No Easter Passion
Today’s game against Parkgate could have determined Rainworth’s survival in the NECL Premier Division for another season.
However, on such an important day they gave what was probably their worst display of the season. One that lacked both passion and direction and it came as no surprise when they finished the game a poor second.
It was a nervous opening by both sides, which was understandable in a game that would have a major bearing on survival.
The tension eased for Parkgate when in the 7th minute Lebrun Mbeka’s cross was headed in at the far post by Alex Lill to open the scoring.
The situation almost got worse when in the 22nd minute the Rainworth defence allowed a ball to bounce in the area and luckily Steven McDonnell’s effort was straight at the keeper.
Rainworth’s only effort of note in the half came when Matt Sykes latched onto Curtis Birchall’s cross, but his goal bound shot was blocked by Macole Lannaman.
This was followed by Declan Brewin’s attempt but this was well wide.
Rainworth had Ben Townsend to thank in the 39th minute when he round Lannaman’s effort at the expense of a corner. The relief was short-lived when from the corner Mbeka leapt above everyone to head the ball home for Parkgate’s second.
The last attempt on goal of a half were Parkgate dominated came from Tomas Poole, but it lacked power to trouble Ben Hunter.
At half-time Rainworth brought on Will Peat and James Munson to replace Sykes and Birchill who were carrying knocks.
Parkgate were still bringing a threat and Townsend did well in the 49th minute to deflect Lill’s goal-bound shot.
Disaster struck for Rainworth on 55 minutes when Lill’s shot was palmed by Townsend but it struck the covering Connor Griffin and into the net.
The goal signalled a response from Rainworth and on 59 minutes Ryan Herbert’s effort was tipped around the post by Hunter.
Parkgate went close in the 74th minute when Chris Howard put his effort wide after a strong run.
Five minutes later Rainworth had Townsend to thank when he saved at the feet of Daniel Harris, when one-on-one with the keeper.
Then Ashley Emmett tried to chip Townsend but his effort drifted wide.
Munson was unlucky to see his 83rd minute strike come back off the upright with Hunter well beaten.
A minute later Hunter was almost caught out by Poole’s cheeky free-kick, collecting it at the second attempt.
Rainworth brought on Lewis Parkin for Herbert with five minutes remaining, but it was Townsend who once again did well to block McDonnell’s effort.
In the final minute Rainworth almost pulled on back when Parkin’s effort was inches over with Hunter well beaten.
At the final whistle the 3-0 score-line meant Parkgate had leap-frogged Rainworth in the league and with two games remaining Rainworth still required three points for safety.
RAINWORTH MWFC: Townsend; Adlington; Claxton; Poole; Griffin; Mansell; Herbert (Parkin); Birchill (Peat); Brewin; Harris; Sykes (Munson).
Referee: Mr. Timothy Walker