Second victory of 2017 boosts survival fight

Rainworth Miners' Welfare's Matt Sykes had a hand in both goals.
Rainworth Miners' Welfare's Matt Sykes had a hand in both goals.

Rainworth Miners’ Welfare upset the Northern Counties East League form book to win 2-0 at 10-man Staveley.

An early goal by Nick Langford and a second-half strike from Matt Harris boosted the visitors’ fight for survival and clinched only their second win of 2017.

Mid-table Staveley, beaten for the second time this year, battled and might have equalised in the first period. They also had a goal ruled out for offside in the second period.

But the pattern for the game was set in the third minute when Rainworth’s Matt Sykes stole the ball after a defensive error. His pass found Harris, who squared for Langford to score.

The visitors almost doubled the lead in the 10th minute when Ryan Herbert picked up the ball in midfield and raced forward before firing wide.

Staveley should have levelled in the 12th minute. Curtis Morley drove into the penalty area and set up Adam Lee, but he shot over when well placed.

The home side again went close just before half-time as Tyla Bell and Joshua Madin both fired wide.

In the 55th minute Harris headed in a Sykes cross from a corner to put Rainworth two up.

Three minutes later Staveley’s Thomas Ellis was dismissed for his second booking.

Sykes and Declan Brewin might have secured victory and Jake Adlington also headed wide for Rainworth.

However, chances continued to come at both ends.

In the 79th minute Staveley had the ball in the net, but it was disallowed for offside as Rainworth went 11 points clear of the relegation zone.