EMCL - Eastwood Community 3 -v- 1 Gedling Miners Welfare
Miners still seeking first win after second defeat of the season
Eastwood Community – v – Gedling Miners Welfare
East Midlands Counties Football League
Saturday 11th August
Play Soccer USA Arena | 3pm Kick Off
Eastwood Community ………. 3 (Betteridge 30’, 66’, Mitchell 58’)
Gedling Miners Welfare …….. 1 (Jepson 27’)
Two goals from talisman Chay Betteridge gave Eastwood Community their first points of the new season leaving Gedling Miners Welfare pointless after two outings. Despite going behind, Betteridge’s double and a Kaylum Mitchell effort mid-way through the second half gave the hosts a deserved win in front of a bumper crowd at the Play Soccer USA Arena.
The game began in an open fashion and both teams shared decent opportunities in the early exchanges as, typically, any long haul passing was starting to hold up on the 3G artificial turf that Eastwood host.
As early as the 11th minute, Betteridge, after previously being felled by Steven Brett, passed a free kick into the bottom corner but his effort was matched by a fine low save by Luke Gibbons who clawed away. At the other end, after being cleverly by Joe Harrison, Mason Coy’s effort 7 minutes later was matched by home custodian Jack Walker who replicated Gibbons’ earlier exploits.
Despite the opportunities dwindling, Gedling shared the majority of possession and were good in patches. Their interplay, emanating from the centre of the park, was becoming a worry for the home defensive line but failed to materialise any effort of note that would worry Walker.
It was Eastwood, however, who had the next best chance to take the lead but after being left unmarked in the area following a corner, Conor Wrenn could only slice his effort on 20 minutes wide. Re-energised, the home side began to trouble the Gedling flanks and, but for some good early decision making by Gibbons, they may have been a little more fortunate going forward as they started to impose some free flowing football of their own on proceedings.
Unsurprisingly, no team was shying away from creativity and were determined to give the 112 in attendance anything worth their troubles and in the 27th minute it was the visitors who provided just that. After a deep wide cross from Ross McCaughey found Brett at the back stick, the defender’s header down found Jack Jepson who, after smartly losing his committed marker, controlled well and slotted the ball into the bottom corner for his second in as many games.
Hoping to spoil the party for the home side in their first home game at this level, Gedling arguably deserved the lead and looked to consolidate their position as leaders approaching the break. However, Eastwood, in no mood to lie down and accept the scoreline, had other ideas and only 3 minutes later they equalised.
Following a mix up in defence, Betteridge had all the time in the world on the edge of the area to pick his spot and, from 18 yards, scuffed his attempt past the despairing Gibbons via a post for his side’s leveller. By his own admission not his best effort but certainly warranted as Eastwood reacted to going a goal down very commendably.
Betteridge’s effort sparked the hosts and they now sensed the impetus as the game approached the interval. However, both teams could only share possession and not much else. Shortly before the break and Coy may have sent his side in at the break leading but his shot rebounded back off the post following a corner. At the opposite end, and it may have been Eastwood who went in leading but Betteridge’s goal bound effort was spectacularly cleared off the line by the devoted Liam Corrigan before the ball was cleared.
Shortly after the break, Kyle Wrenn nearly gave his side the perfect start but his audacious volley from all of 30 yards fell the wrong side of the post as Gibbons could only watch on. At this stage, the home side were dominant and played to their strengths excellently. On the contrary, Gedling disappointed and couldn’t match the start they made early in the game and it was no surprise when, 13 minutes after the restart, Eastwood took the lead.
In a carbon-copy to Jepson’s opener, a deep left wing cross from Sam Meakin wasn’t dealt with convincingly and Kaylum Mitchell slotted home past the onrushing Gibbons much to the delight of the home contingent. 5 minutes later and Betteridge may have doubled his tally but he failed to control his lob from the edge of the area after the ‘keeper had slipped.
Despite being on top, the precariousness in a scoreline with a one goal deficit is, as anyone in Football will be well informed, always evident and, facing an expected barrage from the visitors seeking to level arrears, Eastwood wouldn’t be blamed for experiencing a similar mindset. Though, only 8 minutes after taking the lead, they extended it further.
After good work down the right, Rory Smith was tripped by a committed Joe Meakin just inside the area and the referee had no hesitation in awarding a penalty for the league newcomers. Betteridge stepped up and coolly slotted the ball home for his second of the afternoon, Eastwood’s third.
Gedling threatened very little despite the scoreline and the home side remained fairly untroubled for the most part. Rory Smith poked wide after 77 minutes amidst more defensive frailties in the away camp. 4 minutes later and substitute Paddy Webb may have finished things off but Gibbons’ matched his low drive as he tipped around for a corner.
Despite a flurry of second half changes, Gedling continued to pose very little in front of goal and Walker in the home goal could count this as one of his easier afternoons he’ll have all season. Jepson registered Gedling’s last effort of the game 5 minutes before the end but he could only scuff his effort wide of the post as his reaction epitomised Gedling’s afternoon.
A poor on-the-day display from Gedling saw them succumb to their second defeat of the season whilst Eastwood picked up their first points, and win, in the East Midlands Counties League since being promoted last season. Miners will host for the first time this season next Saturday (18th) when the Leicestershire Senior League champions Ingles visit Plains Road in the East Midlands Counties League, kick off 3pm.
Gedling Miners Welfare Man of the Match
– Jack Jepson
Match Attendance – 112
Referee – Robert Pealing
Assistant Referees – Mick Newton and John Thornhill
Eastwood Community – Jack Walker, Billy Brooks (c), Sam Meakin, Connor Wrenn, Ruban Mitchell, Danny Hayes, Kaylum Mitchell, Kyle Wrenn (Jack James 60’), John Whitehurst (Paddy Webb 57’), Rory Smith, Chay Betteridge (Harry Allen 85’)
Unused Substitutes – Dave Jones, Aaron Short
Cautions – Hayes (dissent 84’)
Gedling Miners Welfare – Luke Gibbons, Liam Corrigan, Joe Harrison, Ross McCaughey (c) (Max Pashley 66’), Steven Brett, Adrian Hawes, Bijan Pakrouz (Dwayne Brown 52’), Jimmy Spiers, Jack Jepson, Joe Meakin, Mason Coy (Liam Towle 55’)
Unused Substitutes – Tristan Comery, Adam Morley
Cautions – Jepson (foul 61’), Meakin (dissent 69’)
Match report compiled and edited by Marc Williams