Rainworth praise the hero Massiah

RAINWORTH MW extended their club-record winning streak to keep up their title bid after a convincing 3-0 win against Hall Road.

The on-song Wrens made it 14 league wins on the spin thanks to a superb hat-trick from Massiah McDonald.

The win now leaves Rudy Funk's men trailing Bridlington, who trounced Arnold Town 5-1, on goal difference at the top of the table.

Despite being hit by injuries and suspension Rainworth started well as they looked to keep up their pre-winter break momentum.

But with striker Ant Lynam suspended, and Matt Baxter, Lewis Trimmer, Julian Topliss and Ian Clarke all injured, Funk's selection options were limited.

Striker Danny Blair was recruited from UniBond League side Carlton Town to fill Lynam's berth, and Jermain Hollis was handed a starting shirt on the left, while Barry Alberry and Luke Thomas joined Andy Jones on the bench.

McDonald, though, was the hero of the hour, following up his two goals at Shirebrook on Boxing Day with goals in the ninth, 60th and 71st minutes.

The game had managed to beat the rain, which left the pitch in a heavy state ahead of the match.

New boy Blair made an immediate impact, winning a corner inside the first 20 seconds, which Matt Draper rose to head the wrong side of the far post.

Craig Charlesworth headed away Martin Thacker's free kick from the left in the eighth minute as the Hull side looked to draw first blood.

But it was Rainworth who did so just a minute later. Cameron Fearon picked out McDonald with a sublime crossfield pass and the young striker shrugged off the attentions of two defenders to fire home a low drive from the left of the area.

Blair should have marked his debut with a goal in the 12th minute. James Whitehead's slide-rule pass picked out McDonald, whose centre passed behind his new strike partner.

But when the ball was not cleared, Blair looked to have a clear chance. However, his first effort was beaten out at point blank range by keeper Mike Burley, and the follow-up was blocked.

Thereafter the half became a midfield battle with Rangers showing well as far as the 18-yard line but coming up against a defence which prevented them from seriously troubling keeper Mark Hales.

Rangers put their visitors under some pressure at the start of the second half, but again their attacks fizzled out in the danger zone.

The home side should have been level in the 55th minute when Adam Walker beat the offside but screwed his finish inches past the far post.

Rainworth, though, were beginning to assert themselves again with Brendan Sweeney catching the eye in midfield, and they doubled their advantage on the hour.

Whitehead's astute through ball sent McDonald bursting clear along the right to cut in and execute a confident low finish inside the far post.

Rainworth had a let-off in the 70th minute when Lee Macklin pounced on a half-clearance and rattled the bar from 20 yards.

But within a minute McDonald's hat-trick goal made the points safe, running onto Fearon's cross to slip it past the advancing keeper.

McDonald was denied a fourth in the 81st minute when, from Sweeney's assist, his strong shot was half parried by the keeper who then managed to fall on the ball before it crossed the line.

A game played in a good spirit was marred three minutes into stoppage time when Liam Cattermole was given his marching orders after appearing to throw a retaliatory punch at Andy Jones.

HALL ROAD: Burley, Ingram, Cattermole, Robbins (Graham 60 mins), Macklin, Blount, Walker (Gilbey 73 mins), Thacker, Jackman (Hall 70 mins), McGarry, Bowsley.

RAINWORTH: Hales, Fearon (Jones 73 mins), Hollis, Wilkinson, Charlesworth, Draper, Whitehead (Alberry 81 mins), Naylor, Blair (Thomas 74 mins), McDonald, Sweeney.

REFEREE: Matt McGrath of Leconfield, East Yorkshire.

ATTENDANCE: 64.

MAN OF THE MATCH: Massiah McDonald.