Total Team Performance
This was the first game since the departure of Striker Aaron Moxam, Rainworth’s and the league’s leading scorer to Handsworth Parramore.
The fixture between Worksop Town and Rainworth MWFC saw a clash of two teams on unbeaten runs. Worksop Town unbeaten in five (4 league 1 cup) and Rainworth MWFC unbeaten in two, albeit against teams below them in the league.
The Rainworth side included two debutants Jake Adlington and Ryan Herbert. It also saw Liam Morris taking his first tentative steps since dislocating his toe nearly nine weeks ago doing light training prior to the match.
The first attempt on goal came in the 4th minute when Rainworth’s Matt Syke’s long range effort had Jon Kennedy scrambling, only just pushing it around the post for a corner. There was a long delay as he received extensive treatment on what appeared to be a hand injury.
It wasn’t until the 12th minute that Worksop had an attempt on goal but Connor Brunt put Jack Hawkins’s cross well over.
Rainworth almost took the lead a minute later when Sykes’s through ball found Tomas Poole but Kennedy did well to block the shot.
At this stage it was end to end and after a Worksop break, Jack Andrews put his effort wide with only the keeper to beat.
The breakthrough came in the 24th minute when Sykes’s through ball was initially reached first by Kennedy outside the area, but his mishit clearance was pounced on by Julian Topliss and his curled effort found the top corner for the opening goal.
In the 28th minute Poole found Topliss but his cross was headed out of danger by Ross Henshaw at the expense of a corner.
Worksop continued to probe and on 30 minutes Connor Brunt’s speculative shot went well over. In Worksop’s next attack Rainworth had a lucky let-off when Hawkins’s cross was headed against the post by Mitch Husbands deflecting into the grateful arms of Ben Townsend.
Both sides carried quite different threats, Worksop’s coming from crosses whilst Rainworth always looked dangerous with their quick counter-attacks.
Worksop were awarded a free kick in the 38th minute and Charlie Dawes initially struck the wall with his effort and his follow–up was deflected for a corner.
There was still time for chances at both ends as Topliss set up Herbert and his effort just went over. Worksop probably should have equalised with theirs when a forceful run by Kieran Fenton set up Brunt but he hit his effort wide of the upright when well placed.
At the half-time whistle, both sides had a case for being in front, but it was Rainworth who led with the only goal of the half.
The second half started ominously for Rainworth as another Worksop cross in the opening minutes fortuitously bounced over Dawes’s head, with the goal at his mercy.
Both sides had chances but neither were able to convert their opportunities as the game ebbed and flowed.
That all changed in the 58th minute when Topliss pounced on a defensive mistake and found Sykes who rounded the defender and hit his shot into the bottom corner, to double the lead.
On 59 minutes Rainworth brought on Declan Brewin for Herbert, who had an excellent debut, whilst this happened there was a delay whilst Rob Ludlam received attention for a head injury.
Worksop were almost caught out when Ryan Booker’s through ball was just cleared by Kennedy with Brewin bearing down.
A minute later it was Townsend’s fingertip save that prevented Adam Scott’s shot cum cross from reducing the arrears. They came close again when a weak defensive header fell to Jonathan Fusco but his effort was just the wrong side of the post.
Rainworth however continued to threaten and Kennedy did well to block efforts from Brewin and Poole in quick succession.
The 73rd minute saw an exceptional Jack Barnett free-kick leave Kennedy grasping at fresh air as it arrowed into the top corner. It was a goal fit to grace any match and put Rainworth three goals up.
Rainworth made a double substitution bringing on Owen Heather and Nick Langford for Poole and Topliss.
Rainworth were now on top and Brewin‘s run at goal was thwarted when his shot was blocked.
A couple of minutes later and Rainworth had a lucky escape when Brunt’s free-kick struck the crossbar with Townsend beaten.
Still Rainworth came forward and it was Brewin who threatened once again leaving defenders in his wake only to run the ball out of play.
Rainworth should have increased their lead in the 88th minute when Langford was through on goal but Kennedy managed to force him wide and his effort hit the side netting. Two minutes later Buxton put him through again and this time he made no mistake for Rainworth’s fourth.
In injury time Jack Hawkins put his effort wide of the upright, whilst Brewin set-up Heather who gave Kennedy no chance for the fifth.
At the final whistle Rainworth’s five nil score line may have flattered them but on the day they were deserved winners.
RAINWORTH MWFC: Townsend; Adlington; Griffin; Barnett; Booker; Ludlam; Herbert (Brewin); Buxton; Topliss (Langford); Poole (Heather); Sykes Sub (not used): Claxton.
Referee: Mr. D. Jones.
Man of the match: The Team.