Kamikaze corners mean Wrens must replay
RAINWORTH and Carlton Town have to do it all again at Stoke Lane on Wednesday Evening after an even local derby ended all square.
But Rainworth were left to count the cost of poorly defended corners as they gifted two free headed goals to the Millers, in the 13th and 40th minutes.
Blair Anderson found a 23rd-minute equaliser, but the Wrens might have fallen further behind right on half time when Reuben Wiggins-Thomas hit the post for the visitors.
However, the home side drew level six minutes into the restart when Anderson turned creator to set up Ewan Clarke, whose shot went in off a defender.
After that either side could have won it, but although Rainworth edged the second period following Carlton’s marginal first half superiority, there were no more goals to settle a lively cup contest.
Twice in the early stages Rainworth might have grabbed the lead, but Clarke was just unable to make headed contact on both occasions with crosses from first Anderson and then Ben Spargo.
However, it was the Millers who drew first blood in the 13th minute. Wiggins-Thomas’ header went behind off a defender, the corner was cleared at the expense of a second, and this time Nick Hall rose to bury a free header past Alessandro Barcherini.
Martin Kearney kept Carlton ahead when he cleared from a Rainworth corner and then fielded Danny Bacon’s follow-up.
But when the Town defence failed to deal adequately with Kieran Walker’s long throw in the 23rd minute Anderson’s crisp low finish was deadly and Rainworth were back on terms.
Wiggins-Thomas should have restored Carlton’s lead three minutes later, but clipped his finish over from inside the six-yard box.
But five minutes before the break the Millers were back in front, Matt Varley left unmarked at the back post to head another corner home unchallenged.
It might have been worse right on half time as Wiggins-Thomas was gifted far too much space in the left of the area. His shot beat Alessandro Barcherini but rebounded into the grateful keeper’s arms off the inside of a post.
The industrious Ricky Hanson tidied up an early Carlton threat on the re-start, before Rainworth hauled themselves level again in the 51st minute. Anderson’s superb release set Clarke on a run into the area, from where his already goalbound shot struck a defender to wrongfoot Kearney and nestle in the net.
Three minutes later Kearney saved Hanson’s direct free kick well at his near post, and then did well again to parry from Anderson who had wriggled and writhed in the box to create a modicum of space for a worthwhile shot, the inrunning Walker blazing his follow-up too high.
It was Barcherini’s turn to produce a fine save to deny Josh Thornton and then dealt well with the ensuing corner.
Wrens substitute Alex Bolt almost made a name for himself but needed too much time in the area, but it was Barcherini who had the final word in stoppage time, stretching up to hold Joe Naylor’s towering header.
RAINWORTH: Barcherini, Cooksey, Burton, Camm, Walker, Hanson, Lloyd, Spargo (Bolt 77), Bacon, Anderson (Dockwray 87), E. Clarke (West 77). Sub not used: McCormack.
CARLTON: Kearney, Asher, Gordon, Whitehurst (MacVicar 82), Varley, Hall (Smithson 64), Thornton, Naylor, Henry (Brown 64), Wiggins-Thomas, Kimberley. Subs not used: Fletcher, M. Clarke, Burleigh.
REFEREE: Chris Akers of Doncaster.
MAN OF THE MATCH: Ricky Hanson.