A Game Nobody Seemed to Want to Win!!
Rainworth knew that a victory in today’s fixture against Romulus would make them mathematically safe, or alternatively a defeat for Bedworth United or last week’s conquerors Kidsgrove Athletic.
Romulus won the toss and kicked with a strong wind at their backs and the early exchanges were in the Rainworth half. The first chance fell to Romulus in the 9th minute but a weak header by Marcus Brown was easily gathered by James Martin. This was quickly followed by a Thomas Turton free kick that flashed by the post.
Rainworth had to wait until the 19th minute to threaten the Romulus goal but a good move came to nothing as Ashley Longstaff was flagged offside. Five minutes later they came even closer as a Callum Lloyd break found Tristram Whitman but his shot just cleared the bar.
This was followed by a period of Rainworth pressure as Longstaff crossed and Lloyd hit it back across goal but it was easily cleared. Immediately afterwards Jack Hawkins set up Longstaff and when it seemed he must score he managed to put the ball over the bar.
Then in the space of three minutes Brown somehow missed a good chance, then Luke Shearer put his shot over the bar. It was Rainworth who nearly opened the scoring however as Scott Rickards found Longstaff and his fierce shot rebounded off the post with the keeper well beaten.
As the half-time whistle sounded to bring to an end a frustrating half, offside had been both sides best defender.
The wind had eased at the start of the second half and Romulus’s Brown almost managed a shot, only for a well-timed |Jobe Shaw tackle to alleviate the danger.
Rainworth created and squandered chances as Longstaff’s lob cleared the bar and then his shot was blocked by Peter Folkes. It was then Longstaff who set up Hawkins but his shot was blocked, as was the follow up shot by Kieran Coupe.
Romulus should probably have done better when Lee Smith beat a couple of players and with the goal beckoning chose to pass and the chance was lost.
With both sides squandering chances at will, it was Romulus’s Liam Francis who almost gifted Rainworth a goal as he put his clearance inches past his own post.
Then in a four minute period Romulus’s Daniel O’Callaghan had three opportunities to score, but he missed all three. The first was probably the worst of them as with the goal beckoning and the keeper stranded, he somehow managed to put it wide.
The play quickly switched to the other end and it was now Longstaff’s turn to miss a couple of good chances, putting both over the bar.
As the final whistle brought the game to an end there had been no shortage of chances, but the finishing by both sides had been nothing short of woeful. In truth if we had played another 90 minutes I doubt whether either side would have scored.
The only positive for Rainworth on the day was that Kidsgrove Athletic had lost, thus ensuring survival and another season in Evo-Stik Division One South.
Rainworth: Martin; Edridge; Coupe (Williams 71); Lloyd; Shaw; Dudley; Bowles; Rickards; Longstaff; Hawkins; Whitman. Subs (Not used): Gregory; Rogers; M. Clarke.
Referee: Ashley Guest
Man of match: Mark Dudley