Rainworth crash 1-0 yet again

Rainworth’s woes continued with yet another single goal defeat at Gresley in a season that is quickly taking on that ‘if only’ feeling.

Monday, 17th February 2014, 8:18 am
Rainworth's Mark Dudley.

Rob Spencer’s second half goal was enough to inflict the Wrens’ third successive 1-0 reversal.

The fact that the match at Gresley was played at all was a minor miracle, with the weather and pitch conditions far from ideal.

Rainworth’s starting line-up was much changed from that at the beginning of the year with three key players having left the club and two others being unavailable.

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This, and the fact that it was only their second match in a weather interrupted month, contributed to a disjointed display against tough opposition.
Gresley won the toss and decided to kick against the wind and slope, a decision that was to prove crucial in a game where both sides would tire late on in very heavy conditions.

Although playing against the elements, Gresley had the better of the early exchanges and, on the break, Spencer’s shot was gratefully deflected for a corner.
Rainworth’s first chance fell to Ashley Longstaff in the 13th minute, but instead of shooting he chose to pass and the opportunity was lost.

This was quickly followed by a dipping free kick from Scott Rickards that was tipped over the bar.
As both sides struggled to keep their feet, there came a moment to remember, as referee Phillip Hardisty fell head over heels as he too found the conditions treacherous.

Shortly afterwards Scott Rogers’ shot on the volley just cleared the crossbar, while Jamie Clarke’s free kick was easily gathered by Mats Morch.
Just before the interval Matt Varley received a yellow card for a mistimed challenge and John Guy’s subsequent free kick was tipped over by James Martin.

That was to be the final act of a half in which Gresley would be the more satisfied, having kept a clean sheet against the elements.
The Moatmen got the second half under way, but lost the ball and Longstaff, on the break, hit his shot just over the bar.

However, it didn’t take them long to threaten the Rainworth goal when Kieran O’Connell’s shot flashed just the wrong side of the upright.
The game was still pretty even at this point, when Scott Rickards became the second Rainworth player to be shown a yellow card.

The next chance fell to Rainworth when Mark Dudley’s (pictured above) free kick just flashed past the upright with the keeper struggling to cover.
The conditions were now beginning to tell as Gresley started to gain the upper hand and in the 67th-minute move of the match a cross to the edge of the area was headed into the danger area by Jamie Barrett and Spencer placed his header wide of Martin.
Pressure now mounted as O’Connell missed a glorious opportunity when through on goal, shooting weakly straight at Martin.

However, Martin did brilliantly just afterwards to tip Guy’s goalbound shot over the bar and he was at it again, tipping over Jack Langston’s shot from outside the area.
The final chance of the match fell to Rainworth when Varley’s long throw found Tristram Whitman and, although his goalbound shot beat the keepe,r it was somehow deflected for a corner by a defender’s outstretched leg.
The final whistle went with Gresley winning by the only goal of the match, in truth Rainworth must quickly regain their scoring touch if they are to have any chance of being victorious in close fought games like this.
RAINWORTH: Martin; Rickards; Dudley; Lloyd; Edridge; Varley; Bowles; Rogers; Longstaff; J. Clarke (Forbes-Swindells); Hawkins (Whitman). Subs not used: Williams; M. Clarke.
REFEREE: Philip Hardisty.
CHAD WRENS MAN OF THE MATCH: Mark Dudley.