Survival Booker ed!!
Rainworth went into Saturday’s game at Garforth Town with several possible scenarios.
A win meant survival, a draw only if Parkgate lost and a loss it was going to the final game of the season.
After last Saturday’s capitulation against Parkgate, captain Ben Townsend challenged them to produce a performance, for the fans, to prove they cared.
Today they answered him with a complete team performance and with a little more composure and a more sympathetic refereeing display they would have won by more than the 2-1 score line.
As early as the 3rd minute after an error in the Garforth Town defence, Matt Sykes took complete advantage winning the ball and slotting it home past the onrushing Paul Hagreen.
They almost doubled their lead on 8 minutes when Sykes laid the ball into Jordan Claxton’s path only for his clipped shot to beat Hagreen only to land on the roof of the net.
Rainworth continued to dominate and when Declan Brewin beat a couple of despairing tackles his through ball evaded Matt Harris’s outstretched leg by inches.
Then totally against the run of play Garforth Town equalised when Ryan Herbert was adjudged to have brought down a Garforth player in the penalty area and the referee pointed to the spot. Mark Simpson gave Townsend no chance from the spot for the equaliser.
In the 19th minute a moment of controversy, when is a penalty classed as ‘questionable’? Declan Brewin’s shot was palmed by Hagreen and as Sykes was about to put the ball over the line he was felled from behind. If the previous penalty was a correct decision then there was no doubting this was, inexplicably the referee allowed the tackle from behind to stand.
The situation got even worse for Rainworth when on 26 minutes the Garforth goal led a charmed life as Sykes’s and Brewin’s multiple efforts were blocked, when a score seemed certain.
The theme continued as the Garforth goal continued to live a charmed life as Brewin’s goal bound effort was blocked.
Up to this point it had been a completely dominating display by Rainworth but they appeared to lose their way as frustration started to kick in.
The final minutes of the half however saw both Sykes and Brewin go close, but not close enough.
On the stroke of half-time Sykes had the ball in the net only for it to be disallowed for offside.
The second half started as the first had ended as Harris set up Sykes only for Hagreen to save at full-stretch.
Minutes later and it was Sykes again but this time his effort found the side-netting.
Then a moment of concern for Rainworth when Connor Griffin was concussed after heading clear and being clattered by James Beaston. After treatment, he had to be replaced by Jake Adlington, resulting in a change in the defensive formation.
Rainworth went close again in the 63rd minute when Jordan Claxton’s cross was inches over Brewin’s head with the goal at his mercy.
Brewin was a constant threat to the Garforth defence, struggling to cope with his pace and when he was brought down by Ryan Donaghue, it seemed an inevitable red card as he was last man, inexplicably the referee produced only yellow.
From the free-kick Tomas Poole was unlucky to see his cheeky attempt fly inches past the post with Hagreen a mere spectator.
Rainworth made their second substitution in the 73rd minute, bringing on Bradley Maturin-Drew for Harris.
The substitution almost paid dividends when Sykes broke clear but his pass to Maturin Drew went behind him.
A rare threat from Garforth was defused when Ryan Booker’s tackle on Simpson prevented a strike on goal.
Booker gained even more praise when in the 83rd minute his looping effort from a corner gave Hagreen no chance as it found the back of the net to deservedly put Rainworth in the lead.
A minute later and Maturin-Drew warmed Hagreen’ hands with a vicious strike that he did well to hold on to.
At the final whistle the Rainworth players sank to their knees, as survival had been confirmed. It had been a complete team effort and the 2-1 scoreline flattered Garforth Town.
RAINWORTH MWFC: Townsend; Ludlam; Griffin (Adlington); Herbert; Booker; Weatherell; Brewin; Poole; Harris (Maturin-Drew); Sykes; Claxton. Subs (not used); Munson; Watts.
Referee: Luke Watson.
Men of the match: The Whole Team