EMCL - Ashby Ivanhoe 0 -v- 1 Gedling Miners Welfare
Miners win on the road
Ashby Ivanhoe – v – Gedling Miners Welfare
East Midlands Counties Football League
NFU Sports Ground | 15.00 Kick off
Saturday 25th November 2017
Ashby Ivanhoe ………………….. 0
Gedling Miners Welfare ………. 1 (Lubban 60’)
A frosty and damp NFU Sports Ground in Ashby-de-la-Zouch, Leicestershire was the location for Gedling Miners Welfare’s most recent away day on Saturday afternoon as they travelled to face an Ashby Ivanhoe side that, sat 19th in the standings, have only registered 2 wins from their last 11 in all competitions. Completely decimated by injury, the visitors came into the game on the back of an impressive midweek league cup win at home to Dunkirk, but have lost their previous 3 games in the EMCL.
It was no surprise that Gedling started the game better than their opponents as the class in ability became clear early on amidst good football retention by the visitors as they looked to probe early. Only 5 minutes was on the clock when they registered their first decent effort on target. However, Jack Jepson’s near post effort smashed the side of the netting, when the option of passing to the unmarked Joe Meakin might have prevailed. 5 minutes later and Meakin attempted an effort of his own, but his strike failed to trouble Nik Ivanov in the home goal.
At the other end, Josh Jackson tremendously struck a half-volley that was targeted for the top corner but for an equally superb fingertip save by Chris Heltorp as both sides shared early opportunities. In their defence, Ashby came into the game and the tricky George Rushton in the middle of the park was performing well. However, Gedling remained intricate and their football was commendable but, ultimately, to no benefit in front of goal. Despite that, Jackson went close again, but was once more frustrated by Heltorp as his effort was collected by the Norwegian at the second attempt.
In a game that more resembled the atmosphere of a pre-season friendly more than anything, the first half dwindled down into nothing as both sides, whilst reasonably comfortable in possession, posed very little going forward as each set of defensive stalwarts remained untroubled. The closest Gedling went to an opener was via an Ashby head but thankfully, for Manny Stewart, his header shaved the top of his own bar as Cardell Lubban thought his added pressure was enough to force the defender to head into his own net.
Already depleted by injury and having players playing in unfamiliar positions, the away side would have been satisfied with the level scoreline at the interval, despite their patient footballing approach.
A noteworthy second half it was not and the bleak crisp weather in Leicestershire almost summed up the type of footballing afternoon it was for both sides and it took until the hour mark for the next mentionable piece of action to arrive, but finally Gedling did take the lead. After fine dogged work down the right by full-back Joe Evans, his cut back from the byline missed everyone, but found the onrushing Cardell Lubban who, although scuffed his effort on goal, it trickled its way onto the post before nestling into the back of the net past the wrong-footed Ivanov for Gedling’s lead.
Now settled by their lead, Gedling still continued with the better football and they remained fairly untroubled by the reaction from Ashby, with the makeshift defensive line of Dwayne Brown and Liam Corrigan, teamed with full backs Evans and Luke Smith, dealing with any threat superbly.
In an otherwise uneventful second period, Smith nearly doubled his sides tally, but his free-kick dropped the wrong side of the post as Ivanov scrambled. Though, despite their comfortable position, Ashby nearly snatched an undeserved point 6 minutes before time. A simple punt forward outdid the entire back line of Gedling, but Jackson, whilst one-on-one with Heltorp, couldn’t connect properly with his effort and his shot rolled agonisingly wide.
A let off for the away side as all those in attendance would agree they deserved the 3 points based on their performance in difficult circumstances. Substitute Ross McCaughey nearly clinched the win for Gedling but, after controlling well from a Meakin cross, his shot couldn’t match his impressive juggling skills and his effort untroubled the home goal.
An impressive performance by Gedling in challenging conditions rewarded them with their first league win in four. They will aim to replicate such a performance when they travel to Selston next Saturday (2nd December), a team out to avenge their Notts Senior Cup defeat to the Miners in mid-November.
Gedling Miners Welfare Man of the Match – Daniel Pass
Match Attendance – 37
Referee – Mr Dave Bullen
Assistant Referees – Mr. James Anderson and Mr. James Springthorpe
Ashby Ivanhoe – Nik Ivanov, Ellis Benjamin, Manny Stewart, Josh Matlin, George Rushton, Trafford Pickering, Josh Johnson, Jack Robinson (Angus Blair-Park 70’) George Wesley, Nathan Banton (Dylan Young ’66) Mitch Woodbine.
Unused Substitutions – Josh Gray
Caution – Matlin (dissent 71’)
Gedling Miners Welfare – Chris Heltorp, Joe Evans, Luke Smith, Liam Corrigan, Dwayne Brown, Jay Knight, Daniel Pass, Jimmy Spiers, Jack Jepson (Ross McCaughey 37’), Cardell Lubban, Joe Meakin.
Unused Substitutions – Stuart Robinson, David Green, Chris Marks
Caution – Spiers (foul 50’)
Match report compiled and edited by Marc Williams