Harrogate Railway travelled to Rainworth Miners Welfare, near Mansfield for a 7:45pm kick off in the NCEL Premier League looking to continue on with their recent good form.
There were various changes to the squad, with the likes of Mike Morris unavailable and Chris Fisher stepping into the starting eleven.
A positive start by Railway was disrupted in around the 15th minute as a serious injury to one of this season’s most impressive players, Ryan Sharrocks, meant that he had to go off and Albert Ibrihimi came on in his place.
Both teams were keen to get the ball down and play it around, but neither were creating many clear openings to score.
The game was to change towards the end of the first half as Chris Ovington let a ball run across him in midfield.
The Rainworth midfielder ran in from the other side and both slid in to try and get possession of the loose ball.
The wet conditions and full-blooded nature of the tackle from both players meant that there was going to be some contact.
The referee blew his whistle, indicated a foul and produced a straight red card for Ovington.
The balance of play shifted to The Wrens as they took advantage of the extra man.
The weather was also deteriorating, with rain being swept across the pitch by the wind, which was picking up.
Just when it seemed The Rail would go in at half time on level terms, Rainworth got the breakthrough.
Declan Brewin got the ball in the penalty box and put Rainworth ahead on the stroke of half time. 1-0 after 45 minutes.
The referee signaled half time and Ryan Sharrocks was carried to the changing rooms by a couple of teammates.
The weather in the second half improved a little, with the rain stopping and only threatening half-heartedly once or twice to return.
Railway competed as a team in the second 45 with the impressive Jordan Hendrie posing a threat down Harrogate’s right wing.
Brandon Deane, who was feeling unwell, came off and Stephen Bromley was introduced to try and provide a different threat up front for the Locomotives.
However, Rainworth’s great passing and movement meant that Railway were having to work hard to get possession.
It was not a surprise when Matt Sykes got Rainworth’s second of the game after 66 minutes and then Owen Heather completed the scoring for the hosts with their third in the 72nd minute.
Railway finished the game the better of the two teams, creating a few half chances with Bromley close to getting on the end of two crosses in the penalty box.
It was not to be Harrogate Railway’s night and now they face the prospect of losing Hendrie, Sharrocks and Ovington for certainly the next game and in Chris Ovington’s case, for the next three matches.
Railway are looking to bring some new faces into the squad over the coming days and it is hoped that those signings can be completed in time for Saturday’s visit of Maltby Main to Station View.
Report and photography by CaughtLight Photography.