Gainsborough Trinity striker Bradley Barraclough says he’s relieved to have taken his chance to impress as the Blues beat Rushall Olympic 2-0 in the FA Cup with Budweiser Second Qualifying Round.
With manager Steve Housham forced into changes through injury and ineligibility, Barraclough returned to the starting line-up and impressed as Trinity progressed to the next round.
“Having been out of the side for four games, it was good to get out there and get nearly the full game under my belt.”
“When you miss a few games like I have, it spurs you on to take your chance when you get it – get in the right positions and it’ll happen for you.”
“I haven’t scored today but I felt I did my job, and we’ve done what we had to do and got through to the next round.”
Despite the aerial threat of a physical Olympic side, the Blues looked comfortably the better team with the ball on the floor, particularly in a midfield featuring new loan signing Jordan Thomas.
Trinity had a good penalty shout turned down when Darryn Stamp was felled by Gavin Craines when he seemed to have a free header on goal, and went close ten minutes later through Jonathan Williams, whose low shot snaked wide of Rushall’s right hand post.
Ahmed Obeng was easily the visitor’s biggest threat and gave Trinity a nervous moment on the half hour mark, beating two defenders and leaving Phil Barnes rooted to the spot, only to see his shot hit the base of the post.
However, the best chance of the half fell to the veteran Stamp, who failed to take advantage of Barraclough’s dragged cross – scuffing the ball over the bar with Olympic goalkeeper Chris Gemmell nowhere.
Trinity came out on to the pitch early after the break, and whatever Steve Housham said did the trick shortly after when the deadlock was broken.
Thomas – who had been largely anonymous in the first half – looked to be going nowhere with four men around him, but wriggled free to cross for Barraclough. Although the initial header was well saved, Stamp was on hand to nod the ball into the bottom corner and give his side the lead.
Barraclough was having his best game of the season having regained his place in the side, and had several good chances to get his name on the scoresheet, and nearly played provider for Liam Davis; the wide man hitting the post with Gemmell beaten.
Youth team graduate Josh Batty was brought on by Housham and provided a great spark for the Blues, setting up their second goal to close the game out.
Normally a striker, Batty looked at home on the right of midfield, and knocked a well-placed cross in for Davis to finish easily with 15 minutes to play.
There was still time for Stamp and Barraclough to miss chances that they probably should have put away, but it had little impact on the final result as Trinity progressed safely into the next round.
Trinity: Barnes, Lacey, Wilde, Young, Roma, Russell, Jonathan Williams, Davis, Thomas (Batty, 62), Barraclough (Karkach, 90), Stamp. Subs: Martin, Josh Williams, Wisdom-Lockwood, Emery.
Rushall: Gemmell, Turner, Wood, Tolley (Haynes, 46), Caines, Eckersley, Craddock (Walker, 75), Ramsey Dickson, Adebola (Spink, 80), Obeng, Bottomer. Subs: Palmer, Martin.
Goals: Stamp 52, Davis 75.
Yellows: Thomas (unsporting conduct) 60, Jonathan Williams (unsporting conduct) 66, Barraclough (unsporting conduct) 72; Turner (unsporting conduct) 90.
Referee: Mr N. Sharp.