Rainworth MWFC lost at home to Scarborough Athletic 2-1 in a very fiercely contested match, where the result was in doubt for long periods of the game.
It would be easy to quote a penalty conceded against the run of play and a man sent off late in the game, however that would be simplifying the truth.
Rainworth must quickly rectify areas that are costing them dear, in close games, if they are to avoid being drawn into a relegation battle.
Whereas last week they never got going, this week they were quick off the mark and soon put Scarborough under pressure.
The pressure was building and in the sixth minute Mark Dudley’s effort was deflected for a corner. The corner was fiercely hit across the goal, but instead of resulting in a goal, Matt Varley’s late challenge earned him a yellow card.
This early period of play had been all Rainworth and after yet another good build up Tristram Whitman set up Matt Bowles, but his shot went over the crossbar.
Then in Scarborough’s first attack the ball found Ryan Blott, whose well hit shot struck the crossbar and rebounded back into play.
Gary Bradshaw was the first to react and as he ran on goal, James Martin appeared to catch him and the referee had no hesitation in awarding a penalty and a yellow card for Martin. Bradshaw took the penalty himself and duly scored sending Martin the wrong way.
It was Rainworth however who continued to dominate and probably should have done better when first Sam Saunders headed over and the Whitman’s shot was easily gathered.
Then in the 16th minute Longstaff was put through by Bowles and with Jason White stuck on his line, hit his shot wide when it appeared easier to score.
This seemed to inspire Scarborough and they started to come more into the game without creating any clear chances, although Rainworth were still posing a threat themselves.
It was from a Scarborough error that in the 36th minute Longstaff atoned for his earlier miss, this time hitting the back of the net with his effort.
There was still time for Callum Lloyd to be shown a yellow card for a rash challenge as the referee brought the half to an end. For the most part Rainworth had had the better of the chances and with better finishing probably should have been in front.
The second half started with Rainworth probing and a Lloyd header was easily gathered by White and although Whitman did get the ball in the net, he was rightly flagged for offside. Scarborough were soon on the attack themselves and a fierce shot by James Beadle was well saved by Martin.
The game started to go in Scarborough’s favour as Rainworth began to tire and in the 58th minute a misplaced header found Ryan Williams who rounded Martin and slotted the ball home.
The pace of the game was having an effect and Rainworth’s fitness levels were now being called into question.
In the 68th minute Jamie Clarke replace Whitman as the game started to meander with Scarborough taking control without threatening to add to the score.
Then in the 81st minute any chance of a Rainworth equaliser vanished as Matt Varley was shown a second yellow and duly sent off.
In hindsight he should probably have been substituted earlier, having already been warned previously by the referee for two clumsy tackles.
With superior numbers Scarborough went through the motions as they played out time to gain a hard earned three points and left Rainworth hoping that other results had gone their way.
There can be no excuses in a closely fought game, Scarborough had the more potent attack and fitness levels, on the day that proved decisive.
RAINWORTH: Martin; Varley; Dudley; Lloyd; Edridge; Saunders; Magee; Bowles; Longstaff; Hawkins; Whitman (Clarke 68). Subs (not used): Forbes-Swindells; Gregory; Williams; Rogers.
Referee: Mr. Oliver Bickle.
Man of match: Sam Saunders