Late Spurt sees Rainworth Home
Football can be a cruel game as Rainworth found out on their visit to Harrogate Railway in early September, dominating a game they somehow lost 4-1.
Today the boot was on the other foot as Harrogate had the upper hand for the opening hour only for Rainworth to blow them away in the final 30 minutes, running out 6-1 victors.
Both sides struggled in the early minutes of the match to find any rythmn after two weeks of inactivity due to the weather.
The first effort of note came in the 7th minute when Tomas Poole created a shooting opportunity, but his shot was parried by James Webster in the Harrogate goal.
Harrogate’s first opportunity came in the 12th minute when Sydney Santos jinked his way into the area only to see his effort just clear the crossbar. Minutes later and they almost took the lead when an in-swinging corner saw the post come to Ben Townsend’s aid when he just got fingertips to it.
Rainworth’s new strike-force of Kyle Jordan and Nathan Modest combined in the 19th minute but Jordan’s effort went agonisingly inches past the far upright.
The woodwork was beginning to be Rainworth’s best defender as it once again came to their rescue when Jamie Bairstow’s drive from outside the area rebounded off the far post with Townsend well beaten. Minutes later it was Townsend again who pushed Frazer Lancaster’s effort on to the crossbar before regathering at the second attempt.
Harrogate were left to rue those opportunities when in the 27th minute debutant Brad Jones slid a pass through to Jordan who gave Webster no-chance as he clinically chipped the ball into the corner for the opener. A minute later they almost doubled their lead, but Poole’s effort was too near the keeper and he managed to save it.
Harrogate continued to have the lion’s share of the play and Frazier was unlucky when his flicked header went inches over the crossbar.
Rainworth however paid the penalty in the 44th minute when they failed to clear the ball and when it fell to the feet of Steve Bargh, his low fierce drive found the bottom corner.
In the final minute of the half Harrogate almost took the lead when a long-range lob had Townsend beaten only for it to hit the side-netting much to the relief of the home fans.
It had been a below par performance from Rainworth and they were lucky go in at half-time level.
With manager’s half-time team talk still ringing in their ears Rainworth started the second half strongly, but Modest’s shot on the run was well over in the 48th minute.
They came close to regaining the lead on 56 minutes when Poole’s cross was just headed over by Ross Goodwin. The game turned a minute later when a sublime piece of skill by Jordan saw his curling effort find the top corner with Webster a mere spectator.
Rainworth made two substitutions bringing on Alex Nightingale for Jones and a short while later Charlie Dawes for Danny Booth.
Dawes almost immediately increased the lead as Webster only gathered his fierce shot at the second attempt. He was not so lucky a couple of minutes later when this time Dawes’s effort beat him and went in off the upright.
When Poole set-up Jordan on 78 minutes it looked as if his chip was destined for the far corner and his hat-trick, only for it to land on the top-netting with Webster well beaten.
A minute later and it was 4-1 when after yet another Rainworth attack saw Dawes’s strike find the top corner as Rainworth began to put Harrogate to the sword.
With Rainworth in the ascendency it came as no surprise when Modest added a couple more in the space of a minute, using his pace to outrun a tiring defence and giving Webster no chance in the Harrogate goal.
Rainworth made their final substitution bringing on James Munson for Modest, but neither side was able to add to the scoreline and at the final whistle it was Rainworth who claimed victory 6-1, with five goals in twenty-six second-half minutes.
RAINWORTH: Townsend; Ludlam; Waddle; Goodwin; Wilson; Pemberton; Poole; Booth (Dawes); Modest (Munson); Jordan; Jones (Nightingale).
Sub (not used): Bennett
Referee: Mr. Mark Tinsley