No Walk in the Park for the League Leaders
Rainworth MWFC visited league leaders Selston FC in a game that on paper looked a foregone conclusion, but a young Rainworth side made their task difficult.
Rainworth took an early lead, but the home side were level within two minutes, then a minute later the post came to Selston’s rescue in what was a much improved Rainworth performance.
The opening exchanges saw both sides test each other’s defences, Lee Sutton’s effort from long-range for the home side, whilst Luke Walker’s run and cross saw no-takers in the Selston area.
Sutton again from a free-kick saw his effort go well over as the game ebbed and flowed.
In the 14th minute Blessing Adeleye gave Rainworth the lead when his well-placed shot from the edge of the area gave Simon Baldwin no chance in the home goal. Rainworth’s euphoria was short lived when Ken Moore’s excellent free-kick gave James Gamble no chance for the equaliser.
A minute later and Walker saw Baldwin save his effort at the foot of the post as Rainworth pushed for a second. Seconds later they were unlucky when Walker and Liam Jepson combined to set-up Antonio Wedderburn but although his well hit shot beat Baldwin it rebounded to safety of the upright.
Rainworth continued to be a threat and it was Jepson’s cross that caused panic in the home defence and seconds later Walker’s header was straight at the keeper and was easily saved.
Selston showed no such generosity when Rainworth failed clear a corner in the 24th minute and Kyle Hempshall was on hand to bundle it home to give the league leaders the lead. The visitors fought back but when Walker and Adeleye combined Adeleye’s effort was straight at the keeper.
James Gamble almost gifted Selston a third when he kicked the ball straight to Sutton, but he redeemed his mistake by making an excellent save from the goal-bound effort.
Rainworth’s inability to defend corners struck on 36 minutes when Grant Hackett was left unmarked at the far post and his powerful header gave Gamble no chance for the third. The remainder of the half failed to produce anymore chances of note and at the half-time whistle Selston led 3-1.
Rainworth were forced into a substitution during the half-time break and Jake Batty replaced the injured Connor Wright at the start of the second-half.
Rainworth almost reduced the deficit in the 51st minute when Rory Davis did well to block Walker’s goal-bound effort at the expense of a corner. It was a period of half-chances for them with Jack Hutchinson and Adeleye going close.
Just when it looked as if Rainworth might pull back a goal they lost concentration failing to cut out a cross and Kieron Hinckley’s downward header bounced over Gamble’s despairing attempt to reach it. The Wrens made their second substitution bringing on Tom Sharpe for Wedderburn.
Rainworth continued to have their moments but they lacked that final ‘killer ball’, whilst Selston always looked capable of adding to their lead. Jepson was denied when Baldwin made an excellent block and Adeleye had the ball taken off his toe when well placed.
Sharpe almost pulled one back when his fiercley hit shot took a deflection beating the despairing attempt of Baldwin but it came back off the crossbar.
Bothe sides had chances in the dying minutes, Sutton putting his effort wide when well olaced and Walker’s effort flashed just the wrong side of the far post.
At the final whistle the 4-1 scoreline didn’t reflect the improved Rainworth performance but their failure to cut-out basic errors had cost them dear.
RAINWORTH MWFC: Gamble; Doyle; Sockett; Rogers; Kirtis Chadburn; Wright (Batty); Wedderburn (Sharpe); Hutchinson; Adeleye; Walker; Jepson.
Subs (not used): Denyer; Kyle Chadburn.
Referee: Mr Rob Rees
Man of the match: Kirtis Chadburn