The six-goal thrashing inflicted by Slough Town in the FA Cup seemed but a distant memory as two of Gainsborough Trinity’s key defenders spoke this week of a valuable clean sheet.
Nathan Stainfield and Kern Miller were both influential figures in Trinity’s crucial 1-0 victory over fellow strugglers FC United of Manchester in the Vanarama National League North on Saturday.
“A clean sheet is a bit like scoring a hat-trick for us,” Stainfield told Gainsbhorough Trinity TV after the match. “I don’t want to be reminded that we conceded six against Slough!
“I felt good all the way through the game. Kern was superb and also Kingy next to me. I looked around the side and all I could see were good players, so I felt we were always going to win.”
Miller agreed, saying: “We defended as a unit really well, which was good. The concentration levels were good too, especially when we didn’t have much to do. I was very happy with the clean sheet.”
Both defenders accepted that the side sat much deeper in the second half as Trinity tried to protect their 1-0 lead, but felt that it was inevitable in such an important match, which had been branded a six-pointer by manager Dave Frecklington.
“FC United were always going to have a bit more possession in the second half,” said Miller. “When they came out, they were really at the races.”
Stainfield added: “They changed things too. They chased the game and really overloaded at times. It was just a question of us coming to terms with it.
“Naturally, we were always going to drop deeper later on in the game to try and secure the 1-0 because we wre struggling to get that second goal.”
Stainfield himself had one of the better chances to double Trinity’s lead, but his effort was cleared off the line.
“It bounced in there and I reacted first,” he remembered. “The first thing on my mind was to keep my shot down. I hit it really well, but their defender got a foot to it and cleared it off the line. If I’d shanked it, it might have gone in!
“Fair play to the defender, but it was annoying for me. Perhaps I am saving my goals for later in the season!”