Jack Dyche, chomping at the bit following his 45 at Guiseley last time out, again had to settle for a place on the bench, as boss Neal Bishop kept the same eleven as was victorious last time out in Yorkshire. Under 21s ‘keeper Ethan Cowan was named amongst the substitutes, as Tyrell Sellars-Fleming returned from injury to bolster the Blues’ attacking options from the bench.
Whatever message Bish left ringing in the ears of the players as they took to the Northolme tuf, resplendent considering the awful weather seen in Lincolnshire in the previous 48-72 hours, certainly worked - as Gainsborough raced out of the traps to stun Rylands with two goals inside the opening eight minutes!
The Holy Blues made a rapid start to the game (though not as rapid as on opening day) when Harry Lewis, who was set to be a persistent threat down the left hand side, squared across the face of goal for Curtis Durose to net the opening goal inside three minutes. Lewis’ ball finding the feet of the on loan Rotherham youngster. He settled himself brilliantly, before his scuffed finish, found the corner - Luke Pilling with no chance to set himself properly, in the Warrington goal.
A lapse in concentration by Matt Sargent gifted the Holy Blues possession, and Lewis scampered down the left, before cutting back onto his right foot and firing across Pilling to double the Gainsborough advantage. The nature of both goals really having a feeling of dejavu about themselves from the opening day encounter. Trinity starting like an express train – but aided and abetted by some questionable Warrington decision making.
Scott Duxbury looked to get the visitors back in the game as he cut in from the right flank, but he saw his effort well blocked by a Joe West and Liam Waldock combination, which set the Holy Blues on a rapid counter. Winger Lewis, just unable to pick out Clayton Donaldson making up good ground in the centre.
Lewis’ high press soon forced another error, as Donaldson snatched at a shooting opportunity from 25 yards, shooting straight at Pilling.
Just before the twenty minute mark, Harry Lewis was again asking questions when he nipped between Pilling and central defender Sam Egerton, the duo at sixes and sevens as Lewis was sent tumbling. No penalty – but the pace and frenetic pressing, with the Holy Blues on the front foot, giving the visitors little time to settle on the ball. Donaldson then made the ball stick,
allowing Lewis and Liam Waldock to express themselves with a neat one-two. Pilling called into action at his near post to deny young Harry his second and Gainsborough’s third.
Despite the pace and energy of the Holy Blues on the front foot, Rylands still looked to try and create, but the back line stood firm, marshalled well by the defensive pairing of Cogill and Rice. But, as Trinity failed to clear defensively, Duxbury made himself half a yard and looked to curl one towards Yates top right hand corner, but the faintest of deflections saw the ball ruffle the roof of the net on it’s way over the bar.
John Hunt soon had his head in his hands, after a ball in from the right from Abadaki found its way right across the face of goal, taking Hunt by surprise, he failed to connect significantly with his effort. Leaving Yates with a routine gather. More good play down the Rylands right saw Abadaki deliver into the box, Cogill’s clearance as far as Hunt was worked back into the box, but James Neild saw his effort blocked by the brave Gainsborough centre back.
Neild was again involved for the visitors, as he linked with Duxbury to test Yates with a low effort down to his left. Trinity’s number one equal to the attempt, to ensure the Blues went in at the break two goals to the good. Touray was forced away from goal, as he tried to fashion half a yard to get a shot away, before Abadaki rifled an effort into the side netting from an acute angle, after the former Marine front man did well to find his strike partner.
Half time: Gainsborough Trinity 2 Warrington Rylands 0
The visitors started the second half brightly, and when Rice got too close to Abadaki, Yates did well down to his left as Matt Sargent’s free-kick beat the wall, but not the Trinity goalkeeper, Rylands were enjoying plenty of the ball, without really hurting the Holy Blues, but the coiled spring of the Blues, led through the electric speed of the flying Harry Lewis ensured Trinity had an outlet.
When Donaldson, back on defensive duty, cleared a corner at the near post, Lewis expertly spun Ryland’s skipper Dean Furman on halfway, drawing the foul. Furman could count his lucky stars he didn’t see a second yellow card, thought it was only a matter of minutes later, when Ben Hockenhull did see red. This time, Mr Jones did brandish a second yellow and eight minutes into the second half, the visitors’ misery was compounded, as they were reduced to ten men.
Following the red card, Bish looked to change things up with the introduction of Fraser Preston and Tyrell Sellars-Fleming. Looking to continue posing an offensive threat, the side seemed to be content in doing the defensive side. Allowing the visiting side the ball and defending the eighteen yard box well.
Despite being a man down, Rylands had more of the ball, though rarely troubled Yates and his back line, Osebi Abadaki threatening in behind, but struggling to time his runs, frequently drawing the attention of the assistant referee.
Untroubled for much of the game, with Mo Touray being forced to play much of the game with his back to goal, Rylands’ midfield didn’t have the same energy as that of the Holy Blues. Trinity did avoid a late penalty appeal, and with that Warrington’s best chance of piercing the Gainsborough rear-guard. Trinity securing back to back clean sheets. Perhaps no surprise with the positional switch of Isaac Rice - to centre half.
So, seven unbeaten, and two of the three successive home games to come. Nantwich are the visitors next weekend, followed by the rearranged game against Marine a week on Tuesday. Bishop, Stamp and the team will be looking to plot a maximum points return as the business end of the season continues to hot up.
And the question still remains, just how far can this youthful, exuberant side go… maybe we won’t know until the middle of April… but we’ll certainly buckle up for the ride! Spread the word, and let’s get the Northolme jumping these next ten days – and really give ourselves a platform on which to build!
Matt Yates, George Hornshaw, Joseph West, Bailey Conway, Isaac Rice, Dylan Cogill, Curtis Durose, Andrew Wright (Tyrell Sellars-Fleming 57) Clayton Donaldson, Liam Waldock (Jack Dyche 75) Harry Lewis (Fraser Preston 67)
Subs not used: Jay Glover & Ethan Cowan
Gainsborough goals: Curtis Durose 3’ Harry Lewis 8’
Gainsborough booking: Curtis Durose
Luke Pilling, James Neild, Jordan Mustoe, Sam Eggerton, Ben Hockenhull, Dean Furman, Matt Sargent, Scott Duxbury, Mo Touray, Osebi Abadaki, John Hunt
Subs not used: AJ Leitch-Smith, Matt Wright, Sean Cooke
Rylands bookings: Dean Furman, Ben Hockenhall, Matthew Sargent
Rylands sending off: Ben Hockenhull (second yellow) 54’
Referee: Mr David Jones
Match Report by Rob Hughes (@AATM_Media)
Photographs by Russell Dickens (@bozola900)