RAINWORTH MW officials have paid a huge tribute to the kindness and generosity of fellow Evo-Stik NPL Division One South neighbours Belper Town.
For the second time inside a month the Nailers released one of their players last Saturday to allow him to sign for Rainworth while agreeing to waive the notice to which they were entitled.
Belper skipper Mark Camm was allowed to join the Wrens in time to play against Lincoln United on Saturday, even though the Nailers were entitled not only to seven days’ notice of approach, but also to a 28-day period after they had earlier also allowed Tommy Hannigan to return to Rainworth.
Both Camm and Hannigan had joined Belper in the close season from Rainworth, whose supporters are delighted to have them back.
Camm’s presence in midfield at Lincoln made a huge difference to the side’s overall performance in a 0-0 draw.
Said Wrens secretary Les Lee: “We are very grateful to our friends at Belper for allowing us to take Tommy and Mark in quick succession without insisting on the required notice of approach - in Mark's case they were entitled to 28 days following the signing of Tommy, so they have been especially generous and we would wish to place our appreciation and thanks to them on record.
"Needless to say, we have made a gentlemen's agreement not to play Mark against Belper next week.”
This was the third occasion during September that Rainworth had benefited from the generosity of a local rival club, for as well as the two arrivals from Belper, Worksop Town had earlier also waived the seven days notice to allow striker Danny Bacon to join. It is clear that the spirit of non-League football is alive and well in the East Midlands.
Wrens coach Darren Kelk hailed the side’s overall performance at Lincoln, where a goalless draw ended a run of six straight defeats, while still expressing concern at the lack of goals.
He said: “We had a bit of a kick up the rear in the first minute with a badly defended set piece, but as the game went on we grew stronger and stronger, but we need to be making the right decisions in the final third.
“We can no longer make the excuse that we don’t have the strikers, or players injured, because they are coming back. But when you make a decision in the final third to shoot when a better alternative is on, or when you pass while the better option is to shoot, you have made the wrong decision.
“We’ve been working in training on getting into the final third, and now we have to work on decision making once we get there.
“The inclusion of Mark Camm certainly made a difference in midfield. Mark began a little unsteadily but soon got into his stride, and of course he is accustomed to playing alongside Ian Clarke in the middle, so that partnership soon began to gel and made all the difference.
“We also tried Craig Mitchell in midfield for a bit of height and bite, and midfield-wise we were quite pleased. We’ve got Ricky Hanson to come back off honeymoon tomorrow too, and Joe Carter, Jamie Goodacre and Cameron Fearon are all back in contention for Saturday, so even though we have agreed that Mark won’t play against Belper we have so many options, and more strength in depth than ever.
“The draw stopped the rot, but we came away disappointed because we knew that as far as we were concerned it was two points dropped - Lincoln were there for the taking.
“They were very resilient and defended well, but we should have been better than that. We have good quality in the side and the only reason we didn’t win it was bad decision making at the sharp end.”
Looking forward to the Belper game, Saturday provides the chance to prove a point after a 1-0 defeat at Christ Church Meadow in August.
“Kelk added: “It’s a good opportunity for us to get something. It’s a coincidence that we have a few back-to-back games coming up, with recent opponents Sheffield and Hucknall also to come in quick succession.
“Now that we have the strike force coming in all three should be beatable. Danny Simpson also came back from injury and had half an hour at Lincoln, and if he comes through training this week maybe he will start against Belper.
“Belper have new managers in Peter Duffield and Mick Godber, and they will get them playing and make them hard to beat.
“But I’ve seen nothing in this league to bother us especially now that we are getting back to full strength.
“We have a great bunch of players, the spirits are high, and we just now need a little bit of that rub of the green to get us that elusive win and set our season up and running.
“No-one would have argued or accused us of smash and grab if we had come away from Lincoln with all three points, we knew we deserved them, and it would be nice to pick up a win against Belper.”