Same old as Wrens draw another blank
THE Linnets won this battle of the birds against the Wrens courtesy of a contentious first half penalty and a second half strike against the run of play.
But it was more of the same from Rainworth who have reverted to last season’s inability to score goals while the defensive play has improved greatly from earlier in the season.
However, the best defence cannot afford even one error if it isn’t happening at the front end.
The Wrens did look a little sharper in the second half with the return of Blair Anderson, but when he got in a couple of quality crosses there was no-one ready to put the ball into the net.
Rainworth had an early chance when Lynn keeper Danny Gay handled a back-pass, but these situations are never easy to punish with a packed defence on the line and the ball was cleared.
Kings Lynn began to take up the running more , but with the Wrens defence on top of their game the home side were kept at bay.
Sam Purcicoe, in particular, was outstanding in the heart of defence in the absence of Rainworth’s former Kings Lynn captain Mark Camm, who picked up a knock in midweek and had to settle for a place on the bench against the club where he still has the status of a deity. Purcicoe got in an outstanding challenge on Russell Dunkley who looked likely to put away a Stephen Spriggs cross.
But another even better challenge by the on-loan Grantham defender on Shane Tolley saw the assistant referee put his flag across his chest for a penalty. It looked a diabolical decision for what was in reality the best tackle of the whole match, and Grantham officials acknowledged the injustice, but Spriggs slotted the spot kick with ease into Alessandro Barcherini’s bottom left corner with the keeper guessing wrongly.
Rainworth also had a possible penalty claim for a hand ball in the box 10 minutes before the break. Conor Higginson was brought down outside the box but nothing was given and, as the ball entered the area, a home defender fell on it and appeared to handle, but again the referee was unimpressed.
Danny Beaumont’s volley flew over the Rainworth bar right on half time to keep the deficit down to one at the interval, then Anderson made his appearance five minutes into the restart to replace Callum Lloyd, and the long-absent returnee soon whipped in two threatening crosses which lacked only the finishing touch.
Rainworth were looking much the brighter side at this stage, but one felt the only way they would score, if at all, would be from a set piece.
It wasn’t to be, though, and when the Linnets won a corner in the 71st minute Ross Watson was on hand in the six yard box to hook home, and in Rainworth’s current situation, effectively put the points beyond them.
Higginson was off target with a couple of efforts as Rainworth looked in vain for a way back, Anderson saw a vicious cross shot well saved, and Higginson’s last minute header was held as the Wrens again drew a blank, leaving manager Kevin Gee in no doubt about what is required if they are to turn the corner and regain their early season form.
KINGS LYNN: Gay, Watson, Yong, Lee, Gulliver, Bunting, Spriggs (Butt 65), Quigley, Dunkley (Biles 84), Tolley, Beaumont (Thomson 59). Subs not used: White, Fryatt.
RAINWORTH: Barcherini, Hanson, Goward, Purcicoe, Kitchen, Williams, Lloyd (Anderson 50), Hollis, Higginson, J. Holmes, Kimberley (Jenkins 71). Sub not used: Camm.
REFEREE: Darren Stobart of Bury St Edmunds.
WRENS MAN OF THE MATCH: Sam Purcicoe.