Rainworth taught harsh lesson by Leek Town

Football: Latest news, reports and more from The Star,
Football: Latest news, reports and more from The Star,

Managerless Rainworth were hammered 6-0 by promotionfavourites Leek Town on a miserable opening day of the season.

Player/manager Scott Rickards tendered his resignation because he found it increasigly difficult to combine the post with his ever increasing workload in his job and felt it was in everyone’s interest that he stepped down at this time.

Assistant manager Dean Short will take charge of the team in the short term.

Rainworth got off to the worst possible starts against highly-fancied Leek when Dan Shelley’s speculative shot squirmed through the hands of Neil West for the opening goal.

The Wrens pushed forward in search of an equaliser, but in the eighth minute they went further behind when having failed to defend a corner as Sam Hall stuck out a leg and diverted it into the goal.

In the 15th minute Rainworth had a chance to pull one back as Chris Whitman set up Craig Mitchell, but his shot just cleared the bar.

Leek were having the better of the exchanges and almost added to the score as Niall Maguire hit a screamer, only to see West make a brilliant save.

West was on hand again in the 25th minute to prevent Matt Bell adding to the score, however the respite was short lived as Maguire’s next effort from the edge of the area found the back of the net.

This was once again as a result of poor defending having failed to cut out the initial cross.

As half-time approached Rainworth nearly pulled one back as Matty Jones set up Whitman, but the shot was wide of the post.

The second half started with Leek’s Tim Grice hitting the bar in the first minute and Rainworth going straight down the other end, earning a corner as their goal bound shot was blocked.

Rainworth continued to play some neat football, but their failure to keep the ball continued to be their downfall.

In the 50th minute Chris Hewitt replaced Mark Dudley who had been able to shake off a leg injury.

Things got even worse for Rainworth as Ashley Jackson’s innocuous shot from outside the area somehow avoided West’s outstretched hand for goal number four.

Three minutes later it was becoming embarrassing as Niall Maguire scored Leek’s fifth as his shot went through a wall of players and into the corner of the net.

Whitman’s mazy run almost pulled one back, but the shot went the wrong side of the upright.

The last goal of the game was scored by Andrew Kinsey in the 90th minute from the penalty spot to bring to an end a thoroughly miserable day for Rainworth.

The lesson to be taken from this game is that at this level, lapses in concentration will be punished and that scoring opportunities must be converted.

Rainworth: West; Baugh; Williams; Charlesworth; Dudley (Hewitt 50); Magee; Owens (French 62); Jones; Whitman; Mitchell; Coupe (Rogers 68). Subs (not used): G. Short; D. Short.

Referee: Mr. Matthew Pope.

Man of Match: Craig Charlesworth