Lewis Does Home Delivery
Rainworth sat second bottom of the East Midlands Counties League, but optimism ran high with new manager Lewis Saxby in place and a host of new faces, for the visit of West Bridgford.
This was never going to be an easy fixture with the visitors, one place higher, but with improving performances themselves under a new management team. Without a point after six home games Lewis, the players and fans were desperate to get something out of today’s game.
West Bridgford had the advantage of a strong wind at their backs as the game started, but it was Rainworth who started the game the more brightly.
Matt Goodwin however had the first attempt on goal for West Bridgford, but it went well over, whilst at the other end Max Curzon’s free-kick rebounded off the wall.
Josh Asuman almost put Rainworth in front but his effort, from Jack Hutchinson’s cross, was blocked by Sam Clark. It was then the turn of Rainworth’s keeper Josh Hollis, who did well to win the race to the ball after a flowing West Bridgford move.
Rainworth continued to impress against the wind and Callum Pursglove broke but he lost his balance in the act of shooting and Clark easily saved his effort. An excellent move saw Jonathan Drake find Pursglove and Clark did well to block Curzon’s effort at the expense of a corner. This was quickly followed by an effort on the volley from Will Spray from Hutchinson’s cross, but he failed to make a good connection and it was easily saved.
In the 35th minute just when it appeared that Rainworth would get to half-time preventing a West Bridgford score, they were caught out with a route one ball. It found Greg Simmonds who ran into the area and as Hollis tried to cut down the angle, he coolly slotted the ball into the far corner for the opening goal.
That was to be the last action of note in the half as the referee blew for half-time with West Bridgford holding a slender 1-0 lead.
West Bridgford who started the second-half brightly, but within three minutes Rainworth were level when Asuman put his header from the corner out of Clark’s reach. The game was becoming more open and Rainworth made their first substitution on 69 minutes bringing on Jordan O’Callaghan for Cameron Davidson.
The substitution almost paid dividends when Hutchinson’s run and cross saw O’Callaghan’s effort just over the bar. It was West Bridgford who almost retook the lead when in the 78th minute Hollis’s fingertip pushed Simmonds blockbuster of a free-kick onto the crossbar.
Rainworth’s goal was under serious threat and they did well to block and clear Daly’s goal bound effort, at this time they made a second substitution bringing on Luke Walker for Asuman.
Minutes later Walker’s through ball to Curzon almost broke the deadlock but Clark did well to take the ball of his toe at the last second. West Bridgford also went close when Josh Rae beat the offside-trap but curled his effort inches wide of the upright.
The deadlock was broken in the 87th minute with a goal that that must surely be a candidate for ‘Goal of the Season. Walker fought hard to win back a ball deep in the West Bridgford half and when he pulled it back into the path of Drake, he hit an absolute screamer into the top corner giving Clark no-chance.
Rainworth made their final substitution bringing on Nick Fry for Pursglove.
Both sides endured nervous moments in added time as first Hollis did well to block Jack Gray’s goal bound effort and then Drake set Walker free, but he put his effort over the bar. There was still time for Rainworth to almost increase their lead when Clark misjudged Ben Copestake’s effort, but luckily for him it went just the wrong side of the upright.
At the final whistle Rainworth had gained their first home points of the season after seven attempts, in a game that belied both sides precarious position in the league. On this form however both sides should finish out of the relegation places come the end of the season.
RAINWORTH MWFC: Hollis; Copestake; Doyle; Drake; Spray; Taylor; Curzon; Davidson (O’Callaghan); Asuman (Walker); Hutchinson; Pursglove (Fry).
Subs (not used); Wright; Fowler.
Referee: Mr Harry Jones.