Rainworth MW slumped to a 3-0 home FA Cup Preliminary Round giantkilling by Staveley MW in the battle of the miners’ welfares on Saturday.
The Wrens play one level above Staveley in the football pyramid, but on this showing they will not be playing at step four next season.
On Saturday they were outclassed by their step five visitors and the scoreline could have been more emphatic if their opponents had converted all their chances.
Rainworth have never recovered from the loss of virtually their entire first team line up of last year, and this combined with the manager’s resignation on the eve of the new season didn’t help. Unfortunately time and sympathy from the fans is fast running out and they expect a major improvement from the team in the coming weeks.
In the first few minutes of the tie neither side were able to gain the upper hand.
That changed in the eighth minute when in Staveley’s first attack Austin McIntosh broke down the right and his cross found Nathan Forbes, who cut inside and coolly slotted the ball home.
Rainworth almost got on the scoresheet when in the 12th minute a Matty Jones cross was met by Tristram Whitman’s head and cleared off the line. Debutant Rob Gill struck the resultant clearance well over the bar when well placed.
Another Rainworth chance fell to Craig Mitchell but his miskicked effort came to nothing as the Wrens continued to handicap their efforts by giving the ball away at regular intervals.
Staveley continued to have the better chances and in the 27th minute they increased their lead when Ryan Damms converted McIntosh’s inch-perfect cross. Rainworth were starting to look like a team that had accepted their fate.
They did create a chance when Chris Hewitt’s cross was headed over by Gil, but Staveley were still creating the better of the chances.
The 35th minute almost saw Staveley get a third as the Rainworth defence once again failed to cut out a cross, but the shot flew over the bar.
The final attack of the half saw another McIntosh run and cross, but fortunately Matt Thorpe’s header clipped the crossbar.
The half-time whistle went and Rainworth were fortunate to go into the break only two goals in arrears.
Rainworth started the second half brightly and Mitchell’s cross was just reached by a defender before Gil could administer the final touch.
They, however, had West to thank when in a four minute spell of total Staveley dominance, only his brilliance prevented any addition to their score.
Rainworth brought on Gavin Short for Kieran Coupe in an attempt to stem the persistent Staveley attacks.
It seemed to help as firstly Gill’s flick on was nearly met by Mitchell and then a Gill free kick was easily saved.
Staveley countered and a cross by Kurtis Morley was headed wide by Ellis Wall.
Rainworth made their final substitutions bringing on Steve Owens and Scott Rogers for Hewitt and Gary Atkins.
The game was becoming loose and both sides missed chances, with Owens putting the best one into the sidenetting and another well over.
The final score of the game went to Staveley when Oli Ryan ran onto the ball as the Rainworth defence appeared to stand still, leaving the Wrens with a myriad of concerns to address.
RAINWORTH: West; Coupe (G. Short); Williams; Gregory; Baugh; Atkins (Rogers); Hewitt; Jones; Gill; Whitman. Subs not used: D. Short; Charlesworth.
REFEREE: Andrew Park.
WRENS’ MAN OF THE MATCH: Danny Williams.