‘It’s the Same Old Song’, was a Four Tops hit in the 60s and just about sums up Rainworth Miners Welfare’s performances in the Evo-Stik Division One South.
With 70 per cent of the play you would expect to win the game easily, unfortunately that is never the case with Rainworth Miners Welfare.
In Saturday’s 2-1 Evo-Stik South Division One South defeat by Newcastle Town, it was the same old Rainworth on show.It has been well documented that Rainworth are prone to gift goals, and then fail to convert their own chances, today was yet another example of one of those days.
On a day when Mansfield Town’s Adam Murray (pictured with manager Kev Gee) made his debut on loan, it should have been one of celebration, but it was the same old story - gift the opposition two goals start and then fail to capitalise on the abundance of chances created.
The management team must be like the fans, tearing their hair out wondering how dominant the team have to be to actually reap the rewards.
For the first 14 minutes Rainworth played the game in the Newcastle half, a pattern that was to be repeated for large periods of the game. But on probably their first visit into Rainworth’s half , the opposition scored.
From a free kick, Newcastle hit an innocuous ball into the area. Rainworth had a number of chances to deal with it, but while they dithered, Alan Nagington stuck out a foot and diverted the ball into the goal.
This was a signal for Newcastle to have their period of dominance and on 23 minutes from one such attack the ball struck Matt Varley’s hand in the area and the referee had no hesitation in awarding a penalty.
Kyle Diskin stepped up and duly sent James Martin the wrong way to secure Newcastle a two-goal advantage.
Slowly Rainworth took back the initiative and for the remainder of the half once again had the lion’s share of the play.
The source of Rainworth’s dominance was Danny Buttle, who was a constant threat throughout the match with his final ball creating endless chances.
In the 27th minute he headeda Ricky Hanson corner just wide and a minute later found Scott Rickards, who probably thought he should have scored instead of gaining a corner.
The 35th minute saw yet another good chance spurned when Buttle found Jamie Brown and his lay-off to Rickards was easily dealt with by the keeper.
Most of the play and statistics of the first half were well in Rainworth’s favour, however, the score-line showed that Newcastle were leading 2-0.
Just as it seemed Rainworth would never score, they at last got themselves on the scoresheet.
Mark Dudley struck a sumptuous ball from the left, which was miscontrolled at first by Jamie Brown.
But he recovered the ball and, from outside the area, hit an unstoppable shot into the far corner. Shortly after the whistle went for half-time, with Rainworth wondering how they were losing 2-1.
The second half started with Newcastle on the attack, but Rainworth managed to deal with the threat.
Rainworth soon regained their momentum and in the 50th minute a Brown shot was deflected for a corner, shortly after Nathan Modest set up Callum Lloyd who shot just wide.
The game was getting stretched and the fear was that Rainworth would get hit on the counter-attack and, from one such move in the 53rd minute, Tim Sanders hit his shot just over the bar.
The pressure was beginning to tell on Newcastle, who used every possible chance to take time out of the game, much to the annoyance of Rainworth.
The 56th minute nearly saw what the Rainworth fans had come for, from yet another Buttle cross Newcastle cleared the ball to the edge of the area, where Murray hit an absolute screamer only to see Dave Parton somehow tip it over the bar.
Two minutes later Buttle this time found Brown, who hit the ball across the box only for Buttle’s shot to be just too high.
While Rainworth were camped in the Newcastle half and pushed more men forward, they were becoming more prone to counter-attacks.
In the 72nd minute they were fortunate, when in quick succession Andy Nicholls had his shot well saved by Martin and then from a cross headed wide.
Still Rainworth pressed for the equaliser, but in doing so nearly gifted Tom France a goal and were very fortunate when he hit his shot wide when well placed.
The final minutes of the game were played in the Newcastle half, with Buttle finding Lloyd whose pass to Brown was hit across the face of the goal.
The final action of the game saw Modest’s shot blocked and the subsequent corner cleared as the referee blew for full-time.
It was the end of yet another in a catalogue of games that Rainworth have been dominant without getting the result their play deserved.
The problems are not hard to detect - conceding cheap goals and the inability to convert their numerous chances.
The solution is much harder, but one than must be found and quickly, if Rainworth are to reap the rewards and move back up the table.
RAINWORTH: Martin, Hanson, Dudley, Lloyd, Varley, Saunders, Brown, Murray, Modest, Rickards (Holmes 69), Buttle.Subs not used: Magee, Claxton, Cullingworth.
Referee: Mr R. Price.
Man of match: Danny Buttle.