Faith, Hope & Charity
Will we see Rainworth MWFC win again this season?
When the Island of Malta was besieged from the air at the beginning of WWII, the only aerial defence that could be mustered initially were 3 obsolescent Gloucester Sea Gladiator biplanes. They were christened Hope, Faith and Charity. One was lost during that first raid and whatever its original name, it was decreed that it should be Charity, for it was said, “Malta never lost Hope or Faith in the final victory.”
Rainworth MWFC will need a lot of Hope and Faith and a lot less charity if they are to avoid near certain relegation on their current form of two draws in their last nine league games.
In today’s return Holiday fixture against Bottesford Town, Rainworth gifted them their opening goal and once reduced to ten men in the second half the result was never in doubt.
The opening half of the match was uneventful with both sides unable to break down each other’s defences in a physical encounter that saw yellow but not red, until that fateful second yellow in the 65th minute.
The first real threat on either goal came in the 24th minute when Ben Townsend saved well from Martin Pembleton.
Rainworth’s first effort came a couple of minutes later when Curtis Gregory shot well over from distance, it was quickly followed by Matt Sykes’s effort that just went the wrong side of the upright.
Seconds later and Bottesford almost gifted Rainworth the opener but Gregory put the chance wide when well placed.
Rainworth continued to probe and an excellent move saw Jordan Claxton’s through ball find Sykes but his shot lacked power and was easily gathered by Leigh Herrick.
Rainworth’s good work was undone in the 36th minute when Rob Ludlam miscontrolled an innocuous ball in the penalty area gifting Paul Grimes a clear sight on goal. Unfortunately for Rainworth Grimes may be in the twilight of his career but he still possesses that predatory instinct all top strikers have, and although his strike hit the post and appeared to come out, the assistant flagged for a goal. I can confirm that fan’s behind the goal backed up the assistant’s decision.
That was to be the difference in an evenly contested half with Bottesford going into the half-time break leading 1-0.
The game continued to be nip and tuck with Grimes having an effort blocked by Phil Buxton and Joshua Nichol putting one wide of the upright.
Rainworth brought on Julian Topliss for Nick Langford, but it was Bottesford who were now on the front foot although it took two defenders to diffuse Ashley Cooper’s excellent run.
The match ceased to be a contest in the 65th minute when Ryan Herbert was given a second yellow card reducing Rainworth to ten men.
Whilst Bottesford had struggled to break down Rainworth against ten men they started to run riot and an excellent move saw the final cross find Nichol and he made no mistake for the second.
Townsend did well in the 71st minute making an excellent stop from Elliott Broughton.
Rainworth made another substitution bringing on Declan Brewin for Matt Harris.
This failed to stop the onslaught and it came as no surprise when in the 79th minute Broughton beat his man and finished with aplomb for the third.
Minutes later it was four as a comedy of errors in the Rainworth defence left Broughton unmarked at the far post and he had the easiest of tasks to tap the ball home.
At this stage Rainworth were a spent force but their suffering was prolonged when in the 86th minute Pembleton ran through a static defence for the fifth, it was a relief when the referee blew for full-time with a sixth goal a distinct possibility.
Rainworth are sorely missing key players out injured and suspended but they must quickly turn around a season that has seen them winless since October, or face relegation.
Rainworth MWFC: Townsend; Herbert; Cooper; Bamforth; Buxton; Ludlam; Gregory; Claxton; Langford (Topliss); Harris (Brewin); Sykes. Sub (not used): Watts
Referee: Timothy Walker.