Walton Bullies Rainworth
Any chance Rainworth may have had to get their first league points of 2017 were ended by an excellent performance from Joe Walton, which produced two goals and a penalty.
Whilst Rainworth competed with Liversedge for an hour, they never came to terms with their physicality and were always second best in that department, eventually paying the price for their deficiencies.
From the kick-off Rainworth were left in no doubt that if they were to get anything from today’s fixture they had to match Liversedge’s combative style.
The early signs weren’t good as Liversedge forced them on the back-foot and began to win the fifty-fifty balls.
The most worrying thing about those opening minutes was when in the 7th minute a promising Rainworth attack broke down it was Liversedge who nearly scored on the counter-attack but Ben Townsend did well to save Gibril Bojang’s effort.
Two minutes later and Stephen Wales skipped by two defenders but was unable to get his shot on target.
Rainworth did managed the odd foray into their opponent’s half and they forced a corner when Ryan Herbert’s through ball was flicked goal wards by Tomas Poole.
They got a warning of what was to come in the 20th minute when Walton broke on goal, but on this occasion, he put his effort well wide.
Rainworth went close in the 24th minute when Poole’s effort from the edge of the area just went over the bar with Sam Andrews scrambling.
The threat of Liversedge’s counter-attacks almost paid dividends when Vaughan Redford put his effort over.
Rainworth failed to react when there seemed no danger when a cross came into the box, but Tom Brook rose above everyone but his powerful header lacked direction.
The play moved straight to the other end when Phil Buxton’s goal-bound shot struck a defender and looped into the grateful arms of Andrews.
There then followed a five-minute period when it appeared Redford must score when he went close on three occasions, narrowly missing on two and Townsend saving the other.
Just on half-time Wale’s effort was inches over in a half were Rainworth were hanging on.
Any thoughts Rainworth had of following last Tuesday’s ‘clean sheet’ were ended in the 49th minute when an excellent cross saw Walton rise above everyone and powerfully head it into the far corner, giving Townsend no chance.
A piece of Buxton magic almost brought an equaliser as he weaved his way past man after man only to see his effort curl the wrong side of the post.
This seemed to spring Rainworth to life and shortly afterwards Jordan Claxton’s cross was blocked and Harry Bamforth’s follow-up, cleared before it could be converted.
The equaliser came from an excellent Rainworth break when Matt Harris found Nick Langford and he gave Andrews no chance as he found the far corner.
Liversedge came straight back on the attack and they were grateful when Claxton headed Wales’s effort off the line.
The rest bite was short lived as in the next attack with Walton running through on goal there was a tangle of legs with Jack Weatherall and the referee had no hesitation in pointing to the spot. Wales gave Townsend no chance with the penalty for Liversedge to regain the lead.
Rainworth brought on Matt Sykes for Harris and two minutes later should probably have done much better when Weatherall’s excellent ball found Poole in full stride but his attempted cross lacked the accuracy it needed.
Rainworth made another substitution bringing on Declan Brewin for Langford.
Liversedge wasted an excellent opportunity to increase their lead when Wales having beaten two defenders in the area opted to shoot with two players unmarked at the far post.
Rainworth continued to push for an equaliser and both Poole and Claxton came close.
Any chance Rainworth had of salvaging a point ended in the 85th minute when they allowed an innocuous free-kick to travel the breadth of the area and bounce. Walton needed no second invitation giving Townsend no chance as he headed powerfully into the far corner.
Rainworth made their third and final substitution giving a debut to Lewis Parkin for Bamforth.
The final chance of the game fell to Rainworth as Matt Sykes’s cross cum shot was headed off the line.
Liversedge ran out deserved winners and Rainworth were left to lick their wounds after a much better display than their previous home game against Retford United. However if they want to turn effort into points they must start winning their share of the physical fifty-fifty balls and improve their conversion rate.
RAINWORTH MWFC: Townsend; Herbert; Weatherall; Bamforth (Parkin); Ludlam; Griffin; Poole; Buxton; Langford (Brewin); Harris (Sykes); Claxton. Subs (not used): Mansell; Munson.
Referee: Mr Edward Pidduck
Man of the match: Ben Townsend