Daniels held to draw after superb start

Rainworth MW 2-2 Stamford

DANIELS boss Simon Clark will have been relieved to see something like a full strength squad start of TUesday evening’s draw at Rainworth.

Lee Beeson was back, a combination of frozen pitches and suspension meant he hadn’t played since November 20, Paul Malone returned from flu and Ryan Oliver was a surprise inclusion on the bench. He was expected to be out for two or three weeks with a groin strain.

Rainworth had not won in their last 12 games and it looked as if Stamford would have an easy win as they played the ball with confidence leaving the Rainworth players chasing shadows early on.

Three minutes into the game and Malone outjumped the defence to head a Beeson corner goalwards, forcing Rainworth keeper Mark Hales to push the ball away.

Stamford were moving the ball around quickly and a foul on Andy Toyne gave Beeson an opportunity for a chance on goal. From about 30 yards, he curled the ball into the top corner to give Stamford a well deserved lead.

For the first 30 minutes, Stamford had dominated the game but without creating decent chances apart from the two set pieces.

Rainworth had their first chance on the half hour when a free kick was cleared to Matt Roberts but his shot was always rising and curling away from goal.

From then Rainworth lifted their game. Craig Mitchell got behind Malone to latch onto a long ball but shot tamely into the arms of Chris Wright.

But Rainworth levelled soon after. Another long ball forward set Ian Clarke free on the right wing. He drove in a hard low cross which was turned in by Mitchell to bring Rainworth level with four minutes left in the half.

For the first 30 minutes Stamford passed the ball around and couldn’t miss a red shirt but for the last 15 they hadn’t been able to find one as Rainworth took control.

Rainworth who carried on after the break where they had left off and four minutes after the restart they took the lead.

Wright called for a long ball which he was never going to reach.

As Stamford tried to get back into the game Adam Millson was unlucky after fending off three defenders to see his shot creep past the far post.

Rainworth relied on long balls forward which the Stamford defence were failing to cope with. Miles Chamberlain lacked power when he tried to head one back to Wright forcing Wright to rush out and head away from Mitchell and a minute later Mitchell was again one on one with Wright dragged his shot wide.

Stamford gradually regained their composure and were level on 61 minutes when Lee Beeson side footed a cross from Nick Jackson past Hales.

Three minutes later, a Rainworth free kick five yards in from the touch line was close to giving them the lead again. James Jepson drove the free kick with great power and Wright could only palm the ball away and had to be sharp to block the follow-up.

Rainworth continued to play the long ball with great effect but fortunately for Stamford the Notts side either wasted the chance or Wright was in the right place to block the shot.

Stamford finished strongly and might have snatched the points in the last three minutes when Oliver’s shot was blocked on the line for a corner.

Stamford might be disappointed not to have beaten a team clearly out of form especially after that superb first 30 minutes but had Rainworth finished better, they would have won this game.

Stamford: Chris Wright, Ben Sedgemore, Nick Jackson, Adam Millson (Seth Burkett 82), Miles Chamberlain, Paul Malone, Lee Beeson, Andy Toyne, Tony Battersby (Ryan Oliver 64), Nathan Adams, Dan Cotton. Subs not used: Jake Walton, Craig Hill, John Swales

Man of match: Lee Beeson