Rainworth not up to the Task
Rainworth sat top of the league albeit having played more games than some of their rivals, however today they were found wanting when third place Pontefract Collieries were the visitors.
What should have been a classic, turned into an anti-climax with Rainworth failing to live up to their billing.
There can be no excuses, with the 5-0 scoreline flattering them, in the end, for with a little more composure and finishing the score-line could have been much greater.
The opening five minutes had Rainworth on the front foot when in the 3rd minute Danny Booth set up Bryan Dakouri and his goal-bound shot was deflected for a corner. A minute later and Shaquille McKenzie brought a full stretch save out of Ryan Musselwhite, the keeper only gathering it at the second attempt.
It all changed in the 5th minute when a long throw into the area was headed out only to fall at the feet of Marcel Chigamura, whose shot went through a crowd of players and into the bottom corner for the opener.
Things got even worse when from their second attack a Pontefract corner evaded everyone except the outstretched leg of Julian Lawrence and deflected in for the second.
Pontefract grew in confidence and in the 15th minute they almost added to their lead when Eli Hay’s effort was tipped around the post.
Rainworth did have an opportunity to pull one back in the 19th minute but from a corner the effort lacked power and was easily saved.
Rainworth made a tactical substitution in the 23rd minute when they brought on Sam Bebbington for Bryan Dakouri, going from a 4-3-3 formation to a 4-4-2.
It almost paid dividends when a minute later McKenzie’s effort on the turn went over.
Pontefract nearly gifted Rainworth when they nearly put into their own net, the ball going inches wide and from the resultant corner Bebbington’s effort was kicked off the line.
Rainworth suffered a major blow in the 41st minute when after a bad tackle influential midfielder Tomas Poole had to be replaced by Rob Ludlam as he was unable to continue.
At the half-time whistle Pontefract were well worth their 2-0 lead.
Rainworth started the second half on the attack and Lawrence was just wide with his header from Max Pemberton’s long throw. Four minutes later they thought they had scored but Musslewhite somehow managed to save Ludlum’s powerful header at the foot of the post.
Pontefract provided a heart-stopping moment minutes later when a hopeful punt bounced over everyone in the area and to Rainworth’s relief over the crossbar.
The pressure on the Rainworth goal was building and Hey was only prevented from scoring when Townsend made an excellent full-length save. Two minutes later they scored their third when after a quick break Kane Reece beat Townsend, putting his shot into the far corner.
Four minutes later and it was four as the defence failed to clear the ball and Ash Emmett’s powerful header hit the back of the net.
Rainworth did rally and Nathan Modest’s effort was kicked off the line. Rainworth were forced into another substitution Tim Whittaker replacing the injured McKenzie.
A minute later and only good save by Musselwhite at the expense of a corner prevented Bebbington from reducing the arrears.
Pontefract continued to threaten and Emmett was inches from the fifth as his effort flashed over the cross-bar.
Matters got even worse for Rainworth when Lawrence was shown a red card by the referee for an alleged stamp.
Pontefract took full advantage of the extra man and in the 89th minute Emmett got the fifth and his second when his header gave Townsend no chance.
At the final whistle, they almost got a sixth but Townsend just managed to grab the ball before it went over the line.
Today had been a hard learning curve for a Rainworth side that had shown great potential of late, it also proved they have a way to go before they are the finished article.
RAINWORTH MWFC: Townsend; Royles; Claxton; Wilson; Pemberton; Lawrence; Booth; Poole (Ludlam); Modest; McKenzie (Whittaker); Dakouri (Bebbington).
Subs (not used); Barnes; Smith.
Referee; Mr Samuel Kane