Rainworth played their ‘Get Out Of Jail’ card as they managed to survive a late onslaught to remain in the FA Cup with a 1-1- draw at Dunkirk and a home replay scheduled for last night.
After last year’s Notts Senior Cup tie at Dunkirk, Rainworth knew what they were in for, and they weren’t disappointed.
Po From the kick-off Rainworth dominated the early stages but both Jamie Clarke and Jason Bradley missed chances to open the scoring.
The travelling fans probably had one eye on who the next round opponents might be when a fine run and cross by Will Couts and Elliot Ackroyd finished with a great header.
The move deserved the finish and for all Rainworth’s early dominance they found themselves behind.
The goal changed the game dynamics and it was now Dunkirk in the ascendency and Rainworth struggling to find any fluidity in their play.
They were nearly caught out again in the 14th minute, but only a combination of good defending and Dunkirk’s poor choice of pass prevented them adding to their score.
In the first few minutes the difference in level was evident, not anymore and in the 23rd minute Dunkirk should have scored when Kevin Hemagou was through on the keeper, but hit his shot wide.
This was a strange match as with Dunkirk now on top, a rare passing move by Rainworth and a well-placed through ball found Jamie Clarke who hit a peach of a looping shot into the net for the equaliser.
The game was now swinging back to Rainworth and Jared Holmes outpaced the defence only to hit his shot wide.
Just when it now looked like Rainworth would take the initiative a misunderstanding in their defence almost gifted Dunkirk the lead, only for Jack Hopper to head wide.
Hopper was to go even closer a minute later when only a fine save by James Martin prevented the score.
Just before the half-time whistle there was still one more chance for Rainworth, only for Jake Want to win the race with Clarke for the ball.
Neither manager could have been totally satisfied with their teams first-half performances, but Rainworth’s must have just have been happy to be level at this stage.
Rainworth brought on Danny Buttle for Jordan Claxton at half-time, but they had a real scare when a mishit Ryan Hastie free-kick came back off the woodwork.
However Buttle was starting to cause problems and in the 52nd minute only a fine save prevented him getting on the scoresheet.
Rainworth were now pushing forward and from a Matt Varley long throw, Clarke just headed wide.
Then in the 76th in what was probably Rainworth’s best move of the match Buttle to Brown whose inch perfect pass was just driven wide of goal by Clarke.
The last 10 minutes of the match belonged to Dunkirk and a combination of wrong choices and poor finishing meant they failed to add to their score.