More Effort, But Still No Points
Seven defeats on the trot have seen Rainworth MWFC drop into the relegation places, despite a man of the match performance from Andy Francis in goal.
With near gale-force winds making the match a lottery at times, Rainworth’s inability to take advantage of the conditions in the first-half proved decisive.
In the opening minutes both sides had to readjust in conditions that changed by the second and it wasn’t until the ninth minute that either side had an attempt on goal. Unfortunately for Rainworth Luke Walker’s effort curled just over the bar.
During this period Rainworth were guilty of squandering the wind advantage as they overhit their passes and they were easily dealt with by the Ingles defence.
Ingles on the other hand found a way to minimise the conditions and they should have taken the lead in the 19th minute when Marc Schulz put his effort wide with only Francis to beat. A couple of minutes later Francis did well to save at the foot of the post from Lloyd Tapper.
Rainworth had wasted several corners until in the 23rd minute Jack Hutchinson’s effort had Oliver Buchanan palming the ball down, but no-one in a blue shirt was able to take advantage and it was cleared. A minute later Walker’s fierce drive was straight at Buchanan.
The home side were ruing their look when in the 28th minute Blessing Adeleye was brought down inches outside of the area, but the resultant free-kick came to nothing.
At the other end Rainworth were indebted to Francis who once again saved well from Sam Kee. The half came to an end with Ingles the more satisfied after preventing Rainworth from scoring against the elements.
The second-half was only a minute old when Ingles thought they had taken the lead. A great run by Josh Rowley from the half-way line saw his inch-perfect cross met by Kee, but Francis pulled off an incredible point-blank save pushing the ball over the crossbar.
Rainworth could do nothing however in the 50th minute when Tapper’s cross was met by the diving head of Schulz which gave Francis no chance.
The home fans feared the worst on Rainworth’s current form, but the goal seem to spur them into life and they began to create some chances.
In the 57th minute Jack Green was lucky only to see yellow when he pulled Adeleye back when through on goal, a little more central and the referee would have had no choice. From the resultant free-kick, Scott Rogers was deflected inches the wrong side of the post with Buchanan a mere spectator.
It was Rogers again in the 65th minute but his effort on the volley was well wide of the target. Minutes later and Buchanan exploited the conditions and his near length of the field clearance put Kyle Fowkes clear on goal, but Francis was on hand with an excellent save.
If anyone needed confirmation of Rainworth’s commitment it came in the 69th minute when Francis and his defence made four successive incredible blocks to deny Ingles. The pressure was only defused when the referee awarded Rainworth a free-kick for a foul.
Rainworth brought on fresh legs in the 72nd minute when Tom Sharpe replaced Rogers.
Rainworth continued to push for the equaliser and Adeleye’s free-kick was only inches wide as it was deflected for a corner. Minutes later Hutchinson’s cross was headed into the arms of Buchanan as one couldn’t fault their efforts, but they lacked a killer-touch.
In the 88th minute Ingles got their second in contentious circumstances when Tapper received the ball in what Rainworth’s defence thought was in an offside position. The assistant referee thought otherwise, and Francis did well to prevent the initial effort and he was joined by Kirtis Chadburn who did well to block the follow-up but his vain attempt to prevent it crossing the line only helped it in for an unfortunate own-goal. Rainworth were incensed that the offside flag hadn’t been raised and two players found their way into the referee’s book for their protests.
In the final minute Francis once again showed what a top-class keeper he is by first pulling off an excellent save to deny Kee and then Bowley.
At the final whistle Rainworth continued their pointless home account in the league with yet another defeat, if they had put as much effort and urgency in the first-half, of the game, with the wind at their backs as they had in the second they may have got something from it.
RAINWORTH MWFC: Francis; Doyle; Jackson; Rogers (Shape); Barnes; Chadburn; Hutchinson; Foster; Adeleye; Walker; Jepson.
Subs (not used): Denyer; Sockett; Batty; Wright.
Referee: Mr Bradley Maw
Man of the match: Andy Francis