Four-ceful Wrens are on song
SUPER Rainworth chalked up back to back wins for the first time since the opening two matches of the season.
The Wrens had a team of heroes at Brigg, but none more so than keeper Joe McCormack who effectively played the whole of the second half one-handed after breaking a couple of fingers soon after the break, but still pulled off a succession of outstanding saves as the Zebras strove in vain for a way back.
Nathan Adams broke the deadlock in the 19th minute and a minute later a bizarre own goal by Lee-Roy Cochrane doubled the Wrens’ advantage.
Adams, arguably Rainworth’s best outfield player, turned creator to set up Steve Akers for his first gaol for the club.
And Ben Spargo emerged from the bench in the 71st minute to score from the spot with his first touch after Adams had been brought down from behind.
It was an important win, for all the bottom four clubs picked up points—all but bottom markers Quorn taking a maximum.
Manager Kev Gee had no hesitation in saying ‘same again’ after the impressive midweek win over Leek, the only change being on the bench where Cameron Fearon replaced Oli Wood.
And the Wrens made a promising start on a ground where they conceded six in the FA Cup last season, with Akers prominent on both flanks in turn.
Brigg keeper Tom Woodhead was called into action in only the third minute to save at Adams’ feet from Ant Lynam’s headed flick-on, while in Brigg’s first serious foray in the 12th minute Liam Davis was well wide following good progress along the left.
Rainworth, carrying over their good midweek form into Saturday, remained the more enterprising though, but when Akers’ run and cross tried to set up Adams and Lynam an unlucky ricochet frustrated them.
But Adams fired the Wrens into a deserved 19th minute lead after cutting in at right angles from the right and drilling a superb left foot drive into the corner with Woodhead unable to get anywhere near.
Only a minute later Woodhead could only watch aghast as a ball into the box was miscued into the net by Cochrane.
Playing with purpose, confidence and no little style, Rainworth looked far from a struggling outfit, while Brigg’s threats were few and far between.
Matthew Plant’s header onto a free kick was comfortably saved, but after Lynam had cleverly dispossessed Charlie Weir as the Zebras tried to go forward again he set up a fluent move through Danny Bacon to Akers whose centre, seeking to pick out Adams, was intercepted.
However, Rainworth’s third goal came in the 44th minute when Adams’ determination won him the ball out on the left flank. He raced to the by-line to pull the ball back for Akers to put away his first goal for the club at the near post.
Brigg almost got one back in stoppage time, Steve Kennedy clearing Tommy Lee’s header off the line from a corner.
The home side made two half time changes and set about repairing the damage immediately on the resumption, but when McCormack pulled off a fine save of Weir’s shot on the turn he injured his fingers and needed lengthy attention before he could resume.
Rainworth hit back through Adams whose strong cross-cum-shot from the right was parried and when Ian Clarke picked up the clearance his first time 25-yarder flew wide.
For all the Zebras’ creditable efforts Rainworth were defending tremendously and continued to create their own chances on the break and, when Adams’ driving run and cross eluded Akers the impressive Ricky Hanson arrived at the back post but headed over.
Rainworth replaced striker Lynam with Lee Cooksey to bolster the midfield, Bacon pushing forward more behind the two remaining forwards.
McCormack was clearly being troubled by his injury, but still pulled off two superlative saves in quick succession to deny Liam Dickens and then flinging himself aside to keep the ball out in a melee following a corner.
Akers made way for Spargo in the 71st minute, and within seconds the substitute was placing the ball on the penalty spot after Adams was tripped from behind just inside the area on the right. Spargo lashed the spot kick to Woodhead’s left giving the keeper no chance to save.
Game over it might have been, but Brigg to their immense credit kept their heads up and continued to ask questions of McCormack and his defence, who came up with all the right answers, McCormack shining again to keep out Dickens’ vicious free kick.
BRIGG: Woodhead, Marshall (Smith ht), Heward, Cochrane, Plant, Archer, Davis, Dickens, Wilkinson (Cannon ht), Weir, Lee (Clement 72). Sub not used: Shortland.
RAINWORTH: McCormack, Hanson, Carter, Hannigan, Camm, Kennedy, Clarke (Fearon 81), Bacon, Adams, Lynam (Cooksey 60), Akers (Spargo 71). Subs not used: Timons, Gee-Pemberton.
REFEREE: Steve Wade of Hull.
GOALS: Rainworth—Adams 19; Cochrane 20 og; Akers 44; Spargo 72 pen.
MEN OF THE MATCH: Brigg—Liam Davis; Rainworth—Joe McCormack.