Furious joint manager Ian Robinson has demanded an immediate reaction to Rainworth MW’s inglorious Notts Senior Cup exit.
The Evo-Stik NPL Division One South strugglers suffered a 3-1 extra time home defeat to East Midlands Counties League Kimberley MW in Tuesday’s third round tie, which completely nullified the joy of Saturday’s crucial relegation battle victory at Kidsgrove.
Rainworth never looked like making their two-division superiority tell against a side which only stepped up from Notts Senior League football in the summer.
Their task was made no easier by striker Alex Haughton foolishly getting himself sent off just after the hour mark, but that was far from the only thing which annoyed Robinson.
Speaking straight after the game, the Wrens’ co-manager fumed: “The players were warned that they would need to begin at a high tempo and move the ball around quickly to avoid being dragged down to the opposition’s level, but they didn’t do that and suffered the consequences.
“We had built ourselves up after the win at Kidsgrove, and although we had some players missing for the cup tie that is no excuse - no disrespect to Kimberley who wanted it more and were prepared to fight for it more, but we should have had enough to have beaten them comfortably.
“We had no one to blame but ourselves. Having Alex sent off killed us, but the way we played all evening was annoying.
“We should be playing the same game week in week out, but when we play lower sides the players think they can turn on the pretty stuff, but frankly we are not good enough to do that. The way we will succeed is by going back to the basics, doing them well, and playing to our strengths.”
It wasn’t all doom and gloom, and Robinson had words of praise for two new players.
Notts County youngster Gino Kelleher made a very promising debut at Kidsgrove but wasn’t eligible for the cup tie, but Kuwesi Ofushine, who has been plucked out of lower league football after being recommended to the club, showed just why he was so highly rated.
Robinson continued: “We are striving to improve the squad, but after this performance we have a few hard decisions to make ahead of Saturday’s home game with Coalville Town.
“They are climbing the table, but we will be strengthened by the return of two or three players to the squad.
“But we also need to see those who let us down tonight erase the hurt of that, and there is only one way to do that.”