Comeback victory ends Wrens’ FA Cup jinx

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Rainworth Miners’ Welfare won their first FA Cup match for six years with a 2-1 success over Dunkirk.

The Wrens last won in the competition in 2012, 2-1 at Sleaford Town, but the jinx didn’t look like ending when Dunkirk went in front from a 20th-minute penalty after Kieran Barnes fouled and George Harrison converted the spot-kick.

Rainworth levelled when Roberto Labbate’s cross was laid into Liam Jepson’s path on the edge of the box and he gave the keeper no chance.

The Wrens took the lead in the 67th minute as Blessing Adeleye beat a couple of defenders and slotted past the advancing keeper.

Dunkirk twice had second half goals ruled out for pushing and handling.

In the opening minute Dunkirk reminded Rainworth that they were now the senior club when George Harrison’s effort went just over the crossbar. A minute later and the same player put his effort wide.

Harrison continued to be a thorn in the Rainworth defence’s side when he again went close to opening the scoring.

Rainworth joined in by testing their own keeper when Connor Wright’s headed back-pass was acrobatically gathered by Warren Squires. A minute later he made an incredible save from point-blank range, but the player had been ruled offside anyway.

Dunkirk took the lead in the 15th minute when an over-exuberant challenge by Barnes was deemed a penalty and Harrison gave Squires no chance from the spot. A minute later Harrison almost doubled his and Dunkirk’s score when his fiercly hit effort flew inches past the upright.

At this point Rainworth began to come into the game and Adeleye’s effort in the 23rd minute was only inches wide. Whilst at the other only another unorthodox save by Squires from Adam Burton prevented a Dunkirk score.

Rainworth eventually found the equaliser when Labbate’s cross was laid into Jepson’s path on the edge of the box and he gave Alex Smith in the Dunkirk goal no-chance.

It was Burton again in the 31st minute when his towering header from a corner was inches over and minutes later Wright did well to deal with another dangerous Dunkirk cross.

Dunkirk had Lewis Wilcox to thank for preventing Ashley Jones converting Jack Weatherer’s cross at the expense of a corner.

Rainworth almost took the lead just before half-time when Adam Jackson’s cross was inches wide of the post from yet another Weatherer cross.

Dunkirk had bossed the opening 20 minutes but Rainworth had come back into the game with the result still in doubt as the first-half ended.

In the 50th minute Rainworth had the referee to thank as a Dunkirk effort went over the line, but he disallowed it for a push.

On 60 minutes Rainworth were forced to substitute Wright, who only passed a fitness test prior to the start and bring on Mason Smith.

In the 64th minute Weatherer was inches from converting Jones’s well flighted corner. Three minutes later Adeleye took on and beat a couple of defenders and as the keeper advanced he slotted it into the corner as Rainworth took the lead.

Rainworth should probably have increased their lead in the 71st minute when Luke Walker set up Jepson, but he blazed his effort well over.

Shortly afterwards a push in the penalty area went unpunished as Rainworth appealed for the penalty.

Dunkirk continued to press, and Squires did well to tip the ball over as the ball took a wicked bounce.

A minute later Dunkirk had the ball in the net, but it was once again disallowed this time for handball.

RAINWORTH MWFC: Squires; R. Labbate; Barnes; Webster; Wright (Smith); Jackson; Jones;’ Weatherall; Adeleye; Walker (Sharpe); Jepson (Gledhill).

Subs (not used): Gaughan; Robinson; Jenkinson.

Referee: Mr Jack Mason

Attendance: 78

Man of match: Adam Jackson