Wrens' dreams of Trophy run shattered
IT was a familiar failing of more missed chances which marked the end of Rainworth’s FA Trophy run at Coles Lane on Saturday.
The Wrens could have no complaints that hosts Romulus went through, having also gifted them a second goal .
Rainworth had their share of play, but their failure to put the ball in the net cost them a lucrative win, and now they are left to try to improve on their league position, which has also taken a knock in recent weeks.
Kevin Gee was able to name Joe McCormack in goal after an unexpectedly quick recovery from his injury sustained a week earlier, although young reserve Cameron Smith also travelled as back-up.
The first chance fell to the Roms from a long throw, Peter Folkes’ snap shot going wide, and when Rainworth replied home keeper Lewis Exall tipped Ewan Clarkes’s rising 18-yarder over his bar following a good build involving Jared Holmes and Callum Lloyd.
Romulus survived three successive corners before hitting on the counter, with Lee Cooksey on hand to avert the danger., before McCormack was in action again to turn a goalbound effort over the top.
However, on the half-hour referee Richard Watson awarded Romulus a debatable corner which led to a second flag kick, and this time the unmarked Folkes capitalised to lash the ball into the roof of the net and give his side the advantage.
Ewan Clarke might have done better five minutes later but aimed too high after good link play with Ryan Goward, and Ricky Hanson could only find the side netting after working down the right with Lloyd and Holmes.
It was Romulus, though, who had the final word of the half, McCormack going full stretch to deny home skipper Marcus Jackson on half time.
Clarke saw an early second half effort cleared before Marcus Jackson brought another good save out of McCormack, and it was Clarke again who blew a glorious chance for Rainworth, firing wide from six yards with only Exall to beat.
To compound things, Romulus were handed a gift-wrapped second goal in the 62nd minute when McCormack hesitated to come out for a loose ball into the area, and Ashley Jackson nipped in to poke the ball into the empty net.
Rainworth sent on Ben Spargo and Blair Anderson in a bid to find a way back, but when the two substitutes combined Spargo’s finish was too high.
As the Wrens ran out of time Exall produced fine saves to deny Lloyd and then Clarke, but it was all too late.
ROMULUS: Exall, Evans, R. Jackson, Folkes, Francis, M. Jackson, Ravenhill, N. Walker, O’Callaghan, Arshad, A. Jackson. Subs: Campbell, Devlin, Munday, Meakin-Richards, D. Clarke.
RAINWORTH: McCormack, Hanson, Goward, Camm, K. Walker, Cooksey, Lloyd, J. Holmes (Bacon 80), E. Clarke, Slack (Spargo 70), Payne (Anderson 70). Subs not used: Burton, Smith.
REFEREE: Richard Watson.
WRENS MAN OF THE MATCH: Mark Camm.