RAINWORTH MW were left once again to lick their wounds after Monday’s single goal Evo-Stik NPL Division One South local derby defeat at Hucknall Town.
It left the Wrens looking back on a record of just one point and no goals from open play from their last four matches – the single goal from that sequence coming from the penalty spot.
Frustrated joint manager Billy Millar could only reflect after the latest defeat, by a club he has previously managed, that ‘goals are the only things that change matches’ and added that the situation is ‘a concern just now for us.’
He went on: “If you don’t take the chances that come your way while you are on top it comes back to bite you on the backside – as it has now done twice, at Belper and at Hucknall.
“Overall we didn’t create enough when we were in charge in the first half, and we never look as if we are going to score many goals.
“It is a concern, and we are still talking to several players and trying to strengthen things in that department.
“The windy conditions made it difficult, but the big disappointment in the first half when it was behind us was the lack of shots we had. The only times we had a go were when we had two one-on-ones, and we got nothing even from those.
“Hucknall were delighted to turn round at 0-0 knowing they still had 45 minutes with the wind at their backs.
“But overall I thought we applied ourselves much better than in the previous two games. We went out with purpose and drive and, although we lost to a bad goal, our shape and our overall play were better than in Saturday’s draw with Market Drayton.
However, when we are without your main striker through injury we just don’t look like scoring.”
This weekend the Wrens take a break from league action and begin their FA Cup campaign with an early return fixture against New Mills, who were 2-0 winners at Rainworth on Tuesday of last week.
Said Millar: “It’s a nice fixture in that it takes some of the league pressure off us.
“Obviously we could do with winning and banking a bit of money, but after last Tuesday we will start as massive underdogs.
“I don’t think we can play as badly against them again as we did then, so I’m quite bullish about it.
“Even so, both of their goals came from free kicks which were the result of poor refereeing decisions, and they never got behind us up in open play.
“Defensively we are as good as any club in the division, but we’ve got to start capitalising on that by sticking a few goals in to reward and ease the pressure on the defenders for the sterling job they are doing.”
Rainworth are also due in cup action in midweek, when they are at home to Stamford in the League Cup next Wednesday night – the match having been switched from Tuesday because of the England international.
However, should either Rainworth or Stamford draw their FA Cup tie this weekend, then the League Cup tie will give way to the replay.
If Rainworth require a replay against the Millers it will revert to the normal midweek night of Tuesday.
Meanwhile, a change of fixture for the Wrens’ reserves on Saturday sees them at home to Holbrook Sports, and not Radford as originally scheduled.