Last Minute Heartbreaker
Rainworth’s three match winning run against Worksop Town cruelly came to an end in the final minute of injury time.
In what had been a very competitive match, the first half was edged by Worksop Town but the second belonged to Rainworth in a dominant display.
Former ‘Tiger’ Jack Waddle did a passable impression of Terry Butcher’s blood-stained performance for England against Sweden. Sadly, it only lasted until the second minute of the second half when a further blow to the head left him unable to continue and he had to be substituted.
The opening minutes saw both sides create chances but neither could add the finish. In the 6th minute Ben Townsend did well to push out Jed Phillips header at full stretch, whilst at the other end Luke Walker’s effort lacked power and was easily gathered by Jason Alexander and Joshua Ross’s header in the 8th minute lacked direction.
Rainworth were grateful to Jordon Claxton in the 12th minute when he managed to put the ball out for a corner with three Worksop players converging on him.
Worksop started to get on top and Jordan Turner put his effort well over when well-placed and Rainworth did well to scramble Matt Varley’s long throw clear.
Shortly afterwards Jack Waddle needy lengthy treatment for what appeared to be a head injury, having to leave the field of play for further treatment. Some minutes later he came back with his head heavily bandaged, reminiscent of ‘Terry Butcher’ when playing England against Sweden.
The game was being played more in the Rainworth half than Worksop’s and in the 34th minute Alec Denton won the ball with three defenders in attendance, but he still managed a shot on goal, forcing Townsend to gather at the second attempt.
Rainworth did threaten on 37 minutes when Tomas Poole’s long-range effort had Alexander scurrying across his goal, but the effort went just wide of the upright. A minute later and it was Claxton who once again prevented the Worksop opener when he headed off the line.
There was still time for Denton to put his effort straight into Townsend’s arms, whilst at the other end Waddle’s effort was well wide. At the half-time whistle the game remained goalless but it was Worksop who had probably just shaded it.
The second-half was barely a minute old when Waddle was left poleaxed on the ground and after lengthy treatment had to be replaced in the 49th minute by James Knowles.
A minute later and Denton came very close to scoring Worksop’s opener when his effort crashed into the side netting.
It was Rainworth however who started to dominate proceedings and after a quick break minutes later Niall Smith’s cross found Bradley Wilson but his effort was straight at Alexander. A minute later Luke Walker’s cross found Poole but his first-time effort was palmed away by Alexander.
Rainworth’s pressure paid off when in the 63rd minute Smith’s ball found Poole in the area and his shot on the turn beat Alexander at the near post for the opener.
There were half-chances at both ends as the game started to get stretched, but neither side could find the required finish.
Rainworth continued to dominate and after a good exchange of passes between Nathan Modest and Poole, Varley was grateful to concede a corner as the cross came into the area with players eagerly waiting to add the last touch.
Alexander was Worksop’s saviour in the 84th minute when he did brilliantly too push Modest’s goal-bound shot out at the expense of a corner.
Rainworth made their second substitution in the 86th minute bringing on Bryan Dakouri for Walker.
In the final minute of normal time Rainworth were unlucky not to get their second when Dakouri found Modest who squared it to Smith. His shot gave Alexander no chance but it cannoned back off the crossbar to safety.
Well into injury time Rainworth made their final substitution bringing on Kieran Barnes for Walker.
The final minutes saw Worksop flooding forward in desperation looking for an equaliser and in the final minute Rhys Davies’s effort hit the inside of the upright and went over the line. Shortly afterwards the referee blew his whistle for the end of the match.
After the match the Rainworth players were distraught, but they could hold their heads up high knowing that they more than matched their close neighbours.
RAINWORTH MWFC: Townsend; Ludlam; Claxton; Wilson (Barnes); Ross; Pemberton; Poole; Waddle (Knowles); Modest; Walker (Dakouri); Smith.
Subs (not used): Bennett; Munson.
Referee; Mr. Martin Beard