Wrens fizzle out on fireworks night
Rainworth's Bonfire Night performance turned into a damp squib as high-flying Thackley completed a league double with a comfortable 3-0 win at Kirklington Road.
Goals either side of half time by Chris Wademan and Craig Bentham put the North Bradford side in charge, and substitute Tawonga Gumboh completed the scoring in added time.
The Wrens had let their best fireworks off a week too early when they roared to a 5-0 romp at Worksop Town, but the difference seven days later could not have been more marked.
Even the presence of referee Martin Chester could not inspire the Wrens on this occasion. Mr Chester's two previous appointments with Rainworth had resulted in 6-4 and 7-3 wins but, far from the next natural mathematical progression of 8-2, Julian Watts' side barely troubled visiting keeper Luke Wilson.
What was worse, though, from the home side's point of view, was that the old habit of giving goals away to errors returned to haunt them - a point not lost on a frustrated Watts.
He said: "We could have no complaints about the result, Thackley thoroughly deserved it. I felt at half time, but we contributed to all three goals conceded, which is something that has blighted us all season, and every dangerous attack they mounted was down to our own errors putting us under unnecessary pressure.
"I've talked to the lads about possession football, and we did that well at Worksop, but today we started going too long early in the second half and they mopped it all up easily. We then conceded a soft second goal, missed a good chance which might have turned it for us, and they went straight down and scored another softie. It's exactly why we are in the position we are in, and it's a shame we couldn't have extended our winning run to four."
Watts would surely have wanted to start with an unchanged side after the previous week's triumph, but both defender Jake Adlington and midfielder Jack Barnett were out through work commitments, although the manager refused to use that as any excuse.
Both sides traded dangerous crosses which lacked a final touch in the early stages, but Ben Townsend needed two attempts to hold a wicked 25-yarder from Wademan in between.
Rainworth gained some hope when Julian Topliss beat the offside, but lost control, and Tomas Poole had Wilson scrambling to save from 25 yards in the 11th minute.
Townsend was having to earn his corn though as the visitors capitalised on the wind at their backs, but while Rainworth were playing some good football they lacked the penetration they needed to find a way through.
So it was no surprise when the visitors took a 40th minute lead, as Wademan capitalised on an under-hit back pass, shrugged off a challenge, and slotted home.
Home hearts were in mouths 10 minutes into the restart when a clearly offside Wademan was allowed to run on only to over-run and lose the ball.
Watts sacrificed midfielder Jordan Claxton with forward Owen Heather in a bid for more fire power, but it was Thackley who found a way through again to double their lead in the 59th minute. A disputed free kick from the corner of the 18 yard line by Pat McGuire found Joseph Brown, and although his shot was blocked Bentham was on hand to bury the loose ball before the defence could react.
A solid challenge by Ryan Booker denied Brown a third Thackley goal, before Watts' last throw of the dice, striker Declan Brewin replacing defender Joe Cheeseman. Brewin's introduction finally brought about some penetration and he set up chances for both Heather and Poole which could have brought the Wrens back into it, but Heather failed to connect and Poole's effort resembled the Bonfire Night sky rocket that had exploded in the sky just seconds earlier.
And those misses were punished a minute into added time when Gumboh was afforded the space to head home from a corner.
RAINWORTH: Townsend, Cheeseman (Brewin 73), Griffin, Buxton, Booker, Ludlam, Herbert, Claxton (Heather 56), Topliss (Langford 80), Poole, Sykes. Sub not used: Maturin-Drew.
THACKLEY: Wilson, Rouse, Hargreaves, McGuire, Bentham, Snowden, Joyce (Gumboh 83), Whiteley, Wademan, Brown (Broadbent 85), Eustance (Scott 90+1).
REFEREE: Martin Chester.
WRENS MAN OF THE MATCH: Ben Townsend.