Wrens pay price for missed chances
Evo-Stik League Division I South
Glapwell 2 Rainworth MW 0
Report by Gordon Foster
RAINWORTH ‘leeked’ two goals in Tuesday’s long-awaited St David’s Day derby at nearest neighbours Glapwell … but manager Billy Millar put his finger straight onto the button afterwards, citing missed chances as the reason for the Wrens’ defeat.
Although the clubs have met several times in friendlies, this was the first ever competitive match between the two local rivals, having been delayed by a frozen Field Mill on Boxing Day.
Since then issues at the home of Mansfield Town have seen the Well return to their traditional Hall Corner home, where they are continuing their push for a play-off place.
And that quest continued with three more points against a Rainworth side which competed well and probably created more clear cut chances, even if the home side shaded possession and won more of the 50-50s through the 90 minutes.
However, as Millar pointed out afterwards: “If you don’t take your chances you don’t deserve to win matches.
“We had enough chances to have won it, and it’s all very well saying the referee was this or the referee was that, but the only things that change matches are goals.
“Glapwell scored twice, we scored none, and that’s what it will say in the papers.”
On the day of Wales’ patron saint, referee Mr England did appear to be one of those officials who believed it was all about him. After starting quite well his performance deteriorated and became increasingly controversial. He booked four players, three from Rainworth, and not one of the four warranted, as he dug himself deeper into his own little hole. But his shortcomings, as Millar said, had no bearing on the final outcome.
Rainworth fell behind to livewire Conor Higginson in the 10th minute, but wasted three excellent chances before half time to turn a game which was still in the balance until Aaron Shelley made the points safe for Glapwell in the 84th minute.
With Cameron Fearon having picked up a slight knee injury on Saturday he was not risked, Tommy Hannigan returning to the side in Fearon’s place to put in his best performance to date and pip the busy Mark Camm for the Wrens’ man of the match.
Mark Langford and Chris Hewitt were handed the strikers’ shirts with Craig Mitchell, Stef Frost and the injured Danny Simpson all unavailable. Matt Baxter returned from injury to slot in at right back, allowing Camm to return to midfield.
Rainworth began brightly and with some confidence and flair, but it was Glapwell who had the first chance in the fourth minute from a free kick which Adam Kimberley hit well wide.
However, it was Glapwell who established a 10th minute lead. Ian Brown picked out Higginson in too much space in the right of the area, and the prolific wide man slotted past the advancing Mark Hales.
Glapwell were beginning to knock the ball around well, and on a difficult, sticky surface with the ball bouncing unpredictably and sometimes sticking, the home side appeared to be coping with the conditions rather the better.
However, Rainworth worked their way back into the game and had a great chance to equalise in the 22nd minute. Glapwell failed to clear a corner and Baxter skied the loose ball well over from 16 yards.
Then Kyle Gee-Pemberton was set up by Max Wright’s cross but saw his effort blocked by James Lindley. His follow-up was deflected for a corner from which Hewitt’s shot was blocked on the line.
It was Glapwell’s turn to threaten in the 27th minute from Higginson’s superb interception. He broke clear, Hales advanced to block the shot, and Ian Holmes’ wayward follow-up ended that danger.
Camm was on hand to deny the effervescent Higginson on his next foray, before the third Rainworth chance arrived in the 42nd minute. This time Gee-Pemberton’s persistence won him the ball in the Glapwell box, only to see his finish go for a corner off Lindley.
Mr England took a hand in proceedings in the 44th minute. Wright was brought down for a challenge from behind, the official shaped to blow and then changed his mind, allowing play to continue to the disbelief of the Rainworth players and fans, and most of Glapwell’s too. If that was not enough, he compounded his error by then booking Wright for diving!
The first 15 minutes of the second half saw both sides playing good, purposeful football but with little end product.
Hannigan, who had been immaculate at the back, got forward to meet Paling’s 62nd-minute long throw, but headed past the near post in the first chance of the half at either end, and then a minute later Langford pulled a tight angled shot from the right beyond the far post, with no-one on hand to apply the finishing touch.
Camm and Hannigan did very well defending Glapwell’s first corner of the half in the 67th minute before Hales fell on the ball, but there was a worry for the Wrens when Hannigan appeared to suffer a pull as he went for a diving header, which went wide from a corner. Fortunately he was able to resume after treatment.
But it was Glapwell who showed how to take chances in the 84th minute, when Damian Magee’s free kick from the right was touched in at the near post by the boot of Shelley, who got the touch ahead of a crowded area.
And Glapwell might have added a third as the game entered stoppage time, Hales brilliantly tipping over a rising shot from substitute Matt Telling.
Mr England had the final pedantic words in stoppage time, first booking Barry Alberry for an innocuous challenge, and then adding debutant substitute Ricky Law for what he alone saw as another dive when he was brought down.
GLAPWELL: Lindley, Harcourt, Magee, Varley, Kennedy, Timons, Kimberley (Telling 72), Shelley, Holmes (Townsend 86), Brown, Higginson. Subs not used: Commons, Richmond.
RAINWORTH: Hales, Baxter, Paling, Alberry, Hannigan, Camm, Wright (Law 73), Cooksey, Langford (Topliss 86), Hewitt, Gee-Pemberton. Subs not used: Fearon, Charlesworth.
REFEREE: Darren England of Darfield, Barnsley.
GOALS: Glapwell—Higginson 10; Shelley 84.
MEN OF THE MATCH: Rainworth and overall—Tommy Hannigan. Glapwell—Conor Higginson.