Nowhere near their best but three points
After winning away midweek at Rossington Main 3-0 in the League Cup, today’s visit to Staveley MW in the league was all about the 3 points.
This was achieved by yet another 3-0 margin, although in truth Rainworth were never in full control of a match in which both sides rarely threatened their opponents goal.
Staveley kicked off with a strong breeze at their backs but neither side were able to capitalise on some indifferent defending.
The opening goal came in the 6th minute when the Staveley defence hesitated, and Richard Watson’s attempted clearance was blocked by Tomas Poole. Poole reacted the quickest volleying the ball goal wards into an empty net.
Staveley were quick to respond, and two minutes later Andy Francis did well to tip Adam Baskerville’s corner over the bar.
An excellent passage of play saw Poole thwarted when Watson punched the ball away as Rob Ludlam’s cross appeared destined for his head.
In the 42nd minute Rainworth had Max Pemberton to thank as Tyla Bell’s block on Francis’s clearance was destined for the goal before his timely intervention cleared the danger.
At the half-time whistle Rainworth held a slender 1-0 lead in a game of few chances.
Rainworth started the second half as though their minds were still in the dressing room, as Staveley almost punished them, but Francis did well to reach the ball before Bell.
Staveley went close again when Charlie Oglesby’s long-range effort went just the wrong side of the upright as Rainworth’s struggles continued.
Rainworth brought on Charlie Dawes for the injured Jack Waddle in the 58th minute.
A couple of minutes later and Rainworth at last came to life as Pemberton ran at the Staveley defence, and when he found Kyle Jordan the effort was inches wide.
Staveley continued to search for an equaliser and Francis did well to tip Tom Ellis’s effort around the post for a corner.
A minute later and Poole’s audacious effort from inside his own half almost left Watson red-faced, as it bounced just wide of the goal with him stranded.
The 74th minute saw James Knowles replace Poole.
Rainworth were now having a greater say in the game, and Watson did well to block Nathan Modest’s goal-bound effort.
Staveley created the odd chance but once again they failed to trouble Francis in the Rainworth goal.
The turning point of the game came in the 80th minute when Dawes ran at the Staveley defence and as he cut inside the penalty area he was brought down. The referee had no hesitation and pointed to the spot. Dawes took the penalty himself and gave Watson no chance from the penalty spot for the second.
This signalled a rare period of Rainworth pressure and Watson did well to tip Jordan’s effort over the cross bar and this was shortly followed by a Dawes effort that was easily gathered.
When the ball was picked up just inside his own half a minute later by Jordan there seemed little danger, but he noticed Watson was well off his line and his inch perfect lob gave him no chance for the third.
With time almost up Rainworth made their final substitution bringing on Jack Bennett for Jordan and shortly afterwards the referee blew for full-time.
Whilst not at their best Rainworth still did enough to defeat an out of sorts Staveley side and take the 3 pts.
RAINWORTH MWFC: Francis; Wilson; Ludlam; Goodwin; Adams; Pemberton; Poole (Knowles); Waddle (Dawes); Modest; Jordan (Bennett); Nightingale
Subs (not used): Richards: Jones.
Referee: Martin Chesters