With A Little Help From Our Friends.
Rainworth took on Chasetown in the NPL Division One South match at Kirklington Road still smarting from Tuesdays defeat at home to Goole AFC.
After a good opening day victory away at Loughborough on the previous Saturday, the fans were wondering which Rainworth team would turn up. Chasetown are one of the promotion favourites having narrowly been beaten in last season’s play-off final by Stamford. Last season Rainworth failed to gain a point or even score a goal in the two league encounters, so expectations for today’s encounter were low. Rainworth showed three changes from the previous starting line-up.
From the kick-off Rainworth were up for it and took the game to Chasetown, determined not to continue the run of scoreless defeats. As early as the 7th minute after Jordan Claxton won the ball on the edge of the area, his pass found Jamie Brown, whose two goal bound shots were blocked before the ball was eventually cleared. Two minutes later Callum Lloyd’s fierce shot was well saved by the keeper, the fans began to wonder would Rainworth fail to capitalise on their period of dominance. They got the answer two minutes later when a beautifully struck Ricky Hanson free kick was clinically headed home by Jason Bradley, to open the scoring.
After the goal Chasetown came more into the game and in the 20th minute Hanson was on hand to head a goal bound shot off the line. There were chances at both ends and there was a feeling the match had more goals in it. However the half-time whistle sounded with a solitary goal being the difference between the sides.
Chasetown started the second half on the front foot, but their early attacks came to nothing. The first real chance came from a Rainworth defensive area and with Andy Westwood thinking he’d scored, until James Martin cleared with his feet.
Rainworth were still an attacking force and in the 52nd minute they once again had their goal bound effort thwarted at the expense of a corner. The well struck corner was attacked by at least three Rainworth players and in the ensuing panic Chasetown’s Richard Teesdale put the ball into his own net.
This seemed to spur Rainworth on and in the 58th minute a tricky Brown run ended with him rounding the keeper a hitting the ball across the gaping Chasetown goal. Chasetown’s Chris Slater just won the race, but only succeeded in putting the ball into his own goal. On paper it looked as though Rainworth were being helped by Chasetown, in reality they had been well earned.
The last time the two sides met Nick Wellecomme had scored a hat-trick, today his first real chance came in the 62nd minute, when after brilliantly creating the opening, somehow managed to hit it out for a throw in. Rainworth produced yet another chance when Lloyd broke and found Brown his pinpoint pass was hit wide by Nathan Modest.
Chasetown had changed to an attacking formation and only a great save by Martin denied Wellecomme a goal. The pressure began to mount, and in the 77th minute Rainworth were caught trying to play the offside trap. Ramone Stephens broke clear, drew the keeper and when it seemed easier to score blasted his shot well over the bar. Rainworth hadn’t learned and from yet another break Wellecomme at last got his name on the score sheet.
The 83rd minute saw Lloyd’s fierce shot was only parried by the keeper and with Modest winning the race to the ball he appeared to be pushed off the ball, but the referee ruled no penalty. Four minutes later Modest was involved in what appeared to be a stonewall penalty when he was brought down by Tesfa Robinson in the area, only for Modest to be booked for diving.
The dying minute of the match saw Chasetown bombard the Rainworth goal and only a combination of good defending and luck prevented them from scoring. The final whistle blew with Rainworth coming out victorious 3-1. In truth the match could have been any score with both sides having their chances, but most of which were spurned.
Today Chasetown showed in glimpses why they are one of the favourites to be in the mix at the end of the season. As for Rainworth, once the new squad starts to bed in will definitely be an influence, to what degree only time will tell.
RAINWORTH: Martin; Hanson; Dudley; Lloyd; Varley; Saunders; Brown; Holmes (Magee 72); Bradley (Clarke 63); Modest; Claxton (Archer 80). Subs: French; Walker.
CHASETOWN: Price; Slater; Keenan (Farmer 70); Robinson; Teesdale; Smith (Downing 77); Westwood; Wellecomme; Sullivan (Hay 77); Stephens. Subs: Forde; Watson.
Referee: Joshua Smith (Lincoln)
Man of Match: Jared Holmes