. Rainworth had the use of it in the second half and pulled back the deficit in a 2-2 draw, missing a penalty in a very physical game.
Rainworth MWFC threatened as early as the opening minute when Aaron Moxam drove into the penalty area and pulled into the path of Phil Buxton, who in turn set up Owen Heather, but his shot lacked power.
Whilst Maltby Main were having the bulk of the possession, Rainworth went close again in the 5th minute when Moxam again threatened but his shot was easily gathered by the keeper.
Maltby soon created a chance of their own when hesitation between Matt Sykes and Ben Townsend almost gifted them a goal.
In the 11th minute Maltby took the lead when a long ball found the centre-forward and despite Townsend’s brave attempt he had no-chance as they took the lead.
Rainworth MWFC continued to try and replicate their passing game of Tuesday night but the playing conditions at Muglet Lane didn’t favour it.
Rainworth were to find this out to their cost in the 17th minute when an innocuous cross was missed by at least three players and when it found the Maltby player he made no mistake, hitting his fierce drive into the bottom corner.
On 30 minutes Maltby were almost gifted a third when the centre forward hit an excellent cross only to see it hit wide with the goal beckoning.
Rainworth were forced into a substitution in the 37th minute with Rob Ludlam unable to continue with a leg injury and he was replaced by Jack Barnett.
Rainworth threatened in the final minutes of a half which for the most part Maltby had been the more dominant as after a good break Owen Heather found Julian Topliss but his goal-bound shot was blocked.
The final chance of the half fell to Rainworth as Heather found Tomas Poole and he was only prevented from scoring by the outstretched knee of the keeper.
It had been a very physical contest, spoilt by some indifferent refereeing.
The advantage of the slope soon became evident as the second half got underway with Rainworth now on the front foot.
Tomas Poole’s 56th minute free-kick was only inches over as Rainworth pushed to cut back the two goal deficit. They almost gifted Maltby their third two minutes later with some comic cut defending.
They went close again in the 60th minute when Poole’s excellent through ball found Heather but his effort was inches wide.
The pressure was building and in the 65th minute Barnett was only inches over with his free-kick and a minute later Rainworth brought on Declan Brewin for Heather.
Brewin’s pace had an immediate impact and when he broke on goal in the 71st minute the keeper did well to parry his goal-bound shot, but Moxam followed up to put it into the net.
It was all Rainworth now as Moxam found Topliss, but his effort was just wide.
Desperate defending in the 78th minute resulted in a penalty as Topliss when through on goal was pulled back in the penalty area. Unfortunately for Rainworth the keeper guessed right and Moxam’s penalty was saved.
Maltby’s reprieve was short lived and in the 81st minute Moxam found Claxton and his inviting cross was met by Brewin for the equaliser.
Rainworth almost won the match in literally the last attack of the game when Sykes’s goal bound shot was brilliantly saved by the keeper.
At the final whistle Rainworth were left to lick their wounds with a number of players doubtful for Tuesday’s game in what had been a brutally physical game.
RAINWORTH MWFC: Townsend; Widdowson; Sykes; Buxton; Ludlam (Barnett); Cheeseman: Heather (Brewin); Poole; Moxam; Topliss; Claxton. Sub (not used): Watts
Man of the match: Phil Buxton.