Manager Scott Rickards was in reflective mood today ahead of Saturday’s home Evo-Stik Division One South clash with Gresley.
The Wrens missed out on a league double on Saturday when a late equaliser earned visitors Lincoln United a point, and then Tuesday’s long trip to Bridlington to play new boys Scarborough Athletic began to go wrong on the northbound journey meaning a late arrival at Queensgate, and it just got worse as Rainworth’s former manager Rudy Funk’s side inflicted a 4-0 hammering.
Rickards accepted that it could have been worse and on balance of play it could have been a real mauling, while looking further back at Saturday’s Lincoln United game, what should have been a victory saw two points thrown away.
He said: “On Saturday we started brightly and dominated the tempo of the game with some fantastic fluent play, Our first goal came from a well worked move combining all three front players which found ball in Lincoln’s area in which Jordan Ball converted confidently.
“The second half was a very similar story for the first period seeing Rainworth again having the better play.
“However, Lincoln, to their credit, applied pressure which resulted in the equaliser from a set piece. With the game evenly matched it took a penalty to separate the two teams which was calmly converted by Jamie Clarke.
“We then had a fantastic opportunity to finish the game and put it out of Lincoln’s reach with a four on one break away, only to be caught offside after putting the ball in to the net. This proved to be costly as in the final minutes of the game Lincoln once again from a set piece managed to secure a point.
“We were very disappointed as there would not of been a better opportunity to put another three points on the board with a tough Tuesday night away at Scarborough approaching.”
The manager refused to blame the nightmare journey and late arrival for Tuesday’s heavy defeat. He continued: “Having looked at league positions this game was not going to by far an easy match. Scarborough have some fantastic individual players who dominated from minute one.
“As victims of our own mistakes, we found ourselves two behind which could have quite easily have been three but for a great penalty save from James Martin.
“The second half saw a similar story with no real fight from Rainworth and no end product, rarely testing the Scarborough goalkeeper, and the night was finally wrapped up with two further goals late on, which flattered Rainworth slightly, as on another night, had it not been for James Martin in our goal, it could have been a lot more embarrassing.
“We, as a team, have to learn to come away from home and be hard to be beat. Giving teams an advantage by handing them one and two goals every week is not going to allow this football club to move forward in the required direction.”
The Gresley game this weekend ought to give Rainworth the chance to bounce back.
Like Scarborough, the Moatmen are born out of the ashes of a bigger club playing at a higher level, but they have not been the force that they were last season as they seek to regain some of their former glories.
But Rainworth have found that the division as a whole is a much tougher place to be this year, and despite the South Derbyshire club’s hit and miss form to date, the Wrens will need to return to their best form if they are to arrest their recent run which has seen them take just one point from their last three games.