Santa visited Kirlington Road today.
The game today against Mickleover Sports was full of presents from Santa. Fortunately for Rainworth they received the majority of them. What it lacked in quality it certainly made up for in entertainment.
Rainworth hadn’t scored before today’s game for 362 minutes in the league (thank you Gordon) and with a threadbare squad once again the omens weren’t good. The match started with Rainworth dominating the early exchanges and in the 4th minute Blair Anderson pounced on a defensive mistake and hit a powerful shot just over the bar. This pattern was maintained for the first 14 minutes of the match. The last time these two sides met Rainworth had 45 minutes of persistent pressure without troubling the score sheet; was this to be another of those days?
We had to wait until the 15th minute to record the first serious sortie on Rainworth’s goal; but this too came to nothing. Just when it seemed the match was going to end in a goal less stalemate Callum Lloyd played a neat ball to Ryan Goward; he created himself a yard of space and curled an absolute ‘beauty’ into the corner of the goal. This seemed to spark Mickleover into life and only a point blank save from Ale Barcherini prevented them from levelling the scores. However in the 29th minute Rainworth gifted Mickleover with the equaliser as Bradd Munn was allowed time and space to place his shot into the far corner.
The match continued to be played in the Mickleover half and a succession of chances were spurned by a Rainworth side that have found goal scoring a challenge in the past few weeks. Just as the game seemed to be drifting towards a half-time stalemate a peach of a pass in the 41st minute from Blair Anderson found Jared Holmes and his shot was helped into the net by John Guy. That wasn’t to be the final score of the half as in the 44th minute a Ryan Goward free kick avoided every attempt by both sides to get a touch and it eventually found the corner of the net. Santa had definitely not forgotten Rainworth and the half ended with Rainworth leading 3-1.
Rainworth continued to attack, but in the 49th minute a quick Mickleover counter-attack aided and abetted by the Rainworth defence resulted in Kieran O’Connell scoring another Santa gift goal. The next 10 minutes saw Mickleover at last get a foothold in the Rainworth half and Ale Barcherini twice prevented them from equalising. In the 59th minute Ricky Hanson’s shot was deflected onto the crossbar and out for a corner. This signalled a substitution and Karl Slack came on for Ryan Goward as Rainworth pushed to regain their two goal advantage. It was to come in the 67th minute the ball of the match from Blair Anderson found Karl Slack who beat his man and hit his shot into the top corner of the net.
The game changed in the space of four minutes as Rainworth’s Callum Lloyd received two yellow cards and was dismissed. With Rainworth down to ten men Mickleover tried to get back into the game, but Rainworth held out to win 4-2 and gain revenge for the result earlier in the season.
RAINWORTH: Barcherini; Walker; Goward (Slack 61); Camm; Kitchen; Cooksey; Lloyd; Bacon; Hanson; J.Holmes ; Anderson (Chisango) Subs: (Not used) Burton.
MICKLEOVER: Gutteridge; Munn; Guy; Ritchie-Smith; Wood; Coulson (Moon) ; Graves; Martin; Land; O’Connell; Steadman. Subs: (Not used) Rushton; Griffiths.
Referre: Duncan Carratt (Rotherham)
Man of Match: Ryan Goward.