Nothing Ever Changes
Saturday’s opening Evo-Stik Division One South match against Loughborough Dynamo was the fourth such match in Rainworth Miners Welfare’s short tenure in the division.
In the three previous campaigns they had won their opening day encounters, but this years, offered a daunting task, against one of the more fancied teams in the division.
Rainworth started the match kicking into a swirling wind and they produced the first chance of the game when Jamie Brown’s cross was hit over by Nathan Modest. The first 25 minutes were played mostly in the middle of the park as both teams vied for dominance. Shortly after ‘man of the match’ Danny Buttle shot well over the bar as a Rainworth corner was cleared to the edge of the area. Rainworth were definitely having the better chances as they continued to attack the Loughborough goal and Greg Archer’s goal bound shot was blocked. The breakthrough came when after Brown’s mazy run and pass found Kieran Walker and his pinpoint cross was hit into the corner of the net by Buttle. Shortly afterwards the half-time whistle went with Rainworth deservedly leading 1-0.
The second half started were the first half ended with Rainworth on the attack and in the 50th minute Brown almost added to the score, when after a mazy run his chip just went wide of the goal. In the 51st minute a rampant Rainworth added to their score as Buttle once again crossed, Jason Bradley won the knock down and Modest gleefully smashed the ball into the goal. This was countered by an attack by Loughborough as Kris Nurse created a good chance for himself only to hit it wide of the post. Rainworth were the next to threaten and Buttle’s cross was thwarted by an outstretched leg at the expense of a corner.
Football is a game that can penalise teams who don’t convert chances and from an innocuous corner Loughborough’s Martin Bowles was allowed the time and space to head a goal just under the crossbar. Rainworth are no longer a team that capitulates as yet another Buttle cross found Bradley, whose shot was saved by Laurie Pearson in the Loughborough goal. Either side and it was a goal, Bradley didn’t have to wait long for his redemption. Buttle once again found space and he hit a great ball to Brown his cross was met by Bradley, who’s bullet header gave the keeper no chance.
Jason Bradley has a likeness to John Hartson and his play is not dissimilar, he terrorises defenders with his size and once he gets up to match fitness the goals will surely flow. It wasn’t all Rainworth and from one such attack Loughborough was awarded a penalty for Brown’s mistimed tackle. Rob Norris stepped up and coolly struck it into the top corner giving James Martin in the Rainworth goal no chance. As the game neared its conclusion Norris hit a curler and only a good save by Martin prevented the equaliser. It however would have been an injustice if Loughborough had got an equaliser as for great periods of the game Rainworth had dominated.
Just like in previous years, Rainworth once again won their opening game of the Evo-Stik season, winning by three goals to two. The most pleasing thing about this victory was the chances created and they may think they should have scored more than the three they did. Although only one game has been played, the signs are that Rainworth could well influence the destination of the title this year.
RAINWORTH MWFC: Martin; Walker; Dudley; Archer; Varley; Saunders; Brown; Hanson; Bradley (Clarke 87); Modest; Buttle. Subs: Claxton; French; Magee; Holmes.
LOUGHBOROUGH DYNAMO: Pearson; Thomas; Lester; Sibson; Betts; Gent (Kelly 67); Norris; Bowles; Nurse (Langham 67) Holden; Kirk 9Byrne 61). Subs: Tinsley; Mann-Kler
Referee: Mr A. Fox
Man of the Match: Danny Buttle.