LIKE Rainworth’s travelling supporters on Tuesday night, manager Kevin Gee could only scratch his head and wonder how his side had taken nothing from a classy performance at Mickleover Sports.
It was the Wrens’ second Evo-Stik NPL Division One South match of the new campaign and, after putting in a tight, hard-working display to beat Sutton Coldfield 1-0 on the opening day, they returned to their new brand of passing football which had so delighted their fans during the pre-season build-up, only to draw no reward from a second-half battering of the Derby-based hosts.
Reflecting after the match, Ghee said: “I couldn’t fault the players for their effort and commitment. We created chances, we still looked solid in defence, we camped in their half after the interval, and we looked the only likely winners.
“Despite being a goal down at half time I still thought we could have won it – we must have created a dozen chances, and on another day at least some of those would have gone in.
“Their goal was from a ball to hand free kick, and sometimes you get them, sometimes you don’t, but Mickleover’s Danny Martin is good on set plays and took a great free kick.
“Ryan Goward had an identical chance very soon afterwards, and has hit the underside of the bar but the ball has stayed out. Had we come in at half time at 1-1 I would have said that was fair, but in the second half we’ve passed the ball around them, we’ve got in behind them, and it looked a case of when we would score.
“I would have welcomed four points from the opening two games, we got three, and in hindsight we deserved to beat Mickleover more than we deserved to beat Sutton Coldfield.”
Rainworth now take a break from league action as they visit United Counties side Sleaford Town in the FA Cup on Saturday, and Gee is confident of progress while not succumbing to the temptation to under-estimate lower league opponents.
He pointed out: “Cup progress is important to us because of the financial rewards it can bring.
“We won’t take them lightly, but we will play a certain way, and they will have to be better than us in the way we play if they are to beat us. We’ve played two matches, in two different ways, which shows we can adapt and still look a good side.”
Should a replay be necessary it will be at Rainworth on Tuesday (7.45pm) and will supercede the Bank Holiday Monday local derby against Hucknall Town.