WITH another season of Evo-Stik NPL Division One South football now assured, one could be forgiven for assuming that Rainworth MW might ease off the gas in their remaining matches.
But, on the contrary, there are still two targets to be achieved during the four games they have left, which are to improve on the points tally and the league position achieved during their debut Step 4 campaign last term.
Then the Wrens finished third from bottom, although their tally of 40 points was fully 19 clear of the bottom two.
Currently Rainworth sit fourth from bottom with 36 points, so they need five points from their remaining four matches to top last season’s total.
Neither of the bottom two can now catch the Wrens, but third-bottom Romulus still can, so boss Kevin Gee will countenance no silly slips between now and 21st April when they wrap up their season.
Speaking after safety was assured by last Saturday’s 1-1 home draw with Kidsgrove Athletic, Gee said: ““Having eight players unavailable was a big factor, but the response from the side was terrific, and to have secured our place before the end of March is a wonderful feeling.
“To get the job done with four games to go from where we were in November is a fantastic achievement, and I’m thrilled for the players, the supporters and the backroom staff.
“We changed to a flat back four with the players available, but Mark Camm and Matt Plant were outstanding, they won every header and covered and complemented each other well.
“We could have been two more goals up at half time, but went to sleep a bit for the start of the second half, and conceded. After that, against a good side, you fear the worst, but we dug in and still created a few more chances of our own.
“But if someone had offered me a point beforehand I would have taken it, because I was sure the bottom two would lose and a draw would be enough.”
It is far from an easy run-in for Rainworth, though. On Saturday they go to rejuvenated Market Drayton Town, who have won two and drawn two of their last four matches, and have pulled well clear of the drop zone. The home fixture back in August ended in a 1-1 draw.
And on Monday they are at home to promotion-chasing Carlton Town, facing the Millers for the third time this season, having figured in a goalless draw in the league and suffered a 6-3 defeat in the Notts Senior Cup quarter-final, Carlton scoring two very late goals to achieve a slightly flattering winning margin at the end of a thriller.
Both of those games were at Carlton.
Manager Gee will be hoping that at least some of his missing eight from last week will be available for the Easter Holiday games. But skipper Steve Kennedy will miss both, while completing his ban following his late dismissal in that Senior Cup tie, although he will be in contention for the final two games of the season, at home to Newcastle Town on Saturday week and at Stamford a week later.
Wrens win March fair play award
Having won the Division One South Fair Play Award last season, Rainworth have not had much of a look in for that particular trophy this year.
But they have captured the divisional award for March – because the Senior Cup tie is not included.
The Wrens picked up just three cautions in six league matches, and 1.5-litre bottle of whisky will be presented prior to Monday’s match against Carlton.
Kids in free on Easter Monday
Rainworth are allowing free admission to accompanied U16s when they entertain Nottinghamshire rivals and promotion hopefuls Carlton Town on Easter Monday.
The match has been designated as the Wrens’ ‘Kit-Aid day’ when anyone with any spare kits can bring them along and donate them to the Evo-Stik Northern Premier League’s charity, which aims to send usable football kits to third world countries.
Representatives of any club in the locality with any kits to spare are asked to deliver them to the ground on Easter Monday, and the league will arrange for collection and export