Relegation Now A Distinct Possibility
Today’s game away against Barton Town OB could have all but ended the threat of relegation, if Rainworth had won.
However, a toothless opening half helped by a soft ‘penalty’ all but ended the game as anything but a Barton Town home win.
Substitutions in the second half saw the Barton Town goal threatened for the first time, but by then it was too late.
The Barton Town line-up was much strengthened from that in the first fixture at Rainworth, which Rainworth won 3-2, emphasising the importance of today’s fixture. In contrast Rainworth showed just one change from the team beaten 6-1 the previous week at Bridlington.
Barton were the first to threaten when an excellent save by Ben Townsend prevented Tom Waudby’s header opening the scoring.
Townsend was on hand again when Gary Bradshaw’s goal-bound effort was well saved, Rainworth were struggling to put together a sustained passage of play.
Then in the 27th minute in a game were the referee had ignored physicality from both teams an innocuous coming together between Connor Griffin and Will Waudby was penalised, resulting in a penalty to Barton and a yellow card for Griffin. Tom Waudby converted from the spot to open the scoring for Barton.
Rainworth’s disjointed performance did little to give their following fans any hope and it came as no surprise when they went further behind in the 32nd minute. A fine passing move ended with Ryan Williams giving Eddie Rogerson the easy task of tapping into an empty net.
Rainworth by now had the look of a team staring relegation in the face and when they allowed Rogerson to ghost onto a ball at the far post they were lucky when it went across the face of the goal to safety.
The referee continued to bemuse both sets of players with some of his decisions and on 39 minutes when Tom Waudby tackled Matt Sykes late and from behind, the yellow card shown seemed lenient to say the least.
At the half time whistle it had been one to forget for both Rainworth and the referee.
On 53 minutes Rainworth brought on Declan Brewin for James Munson and for the first time in the match the Barton Town goal came under threat. This prompted a further substitution on 58 minutes when Nick Langford replaced the injured Jordan Caxton.
Rainworth’s first chance of the match came in the 62nd minute but Harris’s poor touch and an excellent last ditch tackle on Langford diffused the situation. It was a period of Rainworth pressure as Brewin almost put Langford in but the cross was blocked.
Barton should have added to their score in the 82nd minute when Townsend did well to block the first effort but when it landed at Will Waudby’s feet he put it well wide when well placed.
At the final whistle, Barton deserved their victory in a game of limited chances and one in which Rainworth failed to compete in the first half.
The day got worse when Rainworth learned that one of their other relegation candidates Parkgate had gained a last gasp victory at AFC Mansfield.
RAINWORTH MWFC: Townsend; Adlington; Claxton (Langford); Booker; Griffin; Ludlam; Harris (Parkin); Herbert; Munson (Brewin); Poole; Sykes. Subs (not used): Peat.
Referee: Joseph Goodwin.