Rampant Wrens' best yet to destroy Daniels
IF EVER there was a match when the man of the match nomination should go to ‘the whole team’ then this was surely it.
Rainworth manager Kevin Gee had said during the preceding week that the visit by high-flying Stamford would be a measure of how far the club has come in his eight games in charge.
The answer, on this evidence, is a long, long way. This was, without a doubt, the Wrens’ best performance of the season to date, and anyone unaware of the league table would have guessed that it was they, and not the Daniels, who were chasing the play-offs.
And Gee could hardly hide his smile after seeing his men put one over on his good friend, Stamford manager Tommy Brookbanks, for not only was it a deserved victory, it was also a deserved winning margin.
With Chris Timons having left the club during the week and Tommy Hannigan still injured, Cameron Fearon was restored to central defence, while in the only other change to the side from last Monday’s 1-1 draw at Romulus Lee Cooksey was the unlucky man to make way for new boy Matt Glass, who marked an exciting debut with a well-taken goal.
Ant Lynam came up with a candidate for ‘goal of the season’ in the 28th minute to fire the Wrens into an interval lead which was doubled just two minutes into the restart, when Lynam’s ‘assist’ set up Ben Spargo for the second.
As rampant Rainworth poured forward Lynam rattled the bar before Glass crowned an impressive debut with the third goal in the 82nd minute.
It should not be imagined, though, that it was all about the Wrens’ front men, for as well as bossing the midfield with some delightful football at times the rearguard held in check the Daniels’ notoriously dangerous trident-like attack of Nathan Watson and the giants Nick Ghislanzoni and Bruno Holden.
Yes, Stamford had their chances too, and Watson and Ghislanzoni must both be wondering what might have been had they not each scorned a glorious opening.
But this was very much Rainworth’s day, and with most other results affecting the lower reaches of the table also going their way these are optimistic times indeed around Kirklington Road.
And Brookbanks must have cast a thought back to that other great Rainworth side of the 1980s when he was a regular (and usually beaten but much respected) opposing player primarily with John Player FC.
Rainworth began with some decent football with new boy Glass prominent, but it was Stamford who almost drew first blood in the 15th minute. It was probably the only mistake Rainworth made at the back throughout the 90 minutes when Fearon’s miscued pass let in Ghislanzoni who looked a certain scorer until keeper Joe McCormack managed just enough of a touch to deflect it for a corner.
That served as a warning call and within a couple of minutes Spargo released Lynam whose whose driven centre speared through the six-yard box without the finishing touch it needed.
And when Glass almost capitalised on an error by Stamford keeper Mario Ziccardi out on the Rainworth left the keeper recovered sufficiently to divert the angled goal attempt arond his near post.
But a goal was surely coming, and and the one that did, in the 28th minute, will go down as one of the best of Lynam’s prolific career. Great work on the right by Spargo and Glass enabled a ball into the box which Lynam cleverly clipped over his marker before lashing a fabulous volley into the net.
The goal served only to give the Wrens a further shot in the arm as they continued to treat their fans to a display of cultured football which utterly belied their league placing, although it was almost Stamford who had the last word of the half just before the break when Jake Gibson’s twisting run was not matched by his cross shot which McCormack claimed competently.
Stamford will surely have had Brookbanks’ words ringing in their ears at the start of the second half, but those words were right out of the window within two minutes when a ball into the box was laid off by Lynam for Spargo to steer home.
Stung Stamford tried to respond with Watson threading a neat pass through to David Staff who blazed too high, then Watson himself firing wide.
Watson then scorned his side’s second clear cut opening of the afternoon when he somehow contrived to over-run the ball inside the six-yard box.
Play immediately swung to the other end, where it was Spargo’s turn to waste a glorious chance, volleying too high when clear on goal.
Spargo made way for Nathan Adams in the 64th minute before Stamford gambled three minutes later by introducing all their substitutes at one go.
But it was Adams’ fresh legs which made the biggest impact of the four substitutes as Rainworth went through a spell of target practice.
Lynam’s crisp low 25-yarder took a deflection for a corner and Adams saw two shots blocked in quick succession.
Then after Camm had made two important interceptions in similarly quick time the ebullient Lynam superbly robbed Joe Pheasant, cutting in only to see Ziccardi block with his legs in the 76th minute.
Lynam was even unluckier two minutes later when, profiting from Adams’ enterprising work on the right, his half-volley hit the bar.
Stephen Akers also got in the act, going close from 20 yards just another minute on as Rainworth, with their tails up, continued to hone their shooting skills.
But it was new boy Glass who put the points to bed in the 82nd minute with a well-taken goal at the end of another fluent move by the home side.
RAINWORTH: McCormack, Hanson, Carter, Camm, Kennedy, Fearon, Akers, Bacon, Spargo (Adams 64), Lynam, Glass. Subs not used: Cooksey, O’Rafferty, Clarke.
STAMFORD: Ziccardi, Pheasant, Hewitt, Diuk, Chamberlain, Staff, N. Watson, Flett (K. Watson 67), Holden (Toyne 67), Ghislanzoni, Gibson (Deane 67). Subs not used: Garton, King.
REFEREE: Christopher Ward of Worksop.
GOALS: Rainworth—Lynam 28; Spargo 47; Glass 82.
MAN OF THE MATCH: Ant Lynam.