Frost's late double runs Dynamo charge down
Evo-Stik League Division I South
Rainworth MW 3 Shepshed Dynamo 2
Report by Gordon Foster
STEF Frost’s late double strike provided nervy Rainworth with their first back-to-back win of the season, and made their place in the Evo-Stik League for another year all but safe.
Relegation virtual certainties Shepshed Dynamo looked to have grabbed a life line when second half goals from Elliott Adkin and Ricky Hanson overturned the Wrens’ 1-0 interval lead provided in the 27th minute by Danny Naylor.
But Frost found an 86th minute equaliser and then notched the winner less than a minute later to secure the three points for Rainworth and snatch the man of the match accolade which had looked hitherto to be destined for Naylor.
The match, more of a local derby than appeared at first sight with a strong Clipstone presence in the Dynamo line-up, always looked like the relegation scrap that it was.
Rainworth knew that, with an 11-point advantage going into the game, victory would secure their own continuing place in the Evo-Stik League, but that knowledge appeared to make them all the more jittery.
And although they fielded the same starting line-up as that which had done so well in the midweek 3-1 win over Rushall, there the similarity ended.
Shepshed, more or less resigned to their fate, looked as though that fact had lifted the pressure off them—their noisy fans obviously thought so, as they sang ‘We’re coming back up as champions’.
Indeed, the visitors made the brighter opening with the effervescent Sam Leggitt not connecting cleanly onto a fifth minute cross.
And when Rainworth threatened for the first time Dynamo packed bodies behind the ball , although Naylor’s rising drive was not far off the mark.
An early injury to Matt Baxter meant a 10th minute introduction of Ryan Carolan into the left back berth, with Rob Paling switching to his more favoured right side.
Shepshed’s pressure brought them three corners in fairly quick succession as the Wrens appeared to struggle to get going.
And, when finally they did so, Naylor again raised home hopes when he latched onto a half-cleared flag kick, only to see Richard Wilson clear off the line.
Atkin finished wildly off target on a Dynamo counter-attack but it was Rainworth who drew first blood in the 27th minute.
Keeper Gavin Saxby, son of watching former Stags favourite Mick, punched Paling’s difficult centre only as far as Naylor who, from just outside the area, drilled a low drive through a busy box and into the corner of the net.
One would have hoped that the goal would have lifted the pressure, but it didn’t, and the rest of the half remained edgy and lacking any real quality.
Within two minutes of the re-start Leggitt again went close for the visitors, but play remained scrappy, Max Wright firing way over against his former club when set up by Naylor in the 57th minute.
The miss was punished a minute later when Aiden Brady sent Hanson down the flank to cross for Atkin to head in.
The goal lifted Shepshed visibly and when Dan Starbuck embarked on a burst along the left no-on was available to meet the cross in the six-yard area.
But the Wrens’ defence, which had looked much more solid of late, completely lost the plot when Shepshed moved into the lead in the 67th minute. Chad Sheppard’s cross was laid off by Wilson for Hanson to put away an easy finish.
It could have been worse for Rainworth three minutes later Mark Hales needed to save with his feet in a one on one with Leggitt.
It looked as if there would be no way back for Rainworth when Saxby blocked substitute Kyle Gee-Pemberton’s goalbound effort, and the ball fell to fellow sub Nick Langford, whose astute delicate chip over the towering keeper only dropped far enough behind him to come back off the bar.
Shepshed broke quickly from that, with Craig Charlesworth forced to concede a corner which brought a good save out of Hales.
Francis tried his luck with a spectacular overhead effort onto a useful cross by Frost, but Saxby was well behind that one. However, there was nothing the keeper could do in the 86th minute, when Langford knocked a deep corner back inside the six yard area for Frost to put away amid a crowd of players.
And, a minute later, Frost delivered the goods again with a shot on the turn from inside the area that gave Saxby no chance of saving.
At last Rainworth began to show some enterprise, as another minute on Saxby denied Langford, with Frost quickly closed down before he could capitalise on the loose ball.
Defeat must have been hard to take for the visitors, but they might have found a stoppage time equaliser, however Hales was down well to cut out a threatening low centre by Brady.
RAINWORTH: Hales, Baxter (Carolan 10), Paling, Charlesworth, Hannigan, Camm, Frost, Naylor, Cooksey, Francis (Langford 66), Wright (Gee-Pemberton 62). Subs not used: C. Hewitt, Topliss.
SHEPSHED: Saxby, Fairclough, Wilson, M. Hewitt, Carter, Starbuck, Hanson, Sheppard, Atkin, Leggitt (Shannon 77), Brady. Subs not used: Whyley, Dean, Civil, Jenkins.
REFEREE: James Hermuzi of Woodsetts, Worksop.
GOALS: Rainworth—Naylor 27; Frost 86, 87. Shepshed—Atkin 58; Hanson 67.
MEN OF THE MATCH: Rainworth and overall—Stef Frost; Shepshed—Ricky Hanson.