Veni, Vidi, Vici
The Latin translation is I came, I saw, I conquered and whilst it was attributed to Emperor Julius Cesare, today you could also include Cleethorpes Town.
Rainworth MWFC had high hopes of achieving a shock result against their high flying opponents, but apart from one magical moment they were to play second fiddle all day.
Many of the Rainworth fans questioned the decision to play Aaron Moxam as the ‘sole’ striker and for most of the game he was left to feed on scraps, a lonely and frustrated figure, who finished the one magical moment in a game that Cleethorpes Town bossed.
As early as the sixth minute there were warning signs when Brody Robertson found a yard , only to see his effort strike the outside of the post.
A couple of minutes later and a Rainworth set piece saw Matt Plant’s header find Steve Wankiewicz but his first time volley went well wide.
On 17 minutes a quick Rainworth break almost caught Cleethorpes Town out but the ball ricocheted off Matt Sykes for a goal kick.
Cleethorpes went straight down the other end and only a fine full length save by Ben Townsend prevented Caine Winfarrah from opening the scoring. A minute later and Jon Oglesby hit his effort over when well placed.
Then on 26 minutes Rainworth produced the passing move that their play had sadly lacked in the match and when the ball found Chris Bettney, his inch perfect pass found Moxam in full stride. Goalkeeper Liam Higton tried to rescue the situation but before he had chance Moxam had placed his exquisite lob into the top corner for the opener.
The score had been against the run of play and it took Cleethorpes just four minutes to restore parity as Rainworth appeared to stop for an offside decision. Before they had chance to regroup the ball found Alex Flett on the edge of the area and despite a couple of despairing attempts to block his effort, it found the back of the net.
A minute later Cleethorpes almost doubled their score as Robertson’s effort just cleared the crossbar.
It was all Cleethorpes now as Rainworth’s defence came under constant pressure and only a great clearance by Dan White prevented a further goal.
On 40 minutes Winfarrah, who was a constant threat all game hit a fierce shot inches wide and it only looked a matter of time before he would find the back of the net.
In the final minute of the half Flett hit yet another long range effort but fortunately for Rainworth it was wide and they were relieved to go in at half-time level.
The first attempt of the second half fell to Moxam, but his long range effort went well over.
On 54 minutes only an excellent save by Townsend prevented Robertson from giving Cleethorpes Town the lead. A couple of minutes later and Flett’s constant threat from long range was in evidence once more as his effort flew inches wide.
Townsend almost gifted Winfarrah a goal, but luckily for him and Rainworth he put it wide with the goal gaping. Another goal mouth scramble which Rainworth struggled to clear highlighted what was on the day an out of sorts performance.
Rainworth’s luck ended on 66 minutes when Winfarrah scored the goal he had threatened all game.
Rainworth immediately made a double substitution, Declan Brewin and Owen Heather coming on for Matt Plant and Matthew Thompson.
Another piece of lax Rainworth defending saw an incredible save by Townsend deny Luke Mascall a goal.
The final goal of the game came in the 73rd minute when Winfarrah ran the Rainworth defence ragged and although his initial cross was blocked the ball found Andy Taylor who made no mistake.
On 75 minutes Rainworth made their final substitution bringing on Benjamin Kistell for Sykes.
Rainworth’s day got even worse when in the 81st minute Townsend and Flett clashed, Townsend was shown a straight red for retaliation, whilst Flett saw Yellow. The dismissal saw Dan White take over in goal and despite a couple of late scares there was no further scoring.
On the day Cleethorpes were good value for their victory, whilst Rainworth know their performance was well below what was required.
RAINWORTH MWFC: Townsend; Mansell; Claxton; White; Plant (Brewin); Wankiewicz; Thompson (Heather); Bettney; Moxam; Buxton; Sykes (Kistell) Subs (not used): Holmes; Clarke; Widdowson; Cheeseman.
Referee: Mr Daniel Jarvis.
Man of the match: Dan White.