EMCL - Gedling Miners Welfare 0 -v- 2 Dunkirk
Boatmen sail away from Plains Road with all 3 points.
Gedling Miners Welfare – v – Dunkirk
East Midlands Counties Football League
Plains Road | 15.00 Kick off
Saturday 24th February 2018
Gedling Miners Welfare ……………. 0
Dunkirk ………………………………….... 2 (Chaplin 35’, Thomas pen 69’)
Following the prolonged announcement that Gedling Miners Welfare will visit Holwell Sports in the quarter final of the EMCL cup next month, they welcomed city rivals Dunkirk to Plains Road on Saturday afternoon looking to make it 12 points from an available 12. After succumbing to the double against Gedling already this season, after losses in the reverse league fixture and the cup, the visitors will be seeking their share of revenge and, in a game where fourth hosted fifth, arrived unbeaten in the league since December.
The game opened lively and was only two minutes old when Tim Berridge charged through a static Gedling defence but his attempted reverse ball was cleared by Luke Smith. From the resulting corner, Lewis Wilcox’s header, whilst on target, was straight into the arms of Danny Brown. 6 minutes later and, Wilcox, starting well, stung an effort goalwards but his shot was always rising after good work by Steve Chaplin.
Dunkirk had started the better team and were completely dominant in possession. On the contrary, Gedling could barely put a foot on the ball and their franticness played straight into the hands of their visitors. Though their first chance was almost handed to them but, from an Adam Morley cross, Liam Mitchell in the away goal reacted well to teammate’s Oliver Robinson unorthodox clearance which was heading into his own net.
The away side continued dominantly and remained the better of the two. As expected, the game was feisty in areas and the 3 first half yellow cards reflected the mindset of each team. Just after the 20th minute and Wilcox, once again on the scene, shot wide after experienced hold up play by Daryll Thomas as Dunkirk sought to make their superiority count. However, with the game all square as the half wore on, Gedling had their best chance of the match and may have taken the lead. Dwayne Brown, in behind a hesitant Joel Howes, found space but, under pressure from the retreating defender, could only drag his effort wide.
Despite the opportunity, the home side posed very little and were second to every ball leading to innocuous tackles and fouls. Predictably, Dunkirk rubbed their hands at the prospect of feeding the set plays to their considerably sizeable team and so it was inevitable when they took the lead courtesy of a set piece. Thomas, cutely delivering dangerous crosses all game, curled a delightful cross in from the left and found his unmarked strike partner Chaplin who only had to get his head on the cross for the opening goal. Shortly before the half they may have gone into the break with their lead doubled. After fine wide interplay between Berridge and Thomas, the latter found the onrushing Adam Burton but his effort was saved with his feet by Brown who read the danger well.
The second half began as the first ended and Dunkirk continued with the relentless pressure going forward whilst, in the most part, their centre half paring of Moore and Oliver Clarke remained untroubled and dealt with any pressure with ease. Chaplain, utilising his experience and ability all game, went close once again but couldn’t keep his effort down 5 minutes after the break. In truth, Gedling, through their own admission, were poor all afternoon and they failed to pose any threat to their opponents’ goal and their day was summed up when on 69 minutes, through their own undoing, they found themselves 2-0 down.
From a Ross McCaughey corner, Wilcox rose highest to clear and, after a wayward Aboubacar Sylla header back to an unexpected Joe Evans, Dunkirk countered. After the ball eventually found the feet of Chaplin, he was innocuously tripped by Charlie Roberts who tried in vain to retrieve the ball from under the feet of the felled striker and referee Kieran Hatfield deemed his efforts untoward as he awarded a penalty, much to the dismay of the home crowd. After a delayed restart, Thomas stepped up and dispatched the penalty straight down the middle as he marched off in celebration with his colleagues.
With 20 minutes remaining, Dunkirk knew the 3 points were headed back to the Ron Steel Sports Ground and deservedly so. Despite a trio of attacking substitutions by the home side, they defended well and Mitchell in the away goal was forced into very little as Gedling ran out of ideas. In the final minutes, they may have made it 3, but Chaplin’s effort nestled into the side netting as the referee drew a close to the affair to the jubilation of the travellers.
A bad day at the office saw Gedling succumb to their first defeat in four against a well organised Dunkirk side. Gedling travel to Selhurst Street next Saturday (3rd March) looking to rectify the form guide when they face local rivals Radford, 3pm kick off. With no game the following Saturday, attention then turns to the quarter final league cup tie against Holwell Sports (13th March) at Welby Road, Melton Mowbray, 7.45pm kick off. As always, all support is welcome and greatly appreciated.
Joint manager Stuart Robinson spoke with me after the game. ‘It was always going to be a tough ask against a side with huge momentum coming into the game and who were in such good form. I thought in the first half they out tackled and out fought us in all areas and generally wanted it more. We were slightly better in the second half but failed to deal with Dunkirk’s direct approach and at the other end we only created half chances. The penalty decision, we thought, was soft and that ultimately gave us a huge mountain to climb. We wish Dunkirk the best for the season and we now turn our focus to Radford next week’.
Gedling Miners Welfare Man of the Match – Liam Corrigan
Match Attendance – 78
Referee – Mr. Kieran Hatfield
Assistant Referees – Mr. Kevin Tietjen and Mr. George Sleigh
Gedling Miners Welfare – Danny Brown, Adam Morley (Joe Evans 65’), Ross McCaughey, Charlie Roberts, Liam Corrigan, Luke Smith (Aboubacar Sylla 58’), Dwayne Brown (Errol Campbell 73’), Jimmy Spiers (c), Connor Croft, Joe Meakin, Jack Jepson.
Unused Substitutions – Jay Knight, Stuart Robinson
Cautions – Smith (foul 41’), Morley (foul 55’), Knight (dissent 67’)
Dunkirk – Liam Mitchell, Oliver Robinson, Joel Howes, Oliver Clarke, Toby Moore, Adam Burton (c), Ben Moore, Lewis Wilcox, Tim Berridge, Daryll Thomas (Adrian Lang 78’), Steve Chaplin.
Unused Substitutions – Will Rawden, Ben Gowing, George Harrison.
Cautions – Howes (foul 11’), Moore (foul 26’), Mitchell (dissent 28’)
Match report compiled and edited by Marc Williams