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Rainworth win Green Energy Challenge Trophy

29 July 2014

Matt Jones' free-kick seals a 2-1 win - and silverware - for Scott Rickards' team.

Rainworth Miners Welfare lifted the Green Energy Challenge Trophy for the first time as they defeated a youthful Mansfield Town XI at Kirklington Road.

Steve Owens put the hosts on course for victory just after the re-start when he tapped home from close-range following a pull-back by Craig Mitchell.

Matt Jones doubled the lead with a free-kick on the hour mark, before Keiran Coupe almost made it 3-0 with a spectacular strike from distance that was brilliantly palmed over by Frazer Hampson.

Mansfield set-up a grandstand finale when Tinishe Chavundura saw his effort deflect into the net, but Rainworth held on to finish as 2-1 winners.

The Stags looked bright in the early exchanges, but struggled to create much in the way of goalmouth chances.

Instead, the hosts went close midway through the first half when Jones seized upon a loose ball and hit a low 20-yard drive straight at Hampson.

The Rainworth youngster was then involved in two separate challenges – with Joe Fitzpatrick and Chris Spencer respectively, as the match gradually began to develop into a feisty contest.

Scott Rickards’ team almost grabbed the lead on the brink of half-time when Owens floated a fine set-piece ball towards the back-post, but Jason Gregory couldn’t direct his header goalwards.

Nevertheless, the hosts broke the deadlock within 60 seconds of the re-start when Mitchell pounced upon a mistake by Charlie Brownlie, rounded the advancing ‘keeper, and calmly laid the ball into the path of Owens who made no mistake from three yards out.

Mansfield’s night went from bad to worse just before the hour-mark when the lively Jones bagged his first goal for Rainworth, with a free-kick that caught a fortuitous deflection off the wall and beat Hampson.

Dan Fletcher squandered two good chances to reduce arrears in quick succession, but he couldn’t direct the ball past Rainworth shot-stopper Neil West in separate one-on-one situations.

Rainworth’s Coupe almost added a third goal late on when his stunning 30-yard drive looked destined to find the target until Hampson produced a splendid full-stretch save to top the ball over.

The save looked as though it could prove important as Mansfield quickly reduced arrears when substitute Chavundura’s shot was inadvertently deflected home by a Rainworth defender.

However, it wasn’t to be for the Stags, as Rickards’ men held on to seal silverware.

Attendance: 104

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