Fast Start Fails to Ignite Rainworth
Worksop seems an eternity.
Without a league win since October 2016, Rainworth are a team lacking confidence and direction, quickly moving into the ‘relegation’ battle.
Today away at Albion Sports they raced into a two-goal lead in the space of 14 minutes, but in the end a mixture of poor defending and woeful officials left them wondering what they must do to win a match.
The next two fixtures against Real United (Notts Senior Cup) and Retford United (League), both at Kirklington Road, have taken on a ‘must win’ status in a season that is fast becoming a ‘nightmare’.
Rainworth had Ben Townsend to thank as early as the 2nd minute when he made an excellent save from a goal-bound free-kick.
With both sides creating and missing opportunities it was Rainworth who took the lead in the 12th minute when Nick Langford ran on to an excellent through ball and he easily beat the advancing keeper.
Two minutes later and Langford doubled the score when he took advantage of a defensive mix-up and his inch perfect lob from 40 yards gave the keeper no chance.
The ‘dream start’ soon became a rear-guard action as Albion regrouped and Rainworth had Townsend to thank for another excellent save from yet another testing effort.
Albion thought they had pulled one back in the 19th minute when they had the ball in the net, but the referee disallowed it for a blatant push on Townsend.
The reprieve was short-lived when an excellent Albion move ended with Daniel Facey’s acrobatic finish finding the back of the net.
Rainworth fought back and were unlucky when Matt Sykes’s effort came back off the crossbar with the keeper well beaten.
The equaliser came in the 31st minute when Facey was the first to react to the loose ball after yet another Townsend block, the Rainworth defence appearing to be doing the ‘Mannequin Challenge’.
Rainworth’s Sykes was unlucky to see his effort just go by the wrong side of the upright as chances came at both ends through defensive errors.
An excellent Rainworth move involving Sykes and Jordan Claxton set-up Curtis Gregory but his shot when well-placed lacked power and was easily gathered by the keeper, as the referee brought the half to a close.
Both sides continued to create and gift chances at regular intervals but neither could capitalise on them.
A quick Rainworth break saw Matt Harris through on goal but his shot was blocked allowing a defender to clear off the line. At the other end, Claxton, did well to block a goal-bound effort with Townsend beaten.
On the hour yet another defensive error almost gifted Albion a goal and although Townsend redeemed the situation there was more than a suspicion that he had impeded Facey in doing so.
The inevitable Rainworth gift came in the 67th minute when they conspired to lose the ball in a dangerous area, something that is fast becoming a signature part of their defending and the forward needed no second invitation to put the ball in the net.
Rainworth brought on Shaw & Joshua Hobson for Harris & Gregory.
Albion’s fourth goal owed everything to woeful defending and officials not up with play as the ball found Facey in an offside position and he took full advantage to complete his hat-trick and Albion’s fourth.
Rainworth staged a late rally with Claxton’s dangerous cross almost reaching Langford’s head and the keeper pulled off a finger-tip save from Syke’s fierce shot that was heading for the bottom corner.
At the final whistle Rainworth could have no complaints after a fast start, their lack of confidence and at time commitment in all areas of the pitch allowed Albion to get back into the game.
RAINWORTH MWFC: Townsend; Herbert; Cooper; Bamforth; Buxton; Mansell; Gregory (Shaw); Claxton; Langford; Harris (Hobson); Sykes. Subs (not used): Topliss; Griffin.
Man of the match: Jordan Claxton