Scarborough Athletic saw off a determined Rainworth side to claim all three points, edging a 2-1 win at the Recreation Ground.
With captain Paul Foot absent due to work commitments, Boro lined up with Matty Plummer alongside Andy Milne in the centre of defence, Milne taking the skipper’s armband for the afternoon.
Rainworth enjoyed the better start to the game, as it took Boro a while to find their feet. Wrens’ striker Ashley Longstaff had the first chance, but he put his effort well wide from distance. The home side continued to put pressure on the Athletic backline, with Mark Bowles scooping his shot over the bar when well placed.
Boro came back into it after a tentative start, and managed to take the lead in the 14th minute. Ryan Blott was allowed a yard of space to let fly from the edge of the area, but his shot cannoned off the crossbar, and the chance looked to have gone.
However, winger Ryan Williams had other ideas and intercepted a weak header back to the keeper, but he had his ankles clipped by the onrushing Rainworth gloveman James Martin, and referee Oliver Bickle pointed to the penalty spot.
Striker Gary Bradshaw stepped up to send Martin the wrong way and put Boro ahead.
Rainworth should have hit back immediately when Longstaff was released through the middle, but the striker fluffed his lines and shot just wide.
Boro enjoyed much more of the ball as half time approached, but it was a mistake at the back which gifted the home side an equaliser. Andy Milne failed to get enough on a header back to keeper Jason White, which allowed Longstaff to nip in and lift the ball over the advancing White to level the scores.
Shortly afterwards, boss Rudy Funk was forced into an early substitution as striker Gary Bradshaw left the field with a hamstring injury to be replaced by Liam Shepherd, with Jimmy Beadle moving up front alongside Blott.
Buoyed by their equaliser, the second half began with Rainworth making progress down the left-hand side, but a header from Callum Lloyd posed little trouble for White.
Moments later, Tristram Whitman had the ball in the net for the home side, but the linesman had already raised his flag for offside.
This sparked Athletic into action, as an incisive run from Jimmy Beadle saw him rifle in a shot from 20 yards out, which the home keeper managed to palm away.
Boro were building up a head of steam, but they were gifted a second goal thanks to a poor backpass. Mark Dudley’s error allowed Williams to run onto the ball down the right, scamper past the stranded Martin before knocking the ball home from an acute angle.
But Williams’ joy soon turned to one of anguish as he was booked for kicking the corner flag in celebration, which rebounded and hit the linesman.
The home side looked to respond to going behind, but substitute Jamie Clarke should have done better as his wild shot went high and wide after turning his marker in the box.
Rainworth’s task was made even harder when they were reduced to 10 men for the final nine minutes as right-back Matt Varley was sent off after receiving a second caution for a late tackle on Beadle.
There was one final chance for Boro before the final whistle, when Beadle’s effort was blocked in the six-yard box before substitute Bryan Hughes’ goal-bound header was well held by Martin.
Athletic deserved the victory in the end, as they fought hard across the pitch to secure the win, displaying the extra quality when needed to see off their opponents.