On a day when a positive result was required in their home fixture against Carlton Town, Rainworth had to be thankful for a crossbar, their defence and their opponents’ inability to finish in a 0-0 draw.
Rainworth failed to turn up in a local derby that was much more important than local bragging rights with their future at Evo-Stik level on the line.
So at the final whistle they were the side who were the more relieved to gain a point from a match they rarely threatened in.
Carlton were the first to threaten when in the 14th minute Felix Hogg hit his effort well over the bar.
In the 16th minute Aaron Hooton’s shot was headed over by Dean Freeman, and from the resulting corner Alex Troke should probably have done better.
As Carlton began to dominate, Rainworth’s Grant Ryan headed goalwards and, when his effort was played back to him, he drove it well over.
The 29th minute almost saw Carlton take the lead as Troke’s free kick was headed onto the crossbar by Hooton and cleared.
A rare passage of Rainworth pressure came to nothing and their ability to produce a telling final ball was proving costly.
On the other hand Carlton were looking the most likely to score as they exploited Rainworth’s lethargy.
Troke saw his long range effort gathered by David Reay and Martin Ball went close as his header flew over.
That was the last piece of action in a half best forgotten, with Carlton having the better of the play.
In the 55th minute Gino Kelleher gave Rainworth a glimmer of hope as his first effort was well wide, but a minute later only a full length save by Curtis McDonald prevented a goal at the expense of a corner.
Rainworth brought on Glodi Bange for Ryan. However, it was Carlton who threatened as firstly Hooton shot well wide when well placed and then Danny Fletcher was thwarted by Reay’s outstretched leg.
The 78th minute saw Chris Betteny replaced by Danny Williams, but the goal threats still came from Carlton as Hooton’s goal-bound effort was headed over by Dan White.
The final minutes saw Ball’s free kick headed over by Hooton and Troke also hit a free kick well over.
If Rainworth are to have any chance of retaining their Evo-Stik status there must be a great improvement on this performance.
A week on Saturday they entertain Kidsgrove Athletic in what could be the decider on who stays in the Evo-Stik, and on this performance the odds must favour Kidsgrove.
RAINWORTH: Reay, Hannigan, Hodgett-Young, Freeman, White, Bettney (Williams), Osborne, Kelleher, Mansaram, Graham, Ryan (Bange). Subs not used: I. Robinson, Pereira.
REFEREE: S. Richardson.
WRENS MAN OF THE MATCH: Dan White.