The match began at a quick pace with both sides having chances in the early parts of the game. In the second minute, Rainworth had an early opportunity to go ahead as Aidy Harris found Kieran Darby on the right-hand side. Darby's cross bobbled across the face of goal but couldn't quite find striker Nathan Benger, had Benger met the ball it would certainly have been a goal.
Almost immediately afterwards, Shirebrook went up the other end to create an opportunity. Winger Nathan Jessop found himself with the ball on the left and created problems for wrens right back Kieran Coupe, however the winger’s shot was weak and dealt with.
In the sixth minute Rainworth came close yet again. A Kieran Coupe corner was headed down by Benger to Lewis Weaver in the box. Weaver reacted quickly and unleashed a powerful half volley. Fortunately for the host Daniel Hartshorn made a strong save low to his right to keep the scores level.
The game’s first goal came in the 17th minute as Shirebrook’s Ryan Bates converted a cool penalty. The spot kick had been given after a late Alex Sennett challenge fouled George Simpson leaving the referee with little option. Bates stepped up and sent his shot into the bottom left corner as the keeper dived the wrong way.
Three minutes later and Nathan Jessop should've double the hosts' lead. The winger was allowed space and time to drive down the left before sending his shot onto the near post.
After continuous pressure Shirebrook soon found their second goal in the 22nd minute. A low drive into the box by Craig Purcell was well controlled by Kyle Lilley in front of goal. Lilley had time to turn before sending a composed finish into the left side of the goal.
Just three minutes later and the wrens had a goal back. A well-executed cross by Kieran Coupe found captain Aidy Harris in the box. Harris was able to turn, beat the defender and send a low shot under the keeper and into the back of the net.
Ten minutes before half time the wrens came close to finding an equaliser. A diagonal ball by Coupe found Joe Toon at the far post. Toon headed across goal and found a lurking Lewis Weaver who would’ve scored if Ryan Bates hadn't cleared off the line.
Shirebrook started the second half the better side, seeing much more of the ball after the break. The hosts should have extended their lead in the 58th minute as Nathan Jessop dinked the ball in behind the defence to find Kyle Lilley. The Shirebrook striker held the ball up well, turned and shot but the volley was we held by Wrens stopper Josh Hollis.
Shortly after, Rainworth went up the other end to win a freekick. The 25-yard central freekick was taken by Coupe and was driven goalward before finding the crossbar.
Rainworth's best chance of the second half came in the 66th minute after a Kieran Coupe corner met an unmarked Conor Wright whose powerful header was outrageously tipped behind by goalkeeper Daniel Hartshorn.
The later stages of the second half lacked quality and subsequently lacked goal mouth action. However, that didn't stop Kyle Lilley sending an audacious overhead kick narrowly over the crossbar with 10 mins to go.
Next week, Rainworth will hope to improve on a poor performance as they face Barrow Town at home. Next up for a new look Shirebrook Town side, it's a trip to mid table Belper United.
Shirebrook: Hartshorn, Hancock, Goodwin, Purcell, Bates, Riley, Ryan, Dubbs, Lilley, Simpson, Jessop.
Subs: Edridge, Turner, Tansley, Savage, Strycharz
Rainworth MW: Hollis, Coupe, Toon, Herbert, Sennett, Wright, Darby, Cornell, Benger, Harris, Weaver.
Subs: Davidson, Hardwick, Brewin, Pursglove, Smith