EMCL - Radcliffe Olympic 2 - v - 4 Gedling Miners Welfare
Olympic flame extinguished
Radcliffe Olympic – v – Gedling Miners Welfare
East Midlands Counties Football League
Recreation Ground, Wharf Lane | 15.00 Kick off
Radcliffe Olympic ……………………… 2 (Wall 35’, Martin 55’)
Gedling Miners Welfare ……………..... 4 (Spiers 18’, Jepson 38’, 80’, Plummer 62’)
Gedling Miners Welfare made the short journey to Radcliffe-on-Trent looking to make it 3 wins from 3 as they faced a Radcliffe side that, with respect, have fallen a long way since their FA Cup exploits in 2010/11 where they reached the Third Qualifying Round, losing all 10 games prior to kick off conceding 55 goals in the process.
It became apparent, though, that they were in no mood to fold early on and were looking to halt their unwanted trend reflected in the current league table and went close to startling the visitors with the very first attack of the game, but Tyler Martin’s effort failed to trouble Chris Heltorp. At the other end, Jack Jepson couldn’t test Nicholas Eatough with a strong header after fine wide play from Dwayne Brown.
The main concern in the early exchanges for Gedling was not to become complacent as they began to rush their football as they looked for the first goal to settle any nerves, but their final ball was lacking. They arguably edged the first quarter, then again their reluctance to play to their ability, for whatever reason, was restricting their attacking impetus. Eventually, though, on 18 minutes, the breakthrough came.
After a bright start by Joe Meakin, his inside-channel ball down the right was held up well by Barry Payne who, after considering his options inside the area, played a cute ball into the path of Jimmy Spiers who powered home past Eatough to settle any early worries.
Gedling, now settled, continued to push forward in an attempt to extend their lead with full-back Luke Smith now almost acting as a third striker in a reflection of how open the game was. Yet, just before the half hour, Radcliffe really should have equalised. After a loose ball was collected by Cole Maule on the half-way line, his commanding run was unstopped by Gedling’s parting back line and he unleashed a fierce effort that fizzed over the crossbar when he really should have scored. Nevertheless, Radcliffe didn’t have long to wait to level the scoreline. A harmless over-the-top ball was picked up by Kieran Wall on the right who, unchallenged, bewilderingly found himself one-on-one with Heltorp and duly slotted home to equalise. Much to Gedling’s bemusement, they were adamant Wall was comfortably offside when the initial ball was played, yet their protests went unheard as Wall darted for the corner in celebration.
Miners were rattled as their protests continued even after the restart, though, 3 minutes after the equaliser, they were back in front. A fine deep right cross from Meakin accurately found the rising head of Jack Jepson who nodded home for his 7th goal of the season.
Gedling were relieved to go into the break leading, but were somewhat viable to succumb to the metaphoric banana skin in the second half. They started well whilst Radcliffe sat back to avoid conceding any further goals. Alex Clarson went close with a free kick after Meakin was fouled, but Eatough was equal to the effort. It became clear that pushing for that 2-goal cushion became a frustrating task and it became even more difficult when, on 56 minutes, Radcliffe levelled for the second time.
After a sublime pass from former Leicester City and Aston Villa striker Julian Joachim, now in the heart of Radcliffe’s defence, split the entire back line of Gedling, Tyler Martin set himself up well to fire low past Heltorp into the far corner as he was surrounded by his teammates. Joachim, understandably, being commended for the part he played in the build-up.
After a quiet and tentative spell for both sides in the following phases of play, Gedling introduced top goalscorer Ryan Plummer just before the hour and straight away he began to stamp his authority on the tiring Radcliffe defence and, to no real surprise, he was involved in Gedling’s third leading goal of the game. Looking for a free kick in their favour, Radcliffe couldn’t clear under pressure and, after a loose ball was picked up by Plummer, he unleashed a ferocious left footed effort that arrowed into the top corner at the near post via the underside of the crossbar.
The visitors were looking to learn from their previous wrongdoings and went about finally sealing the points. Still, to Radcliffe’s credit, and contrary to their position in the table and results as of late, they might have snatched something and, to some, might have been unfortunate to not gain their first point of the season. However, 10 minutes from the end and the win was finally confirmed, much the relief of the travellers.
After good work from Plummer down the left, his deep cross found an oncoming Meakin whose volley back into the area was steered home by Jepson, who couldn’t miss from 6-yards out. Gedling saw the remaining minutes out with no further scare and avoided potentially the biggest upset of the season. Radcliffe on the other hand showed willingness and desire and, should they play like that against teams surrounding them this season, it won’t be long before they pick up their first points of a disappointing campaign thus far.
The Miners, though, have now consolidated their position in the top half of the table with Saturday’s win finding themselves only 3 points off the top. However, they know that they will have perform better against the so-called lesser sides in the league if they want to challenge for the title come May.
They put aside the league for now as they entertain NSL Premier Division outfit Southwell City, now under the management of former Gedling Miners player Tom McDonald, in the first round of the Nottinghamshire Senior Cup on Tuesday night (4th October) at Plains Road with a 19.45 kick off.
Gedling Miners Welfare joint men of the Match – Joe Meakin and Luke Smith
Match Attendance – 20
Referee – Mr. Scott Mason
Assistants – Mr. Simeone Cattaneo and Mr. Mike Precious
Radcliffe Olympic – Nicholas Eatough, Benjamin Maule (Chris Barnett 83’), Alex Purkis, Reece Carlise, Julian Joachim (c), Freddie Dans, Jake Tower, Toby Sewell, Kieran Wall (Morgan Remnant 86’), Tyler Martin, Cole Maule (Tom Bacon 76’).
Unused Substitutions – Carl Johnson and David Lee.
Caution – Dans (foul 52’)
Gedling Miners Welfare – Chris Heltorp, Dwayne Brown (Steven Brett 66’), Luke Smith, Jay Knight, Martin Holt, Jimmy Spiers (c), Alex Clarson (Ross McCaughey 57’), Joe Meakin, Barry Payne (Ryan Plummer 57’), Jurgen Charlesworth, Jack Jepson.
Unused Substitutions – Lance Cunningham and Joe Evans.
Cautions – None
Match report compiled and edited by Marc Williams