Wrens shake monkey off their backs

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Rainworth MW will go into Saturday’s home Evo-Stik League Division One South game with promotion-chasing Leek Town in great heart after shaking a monkey off their backs this week.

Tuesday night’s single goal victory at Bedworth United provided the Wrens with their first three-point haul to count for anything since 23rd November, assuming that the New Year’s Day win over defunct Eastwood Town is expunged from the records.

The victory came on the back of last Saturday’s heartbreaking 1-1 draw with another play-off hopeful side, Mickleover Sports, who rescued a point with a 94th-minute equaliser.

Despite that disappointment, Wrens boss Scott Rickards is sure his decision to weigh the make-up of the side more towards youth is the right one, and insists that is the way forward for the club.

Speaking straight after the final whistle at Bedworth on Tuesday night, Rickards said: “It’s a good result for us and I think with the changes we have made we have turned a bit of a corner, and the way we have approached the last two games and worked well for each other has been a breath of fresh air. And it has probably been the missing ingredient in the run of defeats which we suffered.”

Mickleover’s late equaliser on Saturday came after the Wrens had seen a couple of glorious chances wasted, so while four great openings in a five-minute second half spell on Tuesday went begging it was easy to fear that they, too, would be costly.

Rickards continued: “I’d made the comment to the front men that missed chances can come back to haunt you, as happened against Mickleover, but I think we learned from that, and we managed to see the game out, which was a positive.”

Leek could be forgiven if their journey to Kirklington Road on Saturday is filled with trepidation, for the Wrens have been very much the Blues’ bogey side since their arrival into Evo-Stik League football.

Leek have won just one of the seven league meetings so far, and when Rainworth came away from Harrison Park with a 1-0 win in November it was only Leek’s second league defeat of the season.

Rickards, though, is under no illusions as to how tough the game is likely to be for his new look young side.

He added: “It’s good to be going into the game on the back of a win. Leek will be positive and play well, but for me at the moment, with the way we are approaching our games, it doesn’t really matter who we are playing.

“We are rediscovering that bit of self-confidence so that we know that, no matter who turns up, as long as we do what we know we can do we have the ability to get results in this league.

“This is very much the way forward for a club like Rainworth, and people are starting to see our mentality and how we are going to set up for next season, with a primarily young side with the legs and the enthusiasm, along with one or two experienced players with the nous and capability of talking the youngsters through games.

“It’s beginning to work well for us, and next season will see us go a long way to reducing the average age of our team.”