Market Rasen 4-1 Ruston Sports
Prior to kick off, Rasen Manager Andy Brumpton earmarked this fixture and next weekend’s trip to Swineshead as games in which his Rasen men should be pressing for maximum points in a bid to climb further up the Lincolnshire League Table.
After last week’s convincing Lincs Cup victory over Crowland Town, Brumpton was again forced to ring the changes due to work commitments and unavailability.
Matt Rutherford and James Bennett returned to the midfield; James Brothwell, Jason Hall and Guy Smith were all welcomed back amongst the substitutes.
Ruston came to Rase Park off the back of a fine victory away to Grimsby Borough and, as with most teams this year, would provide Rasen with a stern test.
Indeed it was the visitors who opened the scoring after 20 minutes when Stokes headed home from close range. The Rasen rearguard will be disappointed with the lack of marking after looking solid in the early exchanges.
However, this only spurred Rasen into action and from then on the midfield four of Bennett, Rutherford, Lowman and Osbourne took total control of proceedings.
Rasen centre half Dave Hone jinked his way towards the Ruston’s penalty area and, when tackled, saw the ball break for James Bennett, who was brought down earning his team a chance to equalise from the penalty spot. Scott Lowman fired home expertly.
Nathan Smith was again causing havoc amongst the visiting defence and his pace and power created another opportunity down the right flank, only to see his effort flash across the face of the Ruston’s goal.
The second period brought arguably Rasen’s best performance so far this season.
Scott Lowman certainly produced his best when he rattled the visitors’ crossbar from 25 yards, the visitors clearing the rebound for a corner. From the corner James Bennett nodded the ball into the net from close range.
Further hesitation from the Ruston defence enabled Nathan Smith to unselfishly head across goal to Rutherford, who side footed home Rasen’s third goal.
A fine all round performance was rounded off when Scott Lowman, who had been pushed further forward for the remaining minutes, latched onto a poor clearance to smash home his second goal and Rasen’s fourth.
With a chance for Rasen to inflict their first double of the season next Saturday at Swineshead, 2011 can hopefully close on a high for men from Rase Park.
In the new year (Saturday, January 7) cup fever returns to Rase Park with a Lincs Junior Cup quarter final with Peterborough League side Moulton Harrox to look forward to.