Pleasure ground turns to misery ground for Wrens
THERE appeared no end to Rainworth’s alarming slump at Goole’s Victoria Pleasure Ground on Tuesday night as they stuttered to another miserable defeat.
The Vikings made sure that the pleasure was all theirs with two first half goals inside a minute while facing the teeth of a raging gale.
This was the third meeting between the clubs since the Wrens’ promotion and they are still seeking their first point against Goole.
Last season they were undone by one man, Gavin Allott, who scored all his side’s goals in a 5-1 win at VPG, and then got the winner when the Vikings ended a poor run of results themselves at Kirklington Road.
Allott has now moved on, but he has clearly not taken his jinx with him.
For not even substitute Jamie Goodacre’s wonder goal in reply could lift the gathering gloom hanging over a club currently slipping alarmingly towards the relegation zone in a season that initially promised so much.
Rainworth effectively lost the game in midfield, as Goole were almost invariably first to every 50-50 ball, and once again the Wrens’ strikers lacked quality service—the more so because the influential Ricky Hanson was away on honeymoon after his marriage.
But even when the front two of Lavell White and Eugene Francis did manage to get forward they inevitably ran into trouble.
With the gale at their backs Rainworth predictably began the brighter, and in the seventh minute Lee Cooksey’s attempt to pick out the well-placed Francis was intercepted, and then Francis’ low 20-yard shot on the turn was saved by home keeper Jevon Hodgson.
And when Cooksey showed good control to put Francis in on goal again this time the forward was quickly closed down.
But it all began to turn sour in the 16th minute. Luke Jeffs’ long free kick into the area was caught on the wind, leaving Gavin Saxby unable to come out and collect. The ball was not cleared, and Simon Harrison drilled home from the edge of the area as the keeper still remained rooted.
Within seconds Rainworth were two down. Again the defence failed to clear their lines, and this time it was Glyn Cotton who fired into the bottom corner.
It could have been even worse in the 20th as Raiworth heads visibly dropped, when Saxby fumbled a routine free kick leaving Harrison to fire across goal and beyond the far post.
As Rainworth tried to hit back a Francis angled effort was well wide and White aimed too high from the opposite flank before, from Rob Paling’s quick free kick, Tom Johnson got in the way of another effort by White.
But when Goole then broke from a Rainworth free kick and had three on one, Saxby was down to smother Jordan Turner’s finish on his line.
And after Danny Bacon saw one effort saved Rainworth were soon in trouble again, Steve Kennedy sticking out a foot to divert Harrison’s cross-cum-shot behind.
Saxby was called into action again to block with his legs from Turner after a neat build by the home side, and then Harrison’s long range pot forced the Wrens keeper into a diving save.
However, Lee Briggs made way for Jamie Goodacre in the 35th minute, and within three minutes of his arrival Goodacre came up with a candidate for goal of the season as his wind-assisted 35-yarder flew over Hodgson and into the net.
With seven first half minutes to go and three more added, that should have been the signal for Rainworth to use that remaining time with the wind advantage to get back into the game.
But it was Goole who went looking to re-open their two goal advantage, with Saxby clearly limping. However, with substitute keeper Joe McCormack not changed, Saxby was forced to soldier on until the half time whistle.
McCormack did appear for the second half, but was caught cold three minutes in when he fluffed a long low shot, but fortunately recovered well to save Arron Martin’s follow-up.
Martin should have made it 3-1 in the 54th minute but his back post header from a corner flew mercifully wide.
Although Goole were having most of the play, though, they were not really making their wind advantage count any better than Rainworth had in the first half, although the gale was beginning to ease by this time.
McCormack punched away Harrison’s free kick from the left, and after a neat interchange between Turner and Cotton Charlie Fisher was way off target with the final shot.
But Rainworth managed just two efforts on goal in the second half, the first in the 75th minute when Goodacre’s long throw was played back to him and his tight angled attempt cleared the bar, and the second 10 minutes later when substitute Oli Wood, on for Francis, saw his shot from the right of the box saved.
Goole, meanwhile were content to play out time as the game fizzled out.
GOOLE: Hodgson, Fisher, Jeffs, Barwick, Hellewell, Johnson, Harrison (Ellis 85), Bloor, Turner (Moore 90), Martin, Cottn (Bowser 89). Subs not used: Cuttell, Cruise.
RAINWORTH: Saxby (McCormack ht), Paling, Briggs (Goodacre 35), Kennedy, Timons, Carter, Cooksey, Clarke, Francis (Wood 79), White, Bacon. Subs not used: Jenkins, Zuerner.
REFEREE: Keith Lawson of Scunthorpe.
GOALS: Goole—Harrison 16; Cotton 17. Rainworth—Goodacre 38.
MEN OF THE MATCH: Goole—Simon Harrison. Rainworth—Jamie Goodacre.