Fog threatened the game.
Rainworth MWFC game at Hemsworth MW was nearly abandoned just into the second half when the fog that had threatened began to envelop the pitch. It was so bad at one stage that it only became apparent to the majority of the crowd that two of the goals had been scored, when the game was restarted with a kick-off.
The game itself saw in-form Hemsworth run out deserved 5-3 winners, although Rainworth gave them a fright in the second half.
It was Rainworth who created the first effort on goal when debutant Harry Bamforth’s shot was deflected for a corner.
They threatened again in the 10th minute when after a good break by Matt Sykes he found Julian Topliss, but Bamforth just failed to connect with his tempting cross.
It was Hemsworth however who should have taken the lead in the 11th minute when with the goal at his mercy Richard Collier took a second touch and the danger was difused. Minutes later Ben Townsend had to be alert to reach a dangerous through ball first.
At this point it was end to end and when Bamforth set up Tomas Poole his effort was just over the crossbar.
The twenty minute mark saw Hemsworth start to get on top but Brice Tiani’s effort was well over.
Rainworth’s rest bite was short lived when after a quick break in the 26th minute the ball found Sam Jones and he gave Townsend no chance for the opener.
As the pressure built on the Rainworth goal a piece of lax defending allowed Brice to pick his spot for the second in the 33rd minute.
From the kick-off Rainworth almost pulled one back when Poole’s long-range effort clipped the outside of the upright.
It signalled a period of Rainworth pressure, when first Poole found Topliss but his shot lacked power and Sam Leigh easily gathered and then from a free-kick Rob Ludlam’s goal-bound shot was blocked.
When Hemsworth’s third goal went in, in the 41st minute it was all a bit surreal. An innocuous cross evaded at least four Rainworth defenders before finding Collier at the far post, the ball seemed to strike him more than the reverse, either way it ended in the back of the net.
A half that started well for Rainworth ended with Hemsworth MW well worth their 3-0 lead.
During the interval the fog that had been more of a veiled mist began to thicken as the players returned for the second half and Rainworth immediately brought on Nick Langford for Declan Brewin.
Within a couple of minutes Poole’s inviting cross was headed just over by Langford, and shortly afterwards Ryan Herbert’s shot was blocked.
Rainworth almost pulled one back on 58 minutes as Poole’s well hit shot was brilliantly saved at full stretch by Leigh.
Hemsworth also challenged with a quick break but Dominique Blair put his effort wide. They did increase their lead in the 60th minute, although the fog by this time was quite thick and the first the majority of the crowd realised was when Rainworth re-started the game from the centre spot. After a couple of minutes we were reliably informed that the scorer was Nicholas Guest.
It was Rainworth’s turn to score in the 64th minute and once again we had to rely on the player’s informing us that it was Ryan Herbert who had scored.
The fog was causing the officials major problems and there was a discussion on the touchline and fortunately at that moment the fog began to dissolve and the officials decided to play on.
In the 67th minute Rainworth brought on Bradley Maturin-Drew for Julian Topliss who was carrying an injury.
It was Hemsworth who almost increased their lead on 73 minutes when Cameron Clarke’s excellent run presented Collier with a good opportunity but he put his shot well over. It didn’t matter as a minute later Adam Wilson’s thunderbolt from outside the area struck the underside of the bar and went over the line.
Rainworth were now starting to get back into the game and when an excellent passing move found Maturin-Drew he made no mistake for Rainworth’s second.
A minute later and they got their third as Herbert’s ball found Maturin-Drew and his inch perfect cross was met by the head of the diving Langford.
They went close again in the 81st minute when Phil Buxton’s header just went over with the keeper beaten.
Rainworth made their final substitution bringing on Joe Cheeseman for Buxton.
Hemsworth almost got a sixth when Tiani was only denied by Townsend’s brilliant finger-tip save.
In the final minutes Rainworth pushed hard and this time it was Leigh who pulled off a world-class save form Ludlam’s header, that however was to be the last act of what had been a very entertaining game.
RAINWORTH MWFC: Townsend; Ludlam; Cooper; Bamforth; Buxton (Cheeseman); Griffin; Brewin (Langford); Poole; Topliss (Maturin-Drew); Sykes.
Man of the match: Connor Griffin