Wrens dumped by late goals burst
Evo-Stik League Division I South
Rainworth MW 3 Romulus 5
Report by Gordon Foster
THERE seemed no end to Rainworth’s miserable run as their losing sequence stretched to nine matches.
Worse, a 5-3 home defeat at the hands of Romulus came at the end of what was labelled as a defining week for the Wrens with three matches against fellow strugglers—and all three lost to drag them closer to the relegation zone.
If there was any slight glimpse of hope, at least the Wrens scored three times, but they were undone by the Roms’ late three goal burst.
Twice they came from behind to square matters, the first time right on the half time whistle, but at 2-2 the West Midlands outfit struck three times in 10 late minutes, and Ant Lynam’s stoppage time penalty goal had only academic value.
Rainworth, who included new boy Steve McGurk, from neighbours Blidworth, lacked an effective midfield, and the result was extra pressure on a defence which ultimately cracked in those devastating late stages of the match.
The match was not helped by a bizarre performance from referee Alan Parker, which drew critical comment from both camps for a succession of bewildering decisions, but in the event they had no bearing on the result.
The Roms were the first to show, with Marcus Brown’s acrobatic overhead effort from a corner going too high in the fourth minute.
Julian Topliss drew a good near post save out of Lewis Exall in the seventh minute with a well-struck angled drive from the right, but Romulus were making the greater headway, with Richard Robinson’s miscued effort trickling wide, and Marvin Johnson going close.
Craig Mitchell wanted too much time on the ball when played through for the home side, and was closed down by Roms skipper Phil Male.
Johnson shrugged off the attentions of Matt Draper to force keeper Sam Dobbs to save at the expense of another corner while, for Ranworth, Cameron Fearon’s volleyed attempt was straight at Exall.
But the deadlock was broken in the 38th minute. The defence struggled to clear their lines and when the ball ran free Faulds was first there to spear it low into the corner of the net.
Mitchell had a great chance to level matters within three minutes when through one on one with Exall, who managed enough of a touch on the ball to turn it for a corner.
But Rainworth did conjure an equaliser in the third minute of added time, lashing home when Romulus failed to clear a free kick.
They say just before half time is the best time to score, but not if you are Rainworth, for with the second half less than a minute old they found themselves trailing again.
The Wrens were motionless as Johnson slid a low centre from the right, and Brown flicked it into the net.
It could have been worse, for a minute later Dobbs had to come to Rainworth’s rescue with a great one on one stop to deny Brown, and shortly afterwards the lively Ashley Jackson hit the post after catching the defence napping again.
However, Wrens’ hopes of ending their miserable run were raised again in the 55th minute when Lynam broke through to make it 2-2.
However, Romulus responded by stepping up a gear, and after Johnson had volleyed Brown’s centre narrowly too high, Draper had to clear when Dobbs dropped a cross, although he appeared to have been impeded.
One could sense a third Romulus goal coming, and it duly arrived in the 78th minute. Dobbs could only parry downwards Rob Evans’ long punt into the box, and Faulds was on hand to exact the maximum punishment.
Dobbs atoned for that error with a great save from Brown, but then Romulus struck twice in a minute.
First, for once the impressive Craig Charlesworth, who had stood both physically and effectively head and shoulders above the rest, lost out to the pace of Johnson whose angled shot from the left went in off the far post.
And then Brown pulled out a goal from nothing, also from the left and off the post.
Rainworth had the last word when Exall brought Mitchell down in the area, and Lynam thumped home the spot kick, but with the game already in the second minute of stoppage time it was purely academic.
RAINWORTH: Dobbs, Fearon (Paling 55), Topliss, Jepson, Charlesworth, Draper, McGurk (L. Jackson 67), Alberry, Mitchell, Lynam, Hollis (Hodgson 55). Subs not used: Hewitt, Hales.
ROMULUS: Exall, R. Evans (T. Evans 90), A. Robinson, R. Robinson (T. Robinson 90), Male, Day, Walker, Faulds, Brown, Johnson (Link 87), A. Jackson. Subs not used: Barnett, Clark.
REFEREE: Alan Parker of Derby.
GOALS: Rainworth—Charlesworth 45+3; Lynam 55, 90+2 pen. Romulus—Faulds 38, 78; Brown 46, 88; Johnson 87.
MEN OF THE MATCH: Rainworth—Craig Charlesworth. Romulus—Ashley Jackson.