What a difference a week makes
Jack Weatherall gives a Master-Class.
A week ago, Rainworth MWFC let themselves down badly going down to the odd goal in seven defeat to Retford United, today an over officious referee contributed to their narrow 2-1 defeat against Handsworth Parramore.
It also saw the ‘man of the match’ debut of Jack Weatherall, who had joined the Wrens on work experience from Lincoln City, this after having been on the bench for his parent club the previous Tuesday in the FA Cup victory against Ipswich Town.
The last time Rainworth had won in the league, against Worksop Town, was ironically last October at today’s venue Sandy Lane.
Today, Rainworth were very competitive against a Handsworth Parramore side that sat in fifth position in the league and in the end, could consider themselves ‘unlucky’ to leave with no points
Rainworth nearly paid the price in the 12th minute when former Wren Aaron Moxam found himself through on goal, but Ben Townsend did well to block the shot.
Rainworth were unlucky when Matt Harris just failed to direct his header from Jack Barnett’s free-kick and Gary Stevens easily gathered the effort.
Five minutes later and Harris did well to intercept Reece Hands through ball at the expense of a corner.
It was end to end and Tomas Poole was unlucky when his fiercly hit shot was deflected for a corner.
A minute later Rainworth were relieved when Micky Harcourt’s overlapping run and cross was met by Jon Froggatt and Townsend did well to turn the effort over the bar. The rest bite was short-lived as when the initial effort from the corner was cleared, Reece Hands re-acted the quickest and headed the rebound into the goal.
Rainworth continued to threaten and Phil Buxton’s and Poole’s efforts were just the wrong side of the crossbar. They had a great opportunity in the 36th minute when an excellent interchange between Jordan Claxton and Matt Sykes, saw Sykes’s effort flash just the wrong side of the upright with Gary Stevens well beaten.
Rainworth had Townsend to thank in the 37th minute when Froggatt set up Moxam, but his quick reaction off the line, blocked the effort.
At the other end, only a quick reaction by Connor Smythe prevented several the opposition getting on the end of the cross for the equaliser. A minute later and it needed strong hands from Stevens to prevent Barnett’s effort finding the back of the net.
The game swung in Handsworth’s favour when in the 42nd minute a corner was hit into the Rainworth area and with both sides contesting the ball there was the shrill sound of the referee’s whistle. Rainworth looked in amazement and Handsworth were bemused when the referee pointed to the penalty spot. Pulling back was deemed the offence, although the same had occurred in both penalty areas previously without a whistle, it beggared belief that he now decided to penalise it.
Up stepped Froggatt but Townsend guessed right and made an excellent save, unfortunately Joe Thornton re-acted the quickest and put the rebound in the net.
That was to be the final act of a half that Handsworth probably edged but the 2-0 score-line flattered them.
Rainworth brought on Nick Langford for Liam Morris who is still lacking match fitness after a long period out with a foot injury.
Rainworth started the half quickly and Poole almost went through on goal and a few minutes later Harris’s shot just flashed the wrong side of the upright.
On 66 minutes Buxton played in Claxton and Stevens did well to block the effort.
Aaron Moxam broke on goal and Townsend did well to block the effort with the help of his defenders who re-acted quickly to the danger.
Rainworth rode their luck in the 74th minute when Townsend made an excellent save from Danny Buttle. Declan Brewin came on for Poole as Rainworth attempted to inject some pace into their attack.
A minute later and Rainworth were wondering why they hadn’t scored as Brewin laid the ball into Barnett’s pass and whilst Stevens was well beaten it came back of the upright and Harris could only manage to put it into the grateful arms of Stevens.
At the other end Rainworth had a lucky escape as Moxam’s effort came back off the crossbar with Townsend beaten.
Rainworth deservedly pulled one back on 83 minutes when Stevens could only parry Harris’s effort into the path of Nick Langford and he made no mistake from close-range to reduce the deficit.
It was Rainworth who had the final effort when Barnett’s goal-bound effort was deflected for a corner and at the final whistle they were left to rue the referee’s ‘strange’ decision for the penalty.
RAINWORTH MWFC: Townsend; Claxton; Weatherall; Barnett; Ludlam; Griffin; Poole (Brewin); Buxton; Morris (Langford); Harris; Sykes. Subs (not used): Gregory; Mansell; Munson.
Referee: Kieron Salmons.
Man, of the match: Jack Weatherall.