The fact there were only five goals in the match was mainly due to the efforts of both keepers and to a lesser extent the woodwork.
Jack Barnett must have wondered just what he had to do to score, the keeper pulling off an outstanding block and hitting the woodwork to deny him his opening goal of the season.
It was also a day when the league’s leading scorer Aaron Moxam scored in what was to be his final appearance before moving to Handsworth Parramore.
Rainworth had the first attack but when it broke down, Barton’s quick break caught them out and James Nichols opened the scoring in the 2nd minute. They nearly doubled their lead when on six minutes Ben Townsend did well to block Nichols’s goal bound effort.
The game at this stage was end-to-end and Moxam’s effort was just past the upright.
On ten minutes Pat Weaver was a mere spectator when Julian Topliss’s free-kick was inches the wrong side of the upright.
On 19 minutes Rainworth looked destined to equalise, that was before Weaver somehow manged to block Barnett’s fiercley hit shot.
Rainworth were grateful to debutant Connor Griffin when his header prevented the ball reaching the unmarked Lee Fisher. Yet another quick break by Barton saw Townsend block Nichol’s effort with his legs.
Rainworth were pushing hard and on 35 minutes an unmarked Moxam headed home Tomas Poole’s corner at the near post.
Seven minutes later they were in front when Weaver initially blocked and Moxam’s goal-bound follow-up struck his own player with a goal seeming certain. Barton’s luck was short lived as Topliss curled an exquisite lob into the top corner.
In the final minutes of the half Barton had two opportunities to equalise but on both occasions their efforts cleared the bar.
The second half began much like the first with both sides creating chances but the final balls were poor.
Rainworth almost extended their lead in the 53rd minute when Poole found Topliss and although his shot beat Weaver it also went the wrong side of the upright.
On 55 minutes there was a rare sight when Griffin put Moxam in on goal only for the league’s most lethal striker to mishit his effort straight into Weaver’s arms when it seemed he must score.
Three minutes later Rainworth were ruing that miss as Nichols scored his second and Barton’s equaliser.
A minute later and only a top drawer save by Weaver prevented Topliss from equalising.
In the next passage of play Barton had three efforts on goal with Townsend blocking the first two and making an acrobatic save to stop the third.
This was the signal for Rainworth to use all three substitutes bringing on Owen Heather; Bradley Maturin-Drew and Jordan Claxton for Moxam, Brewin and Matt Sykes.
Rainworth almost took the lead in the 78th minute when Barnett’s fierce shot hit the underside of the crossbar, coming down in the field of play with Weaver beaten. A minute later as Topliss broke on goal he was brought down in the act of shooting and the referee had no hesitation in awarding the penalty. Topliss made no mistake from the spot sending the keeper the wrong way.
In the final minutes both sides threatened but neither keeper was forced into a safe and at the final whistle it was Rainworth who had come out victorious in this roller-coaster of a match.
RAINWORTH MWFC: Townsend; Widdowson; Griffin; Barnett; Booker; Buxton; Brewin(Maturin-Drew); Poole; Moxam (Heather); Topliss; Sykes (Claxton). Subs (not used): Ludlam; Clarke.
Referee: Mr. Kevin Saundby.
Man of the match: Ben Townsend.