Rainworth look to build on improved display against Tadcaster Albion

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Rainworth will be looking to end a four match losing run when they visit struggling but improving Armthorpe Welfare on Saturday.

The only bright spot during that disappointing sequence was a 3-1 friendly victory over Staveley in a match arranged to give both sides a taste of action during a spell of postponements.

However, following a 6-3 defeat at Thackley last Tuesday night, the Wrens did turn in a much improved performance against title favourites Tadcaster on Saturday despite losing 3-1. The Brewers went top of the table with games in hand as a result of their victory, but Julian Watts’ side would certainly have taken at least a point but for an heroic display by Tadcaster keeper Gary Stevens, who kept them at bay with a string of fine saves in the second half.

Now Watts is looking for a repeat of that performance but with the reward to match at Armthorpe, so that they can go into Tuesday’s Notts Senior Cup semi-final at Evo-Stik League Basford United on the back of a win.

The Wrens trounced Armthorpe 6-0, with leading scorer Liam Morris notching a hat-trick during a purple patch for the club back in October when they led the form table.

But the telling factor since the turn of the year has been that they have had four chances to complete league doubles, two of these at home, and have taken none of them, so the hope is that this miserable sequence can be reversed this weekend, along with that run of defeats.

However, they will have to do so against a side which has won three of their last four to give themselves an excellent chance of avoiding the bottom three and relegation to Division One.

Speaking after the Tadcaster game, manager Watts said: “We needed a big reaction to last Tuesday’s disappointing show, and the reaction we got was tremendous in everything but the result. Our shape was good, we worked hard, we created the better chances if I’m honest, but just now we’ve got this knack of conceding soft goals - and when you do that against a team striving to win the league you’re going to get punished.

“It’s fair to say their keeper kept them in front in the second half when we had long spells of dominance, and with better decision making in the box and better finishing we would certainly have got back into the game.

“I told the lads afterwards that they had matched Tadcaster and belied our low position in the form table. Their own reaction was positive, and they came in knowing they had improved greatly over Tuesday night.

“To say where we are and where Tadcaster are there’s not much between us, but the fact is that we didn’t get any points, so now we have to look to correct that at Armthorpe.

“We’re not in any position to take anything for granted up there, they are in a relegation scrap but we are seeing a lot of strange results in this division, although if we work and play as we did against Tadcaster we should be capable of coming back with the three points.

“And it would be nice to do that ahead of a difficult Senior Cup tie at Basford.”