Wrens take local derby honours
RAINWORTH sounded a warning to the rest of the division with a sizeable Holiday Monday victory over Hucknall Town.
But Hucknall could be forgiven if they thought the winning margin slightly flattered their hosts.
For the Yellows had their fair share of possession, and chances, but it was Rainworth who were the more clinical in front of goal to make their opportunities count.
Last season Hucknall beat Rainworth three times, including a 4-0 win at Kirklington Road in the New Year fixture. Since then there have been huge changes in both camps, but the more so at Watnall Road where a number of the former Rainworth backroom staff including ex-chairman Derek Blow have moved across to try to pull up a sleeping giant of a club by its bootlaces.
The first half was a comparatively routine affair as the two sides tested each other out, but the only goal of the half, four minutes before the break, was in complete contrast to what had gone before, and would probably be a worthy candidate for goal of the season.
Youngster Blair Anderson, who is quickly endearing himself to the home fans, twisted and turned to put over a cross from the left that looked next to impossible, and Ewan Clarke fairly lashed the ball into the top corner, bulging the net from 20 yards with an unstoppable volley.
Earlier Jamie Brown and Karl Slack in particular had asked some stern questions of the Rainworth defence, but Town’s best chance of the half in the 39th minute disappeared when Slack slipped as he was about to pull the trigger.
The major share of what few chances came were mainly at the opposite end, with Ian Holmes firing straight at keeper Jason Fisher from inside the six yard box just after the half-hour.
The visitors might have equalised within three minutes of falling behind though, Lee Cooksey stretching a leg to divert a wicked cross from Brown for a corner from which Hucknall skipper Corey Nightingale’s bullet header was just wide of the near post.
Within seconds of the restart home keeper Joe McCormack just won a race for possession with Slack as the two clattered into each other for a 50-50 ball, resulting in attention for both.
But Rainworth began to take a grip, and Ian Holmes was unlucky to see one attempt come back off the bar after taking on and beating three players three minutes in.
The Wrens finally doubled their lead in the 54th minute, Ryan Goward drilling a low shot through a crowded goalmouth after a couple of shots had been blocked.
And it might have been 3-0 only two minutes on, but Fisher parried Ian Holmes’ angled effort away at his near post.
As it was, within moments Hucknall pulled a goal back, Ben Good found clear in too much space to the left of the area to give the exposed McCormack no chance.
The two-goal cushion was restored in the 78th minute, Jared Holmes ‘ delightful through pass feeding namesake Ian who turned his defender before planting a low finish.
Hucknall threatened again following a couple of long throws, but it was Rainworth who wrapped the points up when Clarke scored his second from an Ian Holmes assist.
RAINWORTH: McCormack, Walker, Anderson, Bacon, Camm, Cooksey, Lloyd, Clarke, J. Holmes, I. Holmes, Goward. Subs not used: Payne, West, Spargo, Hanson, Barcherini.
HUCKNALL: Fisher, Baugh, Paling, Hayes, Nightingale, Austin, Topliss, Carty, Good, Slack, Brown. Subs not used: Hatfield, Ludlow, Leggitt, Slawson, Ganderson.
REFEREE: Joe Clarke of Walsall.
MAN OF THE MATCH: Ian Holmes.