Saturday’s 1-1 Evo-Stik NPL Division One South draw at Tividale left joint boss Ian Robinson reflecting on his mixed feelings.
The Wrens had ridden some first half pressure unscathed before another goal for in-form Romaine Graham put them into an early second half lead.
‘We keep adding points here and there and edging away to try and make sure we are in this league next year’Ian Robinson - Rainworth MW joint boss
It was an advantage which they looked like maintaining until, with five minutes to go, Tividale scored a freak equaliser.
It was almost a carbon copy of Sheffield’s equaliser at Kirklington Road a fortnight earlier when a wayward shot struck Wrens defender Elliott Hodgett-Young and rebounded into the net. The only difference was that at Tividale it was not an own goal, although their scorer Sam Williams appeared to know little about it when another off target shot hit him on the top of the head and ricocheted into the goal, wrong-footing keeper David Reay.
Nevertheless, most Wrens fans would have accepted a point from The Beeches before the match, and when Robinson was asked whether it had been a point gained or two lost, he replied: “A bit of both really.”
Robinson continued: “You could look at it either way. At 1-0 up going into the last few minutes you expect three points, and then a shot that looks destined for the corner flag from outside the area is deflected in in that manner, and there’s nothing that David Reay or any keeper could have done about it.
“But it’s still a point away from home, that’s two from our last two away games and four from our last two matches, so it’s a good point in the scheme of things and one I would have taken before the match. It’s just the unlucky manner in which we conceded it which was very disappointing. It was no-one’s fault, but it would be nice if we could get one like this going in our favour for a change.
“The lads have put in a good shift and worked hard, and the formation we have adopted seems to be working for us. It’s an awful pitch and a very difficult place to come and get a point. Tividale have got three or four giants, the way they play is to get the ball into the box, win corners and throws, and get the big lads forward, but we dealt with all that and the threat they carried until that fluky goal.”
The point lifted Rainworth three clear of next to bottom Kidsgrove Athletic who lost 6-0 at Lincoln United, and although Grove have a game in hand, Robinson pointed out: “Our goal difference is worth an extra point and they still have to come to us.
“We keep adding points here and there and edging away to try to make sure that we are in this league next year, which is where I want to be.
“When I came to Rainworth that was the priority. We came into a very difficult situation, and really it’s taken until now to get it sorted. Now we are competitive and if we’d had this side from the start of the season we would be above half way. So we are moving in the right direction, and now we have to finish the job and then sit down and talk about next season.”
Rainworth have no midweek game, and on Saturday they entertain promotion hopefuls Newcastle Town. But the Wrens management will have in mind the recent home victory over Sutton Coldfield, and Robinson ended: “They won’t be relishing coming to us now. I remember when we played them away that they like to get the ball onto the floor and play it around, but with what we now have in our locker we should be well capable of dealing with their threat and taking something from the game.”