New boy Toyne rescues a point
NEW boy Andy Toyne crowned his impressive Rainworth debut with an exquisite goal to earn the Wrens a point at fellow relegation battlers Kidsgrove.
But it could and should have been three, for Rainworth were robbed of a deserved victory by a poor refereeing decision which ruled out a perfectly good 12th minute goal by Matt Glass.
And then to rub salt into the wounds the Grove immediately attacked and scored.
But despite their disappointment the small away following waited patiently for their favourites to complete their warm down so that they could applaud them off the field.
Manager Kevin Gee did get part of what he asked for before the match. The win was not quite forthcoming, but the positive reaction to the New Year drubbing by Hucknall Town certainly was.
Gee had been busy in the transfer market in the preceding two days to bring three new players to the club. Toyne arrived from Stamford along with Stuart King, who was an unused substitute, while 19-year-old Adam Burton, from Ilkeston but ex-Quorn, was drafted straight in at the heart of defence with Romaine Graham unavailable, Tommy Hannigan still not ready after his injury, and Steve Kennedy serving the penultimate episode of his four-match suspension.
The two new boys who did play, it must be said, made an excellent first impression. Burton is young and raw, but with a few rough edges knocked off him by added experience he did enough to show that when all the central defenders are available there is going to be intense competition for the starting shirts.
Toyne, although not fully match fit, got through a huge amount of work, and if this debut was any guide he is destined to become a crowd favourite at Rainworth.
Elsewhere Mark Camm at sweeper let nothing past him, while up front Matt Glass caused the home side several problems with his strong running and skill, especially in the first half.
Rainworth were almost gifted a dream start in the second minute when Jonathon Crompton rolled a back pass past his own keeper and was relieved to see it go beyond the far post.
As Rainworth maintained their lively start Glass’ driven cross was well cut out by keeper Steve Hodgson.
Then came that moment of controversy in the 12th minute. Referee Thomas Harty allowed a good advantage which saw Glass through on goal. The keeper came for, collected and then dropped the ball and Glass gleefully popped it into the net.
However, Mr Harty inexplicably disallowed the goal for a foul, it subsequently transpiring that he wrongly thought Glass had kicked the ball out of Hodgson’s hands.
To make matters worse Kidsgrove went straight down to the other end and scored. The excellent Danny Smith’s cross from the right found Ashley Carter in too much space in the box, and he swivelled and gave Ally Barcherini no chance.
The goal gave Kidsgrove, already aided by the slope, a boost. But Dave Walker and Liam Shotton, who together had ripped the Wrens apart at the Seddon Stadium last season, found little joy against a resilient Rainworth defence on this occasion, and what few half-chances presented themselves were primarily in the Wrens’ favour.
Persistent work by Nathan Adams won a 23rd-minute corner from which Burton’s downward header dropped wide, while in Kidsgrove’s only other real chance of the half in the 38th minute Shotton, running in from wide, won the race with Barcherini but succeeded only in finding the side netting.
The second half truly belonged to Rainworth after an initial flurry by the home side twice saw Joe Carter dealing with potentially dangerous threats.
As Rainworth began to take control, though, they were too often let down by the quality of the final ball into the box, and occasionally they left themselves susceptible to the quick break.
Hodgson managed to turn Ricky Hanson’s near post cross for a corner under pressure from Adams in the 56th minute, before Athletic threatened briefly again on the break, following Ross Davidson’s powerful, twisting run, but his cross shot and Karl Charlton’s follow-up were both well blocked.
Back at the other end Smith took the ball off the toe of Danny Bacon as he broke into the home area while Glass’ header onto a Nathan Adams cross was weak.
Ant Lynam, who had replaced Stephen Akers, found himself quickly crowded out before he could pull the trigger from a corner in the 80th minute.
But a minute later, just when it seemed the Wrens were destined not to score, up popped Toyne with a little bit of class. Neatly sidestepping his marker he unleashed a beautiful 20-yarder which the diving Smith got nowhere near.
From then on it was all Rainworth as they went looking for the winner they deserved. But Hodgson did well to hold Burton’s header from a corner at his post, and then, in added time, Lynam was desperately unlucky when he raced onto a through pass only to see the ball stick under his foot enabling the advancing Hodgson to claim it.
KIDSGROVE: Hodgson, Smith, Mulholland (P. Taylor 58), Beeston, Crompton, A. Taylor, Davidson, Charlton, Walker (Dove 84), Shotton (Kinsey 62), A. Carter. Subs not used: Griggs, Brannan.
RAINWORTH: Barcherini, Hanson, J. Carter (O’Rafferty 82), Burton, Cooksey, Camm, Toyne, Bacon, Adams, Akers (Lynam 62), Glass. Subs not used: Spargo, King, Mitchell.
REFEREE: Thomas Harty of Wolverhampton.
GOALS: Kidsgrove—Carter 12. Rainworth—Toyne 81.
WRENS MAN OF THE MATCH: Andy Toyne.