Late woe as Wrens crash out of Senior Cup
TRENDS were turned upside down as Rainworth crashed out of the Notts Senior Cup at Carlton Town on Wednesday.
Few goals scored, few goals conceded, had been the story of the Wrens’ season, but both of these trends were reversed as Carlton struck three goals in the last seven minutes, this after Rainworth had hauled themselves level three times.
To make matters worse for Rainworth, though, skipper Steve Kennedy was sent off for the third time this season in the 89th minute and now faces a hefty suspension during the run-in to the end of the campaign.
Carlton took a 10th minute lead from a corner from which Matt Millns was allowed a free header. Although the ball appeared to be touched by two more players with Sam McVicar getting the final touch, it was Millns who was credited with the goal.
It was just reward for the Millers who had opened brightly up the slope and into the wind, but gradually Rainworth began to assert themselves, and they might have equalised on 25 when both Romaine Graham and Niall O’Rafferty saw shots blocked on the line following a corner.
Anthony Griffith Junior almost doubled Carlton’s lead in the 39th minute when Ale Barcherini touched his rising 18-yard effort over the bar.
But the Wrens were level on 42 when Kennedy rose at the back post to power home a header from another corner—and they night have edged in front a minute later but O’Rafferty could not quite get his head onto Ryan Goward’s angled cross.
Carlton began the second half on fire, and McVicar hit the bar from 20 yards with Barcherini static six minutes in—however the Millers’ prolific striker had better luck in the 57th minute when he arrived to sweep home a cross from the left.
Barcherini had to charge out of his goal to win a race with McVicar for possession. His clearance only reached Josh Thornton whose first time return sailed over the empty net, and then Adam Kimberley ran in to meet another cross but lifted it too high.
Instead it was Rainworth who struck again in the 65th minute. Matt Glass’ 25-yard blockbuster was tipped onto the bar and behind for a corner by home keeper Grant Vann, but from Curtis Shaw’s flag kick Romaine Graham headed home at the second attempt.
Parity lastred just one minute, then Barcherini spilled a low cross leaving McVicar with a simple tap in.
Rainworth boss Kev Gee gambled by withdrawing Lee Cooksey to send on Ben Spargo, effectively sacrificing a defender for an extra forward, at the same time replacing Shaw with Andy Toyne. It seemed that the gamble had paid off when Spargo put the finishing touch to a Matt Glass long range lob over the stranded Vann on 81 minutes, but within a minute Carlton were ahead again when Kennedy appeared to have put through his own goal in a melee.
It grew worse for the Wrens skipper five minutes later when referee Mr Meredith spotted an incident in the Wrens’ area, immediately issued Kennedy with a red card, and Ruben Wiggins-Thomas blasted the spot kick home.
And Rainworth’s misery was complete in the first minute of added time when Ian Brown scrambled the ball over the line in another melee.
CARLTON: Vann, Darkin, Fletcher, Millns, Kitchen, Hall (Naylor 67), Thornton, Foster (Borown 73), (Wiggins-Thomas 71), Griffith Junior, Kimberley. Subs not used: Clarke, Richmond.
RAINWORTH: Barcherini, Fearon, Graham, Camm, Kennedy, Cooksey (Spargo 73), Goward, Bacon, O’Rafferty (Theakstone 83), Glass, Shaw (Toyne 73).
REFEREE: Steve Meredith.
WRENS MAN OF THE MATCH: Danny Bacon.