White Lightning at Kirklington Road
Rainworth’s failure to capitalise on their periods of dominance have cost them dear in their last two matches, both ending in defeat.
Tonight, against local rivals Staveley Miners Welfare they had the ball in the net after 26 seconds and by the 10th minute could well have been leading 4-0.
Staveley kicked off but it was Rainworth who went on the attack with Niall Smith breaking down the left and after beating the defender on the edge of the area his cross was struck home by Tomas Poole.
Another excellent move in the 4th minute saw Jack Waddle find Poole and his inch perfect ball to Liam Royles went inches past the outside of the post with Lewis Naylor well beaten.
Two minutes later Smith won the ball in the area and set up Modest, but his effort flashed the wrong side of the upright.
On 8 minutes Smith who was causing mayhem on the left hit a teasing cross into the area which the Staveley defence were only too grateful to put it out for a corner.
When from the corner Naylor made a brilliant finger-tip save from Nathan Modest, Rainworth were beginning to wonder if they would rue their missed chances.
A minute later Poole put his header just past the upright with Naylor beaten.
Staveley’s first effort on goal in the 11th minute was well wide of the goal.
A lucky ricochet in the 16th minute saw Staveley recover the ball deep in the Rainworth half and although the initial run was stopped Rob Ludlam’s attempt to regain the ball was adjudged a foul and the referee pointed to the spot. Tyla Bell took the penalty and it looked to be heading into the bottom left hand corner only for Ben Townsend to pull off a brilliant one-handed save.
The game was now end-to-end with both sides creating chances.
Poole’s goal bound effort was headed clear, whilst at the other end Bell put his effort wide when well placed.
On 27 minutes Callum Latham’s effort went just the wrong side of the upright with Townsend at full stretch.
Staveley had Naylor to thank on 31 minutes when Royles’s through ball found Poole only to see the keeper do well to block his goal bound effort.
On 35 minutes a great ball from James Knowles found Poole who set up Royles and this time his effort found the far corner for Rainworth’s second.
Rainworth continued to push for a third and when Poole’s excellent ball found Smith only Jack Turnbull’s full-stretch block prevented them achieving it.
In the final minute of the half Naylor made an excellent save at the feet of Waddle.
It had been an entertaining game of football in which Rainworth were excellent value for their 2-0 half-time lead.
Rainworth almost repeated their 26 second opening goal when from the kick-off Naylor did well to block Waddle’s effort from an excellent Ludlam Through ball.
On 57 minutes Bell once again tested Townsend but he comfortably gathered the effort.
Rainworth made their first substitution in the 58th minute bringing on Danny Booth for Smith.
The game changed on 73 minutes when a long ball evaded everyone but Kurtis Morley just beat Townsend to it, stabbing the ball into the net.
Rainworth made their second substitution bringing on Kieran Barnes for Knowles.
Staveley were starting to bombard the Rainworth area with long balls, but they were equal to everything thrown at them.
Rainworth still had the occasional attack but the final fifteen minutes saw a concentrated onslaught from Staveley.
In the 88th minute Rainworth made their final substitution bringing on James Munson for Modest.
At the final whistle it was Rainworth who came out victorious in a game they could have let slip in the end after their excellent start.
RAINWORTH MWFC: Townsend; Ludlam; Claxton; Knowles (Barnes); Ross; Pemberton; Royles; Waddle; Poole; Modest (Munson); N. Smith (Booth).
Subs (not used): Bennett; Wilson
Referee: Mr. Ryan Hayes