Wrens face Trophy replay after Sheffield stalemate
FA Trophy Preliminary Round: Rainworth 1 Sheffield 1 - by Les Lee
RAINWORTH and Sheffield must try again at Dronfield on Tuesday night after the Wrens’ debut in the FA Trophy against the world’s oldest club ended in deadlock.
The 1-1 draw, the second stalemate between the two clubs at Kirklington Road this season, not only means a replay, but also the deferral of the Wrens’ scheduled trip to Market Drayton on Wednesday of this week to a later date.
Both goals came in the first quarter of the tie, with Sheffield’s Jordan Eagers breaking the deadlock in the eighth minute, and Matt Draper cancelling it out with the equaliser 10 minutes later.
Rainworth included the fit again Cameron Fearon on the bench, and also welcomed back Dennis Simms from Carlton Town for his second spell with the Wrens—he also began on the bench but both made their appearance in the second half.
The opening five minutes saw both defences tested. Matt Baxter almost got onto the end of a through ball into the area in the third minute, when keeper Paul Pettinger was slow off his line, but Scott Lowe stepped in to clear the danger.
Sheffield’s eighth minute lead was the result of the home defence failing to clear a cross from the left into the area. Brian Cusworth turned his marker, and although Mark Hales parried his strong effort, it fell kindly for Eagers who slotted it into the net with Hales still recovering from the initial save.
Rainworth responded with a couple of corners in quick succession but, when the second was half cleared, Brendan Sweeney volleyed way too high.
However, the Wrens were back on terms in the 18th minute. Baxter won a free kick some 40 yards out on the right, floated into the box by Ryan Carolan for Draper to plant his header into the net.
Another Rainworth free kick three minutes later was cleared upfield for Sheffield to counter-attack, and it needed a sound challenge from Danny Naylor to end the danger.
Cusworth shot wide from a Sheffield corner , but it was Rainworth who had the last chance of the first half, Craig Charlesworth heading Jermaiin Hollis’ corner wide.
Simms entered the fray four minutes into the restart and made an immediate impact as Rainworth carried the game to Sheffield down the right, but fine build up play was not matched by the quality of the final balls into the area.
But there was a moment of concern at the other end when Cusworth headed on to Ashley Burbeary who was clear, but having to stretch his leg to manage a touch, his shot was straight at Hales.
Just after the hour Simms launched another incisive move picking out Craig Mitchell on the right. Mi8tchell’s cross found Julian Topliss who, however, volleyed wide.
Hales dealt competently with another Sheffield counter, but Rainworth might have done better when Barry Alberry’s free kick from half way found Sweeney outside the box. Sweeney sent a defence-splitting pass into the area for Carolyn, who whipped in a centre through the six yard area, but with the goal gaping no-one was able to find the finishing touch.
Another delightful piece of play saw Simms send fellow sub Fearon down the right to centre to the far post, where Carolan headed over the bar.
Burbeary went close for Sheffield following a free kick in the 75th minute, but the home fans were tearing their hair when another jinking run by Simms brought a cross from the right which Carolan headed back to Topliss, whose own header was straight at Pettinger.
The Sheffield keeper then parried Mitchell’s angled shot around the post after more good work from Simms, before Hales was next in action to block from David Graham, Charlesworth completing the clearance.
The final 10 minutes were end to end with both sides looking for the winner, but it was Sheffield who were closest when Hales palmed away another angled shot from Graham, with Alberry getting the loose ball away from danger.
RAINWORTH: Hales, Hollis (Fearon 49), Carolan (M. Hewitt 81), Alberry, Charlesworth, Draper, Baxter, Naylor (Simms 49), Mitchell, Topliss, Sweeney. Subs not used: Hunt, Dobbs.
SHEFFIELD: Pettinger, Wright, Pacak, Smith, Lowe, Eagers, Burbeary, Harrison, Cusworth, Gascoigne (Graham 67), Roney (Outram 60). Subs not used: Davis, Winter, Jones.
REFEREE: Stuart Eagland of Lichfield.
GOALS: Rainworth—Draper 18. Sheffield—Eagley 8.
WRENS MAN OF THE MATCH: Ryan Carolan.