Rainworth on the verge of Evo-Stik safety

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If the first target of any football club is to ensure mathematical safety from relegation, then Rainworth MW can achieve that and secure their Evo-Stik League Division One South safety this weekend.

The Wrens are due to travel to Kidsgrove Athletic, who are now propping up the division following the demise of Eastwood Town. And, with only one club now set to drop as a result of the Eastwood situation, Rainworth know that a draw will ensure that the Potteries club cannot overtake them.

However, manager Scott Rickards was frustrated by his side’s failure to pass the safety target last weekend when they presented hosts Sheffield with a 3-1 victory, ending the home side’s own eight-match winless run.

The Wrens had dominated the first half to such an extent that they won 11 corners to Sheffield’s none, but it was from the eighth of those that the home side hit on the counter to score the only goal of the first half.

However, the game-changer, according to Rickards, was the dismissal just before half time of Damian Magee for a rash challenge, leaving his side a mountain to climb in the second half.

Said Rickards: “We wanted to bounce back from our heavy defeat by Leek and I was confident that we would put on a show, but that one incident changed the whole dynamic of the game. And, for all the possession we had and the good football we played, we never really felt comfortable after that.

“Realistically we have belief and we are playing some great football, and I have no doubt that had we kept 11 players on the field we would have won the game.

“It’s not the first time this season that we have ended up conceding a goal from our own corner either, so we should have learned from that and dealt with the situation.

“The fact that we won 11 in the first half shows how much we were on the front foot, but it’s results that get you up the league table.”

Rickards, though, remains confident about his side’s prospects for the rest of the season, starting at Kidsgrove on Saturday.

The manager continued: “We will go there with the same mentality, try to keep the ball and play good football.

“We have six games remaining in the league and I believe we have a really good chance of winning four of those, including this weekend.”