Rainworth MW player refuses to play during Kidsgrove Athletic defeat

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An un-named Rainworth MW player refused to play for the club in their 4-3 defeat at home to Kidsgrove Athletic on Saturday.

The senior player, who has not been named, only agreed to be a non-playing substitute, while two other players made themselves unavailable.

It ended a controversial week for the Kirlington Road side after their decision to take voluntary relegation from the Evo-Stik League.

The premature announcement had already made this bottom of the table clash meaningless, with only pride at stake and the unavailability had put ever more pressure on what is only a small squad.

It had been a low key start by both sides and the first chance came in the 7th minute when Steve Brannan headed over for Kidsgrove when well placed.

The next 15 minutes saw Rainworth dominate and in the 10th minute Leon Osborne’s through ball found Darren Mansaram and his well hit shot easily beat Joe Hemmings and went in off the upright.

They should have added to their tally when a few minutes later the ball found Thomas Pereira, but he delayed his shot and was driven wide.

They went even closer in the 16th minute when Mansaram fed Osborne and his return pass to Mansaram was blocked. The ball rebounded to Romaine Graham and his effort too was blocked and cleared.

A minute later Rainworth doubled their score when Osborne set up Mansaram and he passed the ball past the keeper and into the net.

Kidsgrove threatened in the 24th minute when the ball found Anthony Malbon but his weak effort was easily gathered.

It was still Rainworth though who looked the most likely to score, and when Danny Williams through ball found Graham his fiercely hit shot was somehow held by Hemmings.

In the 32nd minute Malbon jinked his way into the area, showing why he was once the scurge of Conference defenders during his time with Kidderminster Harriers, but he hit his effort wide.

It was now Kidsgrove’s turn to dominate and Brannan saw his first effort well saved by Reay and his follow up sail over the bar.

A minute later were thankful that their defensive lapse was headed over by Malbon.

Kidsgrove were taking advantage of the breeze on their backs but they continued to spurn their chances.

Rainworth were forced to make their second substitution of the half when Glodi Bange replaced Osborne.

It was still all Kidsgrove but Matt Bell put his effort over the bar.

Rainworth did create a rare opportunity when Kuwesi Ofushine played in Mansaram his lay back to Pereira deserved better but he put it wide.

The final couple of minutes of the half saw firstly Bell’s effort deflected for a corner and then Ross Davidson shot over the bar.

At the half-time whistle Rainworth lead by two goals but in a game of spurned chances by both sides.

Rainworth were given a wake-up call in the 52nd minute when Reay pushed Malbon’s effort wide at the expense of a corner.

It wasn’t heeded and in the 54th minute Malbon beat the offside trap and hit his shot under the keeper to give Kidsgrove hope.

A minute later Malbon miskicked when well- placed and Rainworth continued to live dangerously.

The equaliser came in bizarre fashion when in the 57th Reay saved the free-kick but as he hit the ground the ball escaped his grasp and ended up in the net. It was a rare mistake from a keeper who has played well since he arrived form Buxton.

Rainworth made their final substitution with Ian Robinson coming on for Williams.

Rainworth took the lead once again when in the 63rd minute with ball bouncing in the area it found Tommy Hannigan and he needed no second invitation to hit the back of the net.

A minute later and the scores were level a cross beat everyone but Bell played it back to Brannan and his volley gave Reay no chance.

Kidsgrove were getting on top again and Malbon’s effort was blocked by Hanniigan at the expense of a corner. The corner was headed wide by Brannan as Rainworth failed to deal with the corner.

Rainworth were now virtually down to ten men as Mansaram was a passenger with a back injury, he however deserves a lot of credit for soldiering on to the end.

A tried Rainworth however once again were caught out by a corner was the ball once more cleared everyone and found Brannon’s head and he made no mistake.

Still Rainworth came forward and in the 89th minute Freeman’s header hit the crossbar and Graham’s header was headed off the line. The pressure was only relieved when Hannigan was booked for a high foot in his attempt to put the ball over the line.

The final action of the game came when in the final minute Elliot Hodgett-Young’s effort flew inches wide of the upright with the keeper well beaten.

At the final whistle the home crowd were left wondering what would have happened if the missing players had played.

RAINWORTH: Reay; Bettney (Brock); Hodgett-Young; Hannigan; Freeman; Pereira; Williams (I.Robinson); Ofushine; Graham; Mansaram; Osborne (Bange). Sub (not used): Dan White.

Referee: Mr Abbas Khan.

Man of match: Dean Freeman.