Wrens shot down by sucker punch
LIAM Davis’ 79th minute sucker punch provided Brigg Town with their first victory of the season at Rainworth on Tuesday night, and inflicted the Wrens’ second successive defeat.
For Kevin Gee’s men it was a case of ‘what a difference a week makes in football’ after the euphoria of last week’s 4-1 success against Hucknall had left a real feel-good factor around Kirklington Road.
Saturday’s 3-0 defeat at Coalville Town was put into some perspective by the Ravens’ simultaneous five-goal thumping of Halesowen, and Rainworth did get their passing game going again, so much so that in terms of possession, territorial advantage and chances created—especially in the second half— they should have won this one by a country mile.
Indeed it was almost Mickleover all over again as chance after chance went begging and the ultimate price was paid.
By the end of the evening any remnants of ‘feel good’ had disappeared, for not only were the home faithful shocked by the defeat, but also club officials were even more shattered and left to wonder whether it was all worth it, when the lowest attendance for a first team home match since the pre-Rudy Funk era of just 45 turned up, less indeed than the numbers for the previous midweek’s reserve team game.
Brigg took a shock lead in the 13th minute when a free kick was not well dealt with and Gregg Archer’s spearing low 18-yard drive went in off the foot of a post.
But parity was quickly restored within two minutes with a superb solo effort from youngster Blair Anderson who ran down the left, cut in and found the top far corner of Miles Fenty’s goal with a delightful shot.
Anderson had made a great start, and with just 40 seconds on the clock his accurate cross was pinched by Fenty off the head of Ian Holmes.
Brigg, though, sounded a fifth minute warning that Rainworth were not to have it all their own way when Stuart Preston set up a clear opening for Adam Lee, with Mark Camm and Adam Burton combining to deny him a shot at the expense of a corner.
It was the corner count at the other end, though, which was beginning to grow with Brigg having to rely on breakaways to pose any threat, which the Camm-inspired home defence generally dealt with effectively.
Rainworth survived an early second half sortie by the Zebras and began to turn the screw as the half went on, but once into scoring positions the home forwards were quickly closed down, with Anderson twice and Holmes denied shots at goal from good positions.
Holmes miscued a half-chance well wide following good work by Callum Lloyd as the pressure mounted, and as the end product continued to elude Rainworth manager Gee sacrificed Goward from midfield to add Ewan Clarke to the attack. But Clarke found no power from an opening set up by Anderson.
With Rainworth pushing forward in ever increasing numbers they paid the price of their gamble in the 79th minute when Davis rounded off a counter attack down the left.
The Wrens intensified their efforts to rescue the game, Kieran Walker steaming in to the six yard box to meet a corner but not managing an effective touch when a touch was all that was required, Fenty parrying Anderson’s thunderbolt from a corner, and the Brigg defence somehow scrambling away Clarke’s ball into the danger zone.
RAINWORTH: Barcherini, Walker, Hanson, Camm, Burton, Cooksey, Lloyd, Bacon (Payne 78), I. Holmes (West 84), Anderson, Goward (Clarke 69). Sub not used: Spargo.
BRIGG: Fenty, Archer, Freeman, Lamb, Fisher, Helliwell, Davis, Dickens, Preston (Buttle 80), Lee (Mansaram 87), Bowsley. Subs not used: Dickman, Morley, Heward.
REFEREE: Nicholas Hopton of Derby.
WRENS MAN OF THE MATCH: Mark Camm.