Sometimes three points are all that matters.
Three points had a distinct effect on both teams today; in what proved to be a nervy first half, with neither team gaining the upper hand
In fact the first effort on goal didn’t come until the 9th minute a weak header from Rainworth’s Barry Payne. Sutton Coldfield began having some joy down the right and two beautiful Daryl Taylor crosses didn’t receive the finish they deserved.
In the 22nd minute Rainworth had the ball in the Sutton penalty area and when it seemed easier to score they managed to get a corner. From the corner Adam Burton headed the ball into the net; only for the referee to disallow it for a foul on the keeper. Sutton continued to play some neat football, but lacked the final pass however in one such attack Adam Burton was booked for a foul on Jamie Sheldon. From the resulting free kick Scott Richards saw Joe McCormack tip it over the bar.
Half chances continued to be the story of a disjointed first half; first Sutton’s Luke Chapman headed wide then at the other end Rainworth’s Kieran Walker had his first attempt blocked and the follow up deflected for a corner. In truth neither side could have any complaints that the half ended 0-0 and the home crowd wondered were the now familiar passing game had gone.
The second half started much like the first with half chances and spasmodic glimpses of passing football. In the 55th minute both sides made substitutions and the game started to improve. Sutton wasted yet another cross with a wayward strike and Rainworth substitute Blair Anderson served a timely warning to the Sutton defence with two pacey runs that were only thwarted by last ditch tackles.
In the 63rd minute Callum Lloyd was booked for an innocuous tackle on Scott Rickards who seemed to make the most of the incident. This however seemed to spur Rainworth on and they continued to force Sutton onto the back foot.
Then the game breaker happened Blair Anderson had given them due warning and in the 68th minute he made Sutton pay. His perfectly weighted ball to Ian Holmes saw the striker one on one with the keeper; those who know Ian guessed correctly; the ball was only going in one place. ‘Goal’ the fans were ecstatic and in a game of few chances it was to prove the telling moment. Both sides made further substitutions but that was to be the only score of a match were both sides failed to capitalise on their preseason form.
In a game both sides may have thought they deserved to win in the end it was won by one of the only good build up plays that actually ended with the finish to match. Did we deserve to win; that debate depends on which team you support; but the records will say Rainworth won 1-0 and got the 3 points. For the record both teams are in their third Evo-Stik campaign and whereas Sutton have lost their first game in each season Rainworth have won theirs.
Rainworth MWFC: McCormack ; Walker; Goward; Camm; Cooksey; Burton; Lloyd; J. Holmes; I. Holmes (Clarke) ; Bacon (Anderson); Payne (Akers) Subs not used: West; Barcherini
Sutton Coldfield Town; Hathaway; Taylor (Rathbone) Kettle; Parsons; Ramsey-Dickson; Bains; Sheldon; Rickards; Carey-Bartram (Butlin); Gardner (Harris); Chapman Subs not used Hanna; Male.
Men of match; Rainworth: Mark Camm Sutton Coldfield; Daryl Taylor.
Referee: Gareth Mellor