Rainworth co-boss blasts side for gutless display against bottom club

ANGRY co-manager Lee Wilkinson blasted his Rainworth MW side’s gutless showing at bottom club Quorn in Tuesday night’s Evo-Stik NPL Division One South game, and warned of changes to the squad to face Coalville Town on Saturday.

Wilkinson had named a ‘same again’ starting 11after the side had done so well to win at Sutton Coldfield in their previous game 10 days earlier, but the contrast could not have been more marked, as the Wrens threw away the two goal lead they had established inside the opening nine minutes to lose 3-2 and gift Quorn only their second league victory of the season.

After the match a furious Wilkinson fumed: “We were 2-0 up but it was the worst we have played all season.

“The lads were given an absolute roasting at half time. They were warned not to rest on their laurels just because they were 2-0 up – 2-0 at half time means nothing.

“Defensively we were poor, with communication bad at the back, and overall too many people were doing what they thought was just enough – and just enough is not good enough. They were there for the taking and we didn’t take them.

“Quorn wanted it more than we did and I will not accept that – there will be players who were involved tonight who will not be involved in the squad on Saturday.

“We kept the same team because they had done so well at Sutton where their work rate won them the match. But it’s no go raising your game when you’re playing the top of the league if you are not going to match it when you play the bottom, when you think you’ve done enough if you go 2-0 up early on.

“For some reason some of our players seem to think they know better. They were told in no uncertain terms at half time what they needed to do to regain control, but they didn’t act on it, and I will not put up with that.

“We have a big enough squad, so players are playing for their shirts and if they don’t do it they can easily be left out – I can’t afford to be nice.

“We went to Sutton and put a performance in, and suddenly on the back of that they think they’ve arrived. They forget that they have to perform at that level in every match, regardless of who are the opposition.

“Some of our players are good enough to be playing two leagues higher than where they are, and the reason they are playing at our level is because they are not consistent enough, they don’t listen to what they are told, and they don’t take on board personal criticism.

“We’ll see what injuries we’ve got from this game, and we’ll see who has or hasn’t got the right attitude and the right reaction at training on Thursday before I name a team to play Coalville on Saturday.”

For the Ravens’ first visit to Kirklington Road, Rainworth may be without Tommy Hannigan who tweaked his groin at Quorn, but skipper Steve Kennedy is set to return after being suspended for the last two matches.

Rainworth have added three players to their squad from NCEL outfit Lincoln Moorlands Railway, and two of them were on the bench at Quorn. Striker Nathan Adams and midfielder Josh Barker both figured in last Tuesday’s friendly match against Worksop Town, which the Tigers won 1-0. Both are former Lincoln City youngsters who came through the Imps’ Centre of Excellence. Adams, who turned 21 earlier this month, made four first team appearances for the Imps before being released in 2010. He then joined Stamford, and was seen as a major coup by Moorlands when he joined them at the start of the current campaign. In nine matches for Moorlands he has been man of the match three times and has scored five goals. Midfielder Barker (18) was a regular in the Imps’ U18 and reserve sides before being released in the summer following City’s relegation from the Football League, and turned down a move to Blue Square Bet North Harrogate Town to remain in the locality with Moorlands, for whom he has been a regular this season. The third player, Matt O’Halloran (28), is an experienced goalscoring midfielder who has 13 first team appearances with Oldham Athletic to his credit. Having begun with Derby County, he made six loan appearance for Burton Albion before joining the Latics in 2003. He then moved to Chesterfield but had just three first team outings there, before joining Boston United for the first of two short spells. Sandwiched between them between 2005 and 2007 were 96 appearances for King’s Lynn with an excellent strike rate from midfield of 23 goals. Following his second spell at Boston O’Halloran moved to Corby Town and then Lincoln United before joining Moorlands this season. However, an injury leaves him short on match fitness, and he is likely to need two or three weeks before being ready for action with the Wrens.

Meanwhile, following their release from Rainworth, Zeke Jenkins has joined Shepshed, while Blue Square Bet North strugglers Eastwood Town have signed Lavell White.

For the second time in three Saturdays, Rainworth will be without a game on Saturday week. The scheduled trip to Romulus has been put on hold because the Roms are involved in the FA Trophy, and Rainworth have not been given an alternative fixture.

The follow up Saturday’s home game with Coalville Town by entertaining Loughborough Dynamo on Tuesday night, but then there is no more match until 12th November when Ilkeston are the visitors.