Spot on Sean rescues a point
RAINWORTH arrested their losing mini-run and avoided a hat-trick of defeats, but made hard work of holding a Market Drayton side cut to 10 men for the last half-hour.
Sean Cann’s 51st-minute spot kick cancelled out Drayton’s controversial 31st-minute opener, but the Wrens have still not scored from open play since their 1-0 win at Grantham in the second game of the season.
Looking to end the goals drought, Rainworth drafted in Lincoln City loanee James Wilson for the first half, but replaced him at the interval.
Meanwhile, the Wrens went with three central defenders and two wing backs after a change to that formation against New Mills brought a better second half showing.
Ricky Hanson switched flanks and was asked to push on from the back down the right, while Lee Briggs was handed his first start of the season in a similar role on the opposite flank.
In midfield there were recalls for Joe Ward and Lee Cooksey, while Wilson partnered Cann up front.
Drayton had gone ahead from a controversially awarded free kick against Hanson who took the ball cleanly, in effectively an action replay of the New Mills game when both the visitors’ goals came from similar challenges being punished, ironically one of those also by Hanson.
Against New Mills both goals were scored direct by number seven Carlos Meakin, and it was Drayton’s number seven, Jamie Haynes, who lined up the free kick on this occasion, not with a direct shot, but with a ball into the box for the unmarked Lester Alderson to steer past Gavin Saxby.
Rainworth had begun promisingly with Briggs’ sparkling run to the by-line although Andy Spooner comfortably collected the pull back.
In response Hanson had to tidy up at the back post when, following a neat move on the right by the visitors, Saxby made no effort to cut out Alderson’s cross.
After Cann had cut in from the left and seen his shot diverted for a corner, Rainworth had strong penalty appeals waved away in the eighth minute when Luke Reynolds appeared to push George Zuerner over in the area.
That marked the end of the Wrens’ bright start, and after a spell of midfield chess, Drayton’s Harry Clayton evaded two challenges on a run along the inside left channel, but Saxby was down well to smother the cross shot.
Both sides were looking somewhat toothless, with defences on top, Drayton skipper Matt Johnson standing out for his side, while Rainworth looked in no mood to give anything away—that was until the 31st minute.
Then referee Robert Earl, whose handling of the game did neither side any favours, infuriated the home fans by penalising Hanson for his well timed, ball-winning challenge, and the defence allowed Alderson far too much room in the area, enabling him to beat Saxby with ease.
From that point to half time the visitors held the initiative, but when Clayton’s left wing cross had Saxby scrambling, Alderson could not apply the final touch.
George Zuerner picked up a knock just before the interval and was replaced by Ian Clarke, while Lavell White also replaced Wilson at the start of the second half.
Four minutes in Town’s Nicky Porter was booked, with later disastrous consequences for him, for failing to retreat at a free kick which Hanson finally took, but Ward’s stooping , glancing header passed beyond the far post.
However, Rainworth were level two minutes later. Cann, cutting into the box from the left, was felled, and he got up to place his spot kick beyond the reach of Spooner to his right.
Spooner was well out of his area to head away when Clarke’s threaded pass looked to send Cann in on goal, before Porter paid the ultimate price for his earlier booking when, in the 61st minute following the award of a free kick to the visitors, he became involved in an altercation with Ward—both saw yellow but, since it was Porter’s second, off he went on the walk of shame.
The resulting free kick led to a corner which brought a headed clearance off the line by Ward.
But when Ward made way for Kyle Gee-Pemberton in the 66th minute Rainworth began to look sharper, and only a superb save by Spooner in the 75th minute preserved parity, the keeper flinging himself to his right to turn aside White’s header from a corner.
But Saxby was in similar action five minutes from time to keep out a Clayton header from another long Haynes free kick.
Rainworth sought in vain to make their extra man count as thy pushed up in search of the elusive winner.
But it nearly cost them dearly two minutes into added time when Stuart Ellis broke clear for the visitors on the left and squared to Clayton who, with the goal at his mercy, never managed the touch which would certainly have sent his side home with all three points.
RAINWORTH: Saxby, Hanson, Briggs, Fearon, Kennedy, Timons, Cooksey, Ward (Gee-Pemberton 66), Wilson (White ht), Cann, Zuerner (Clarke 44). Subs not used: Mitchell, Carter.
MARKET DRAYTON: Spooner, Johnson, Reynolds (Davies 76), Hartlebury, Porter, Humphries, Haynes, Mackintosh, Clayton, Alderson (Ellis 66), Dumphy. Subs not used: Irvine, Capper.
REFEREE: Robert Earl of Hinckley.
GOALS: Rainworth—Cann 51 (pen). Market Drayton—Alderson 31.
SENT OFF: Market Drayton—Porter 61 (second caution).
MAN OF THE MATCH: Rainworth—Ricky Hanson ; Drayton—Matt Johnson.