Lightning strikes twice as Trinity lose shoot-out

Lightning struck twice as Gainsborough Trinity were knocked out of this season's Integro NPL League Cup in a thrilling penalty shoot-out after a 1-1 home draw with Kidsgrove Athletic on Tuesday night.
Gregg Smith - cup equaliser. Picture by John Rudkin.Gregg Smith - cup equaliser. Picture by John Rudkin.
Gregg Smith - cup equaliser. Picture by John Rudkin.

Trinity had lost in the previous round on spot kicks too only to be reinstated after it was found that opponents Lincoln United had fielded an ineligible player.

It was the first time the Holy Blues had ever faced Kidsgrove and Trinity boss Curtis Woodhouse said: “They won on penalties which is the toss of a coin really.

“The last round when we lost again on a penalty shoot-out, we took three and missed all three so I suppose today was an improvement on that.

“But I am disappointed. I thought first half we struggled to get going and we were way off the pace.

“Second half we were a lot better. But we didn't play well enough or create enough chances to win the game.

“There will be no one knocking on my door if they're not in the team for Saturday, that's for sure. A few got given opportunities and I don't think anyone took them.”

Trailing to a 13th minute Lee Williamson penalty, Trinity levelled through Gregg Smith on 58 minutes.

But, unable to conjure up a winner, the game went to spot kicks which Kidsgrove won 10-9.

“We need to get better than we have been the last two or three games. We moved the team around a bit today but I still think we had a strong enough side to win,” said Woodhouse.

“We needed to play with more urgency. It seemed like a testimonial game in the first half – there was no tempo to it.

“The lads need to show more passion. I explained that people have paid good money to come here to watch you play so go out and show a bit of effort and desire, and I thought we did that second half.

“We played a lot better second half and moved the ball a lot better, but didn't create enough chances to win it.”

Trinity saw their 11-game unbeaten run end last weekend and Woodhouse said they now needed to get going again at Mickleover Sports on Saturday.

“We will need to be better,” he said. “I don't want to come across as being too harsh as we've been on a hell of a run.

“But we need to get back on that run again. A good result on Saturday kicks us on again.

“Now we're out of all the cups we need to be aiming to finish as high as we can. We've only got the league to focus on.

“It's important now that the lads show they want to be here next year when we are looking to put a squad together that can challenge in the top five. So it's important if the lads want to be here they need to show they are good enough to be here.”