Eleven Minutes to Forget!!
The game between Rainworth and Kidsgrove Athletic would determine whether Rainworth’s slight relegation fears were over, a win or a draw being all that was necessary for them to retain their Evo-Stik status.
It was Kidsgrove who had the better of the early exchanges, playing with a strong breeze at their backs, yet it was Rainworth who had the first chance, but Callum Lloyd hit his shot well wide. Former Mansfield Town player then threatened for Kidsgrove only to be thwarted by an excellent Jason Gregory tackle.
Kidsgrove were fighting for their very survival and they nearly capitalised when a cross was only just cleared by Regan Edridge at the expense of a corner. Scott Edwards was the next to threaten the Rainworth goal but his shot failed to trouble James Martin.
Then a comedic moment almost gifted Kidsgrove a goal as Jobe Shaw’s misdirected clearance was tipped around the upright by Martin’s outstanding save. From the resultant corner Matt Haddrell powered his header just over the crossbar.
Rainworth were having their odd moment but in truth their finishing wasn’t matching their neat approach work. As for Kidsgrove Corden was creating chances, but his finishing too was not up to the required standard.
Then in the 31st minute Rainworth almost opened the scoring when a Kieran Coupe through ball was brought under control by Scott Rickards and his fierce shot hit on the turn was brilliantly tipped over the bar by Daniel Read. Then immediately afterwards a fine Edridge, Rickards move found Ashley Longstaff, but he shot straight at the keeper.
A fierce shot by Corden in the 35 minute was brilliantly saved Martin as Kidsgrove continued to search for the all-important goal. The half ended with neither side able to add the all-important finish, although Rainworth came closest in a half that Kidsgrove had more of the play.
Rainworth started the second half pushing forward, but Rickards free-kick was headed goal-wards by Edridge, but Read easily gathered. Then in the 57th minute it all changed, as Rainworth inexplicably had an eleven minute period to forget.
It started with a poor pass being intercepted and Corden broke through on goal and as Martin advanced he slipped it into the bottom corner to open the scoring. From the kick-off Rainworth were finding Kidsgrove players with great regularity and it seemed only a matter of time before they increased their lead.
It didn’t take long as another Rainworth error saw Aiden Matranga’s effort cleared off the line, but Shane Reaney put the rebound into the net. Two minutes later Rainworth gifted a third as another piece of abysmal defending saw Jordan Johnson add the third from close range.
With three goals conceded in four minutes Rainworth must have thought it couldn’t get any worse, however in the 68th minute it did. An innocuous ball it the area took a wicked bounce struck Mark Dudley on the arm and the referee awarded a penalty.
Haddrell stepped up and easily scored the penalty, sending Martin the wrong way, to bring the total to four in the space of eleven minutes when everything that could go wrong went wrong for Rainworth.
Rainworth brought on Daniel Williams for Coupe and this had an immediate effect with Williams giving the attack an injection of pace. In the 85th minute he almost scored only for Read to brilliantly tip the ball round at the expense of a corner.
It was all Rainworth now and as Lloyd battled to win the ball he set up Gregory and he made no mistake with his firm shot into the corner. Matt Clarke made his long awaited debut for Gregory some five years since he last played. With several near misses the last chance of the game fell to Jack Hawkins but his goal-bound shot was again brilliantly tipped round by Read.
On the final whistle Kidsgrove had earned three points in their fight to avoid relegation in an eleven minute period when the only players receiving passes from either side appeared to be Kidsgrove.
Whilst it would take both bottom clubs to win all but one and draw the other of their remaining games for Rainworth to be relegated the door has been left open. On today’s showing it is hard to see were Rainworth will get their next points from.
Rainworth: Martin; Gregory (M. Clarke); Dudley; Lloyd; Shaw; Edridge; Coupe (Williams); Magee; Longstaff’ Hawkins; Rickards. Sub (not used): Rogers.
Referee: Simon Mather
Man of Match: Callum Lloyd