EMCL - Gedling Miners Welfare 0 -v- 4 Clipstone
Topliss topples Miners
Gedling Miners Welfare –v– Clipstone
East Midlands Counties Football League
Saturday 6th October
Plains Road | 3pm Kick Off
Gedling Miners Welfare …….. 0
Clipstone ………………………...... 4 (Sowter 8’, Topliss 27’, 36’, Nowaczyk 87’)
Clipstone ran out worthy winners against Gedling Miners Welfare on Saturday afternoon after a double from talisman Julian Topliss in between goals from Steve Sowter and substitute Connor Nowaczyk ensured they left Plains Road with a comfortable 3 points.
Gedling came into the game on the back of two successive defeats in the league and despite ensuring their place in the second round of the Notts Senior Cup last weekend at Wollaton, were looking for a swift change of fortune to kick start their league campaign.
They started well and immediately looked to put Clipstone on the back foot. Courtney Hastings’ improvised effort nearly put the hosts a goal up inside 5 minutes but, following some tentative goalkeeping by Dale Sheppard, skipper Rob Paling was on hand to thump the ball off the line to bail his ‘keeper out.
The hosts started brightly and the relentless movement of lone striker Hastings was looking promising. Though, amidst a heavy downfall, both sides were finding it difficult to retain some notable possession on an extremely damp Plains Road surface.
Following their relegation last season after a torrid campaign, having not won a single game in 42, Clipstone have started life in the EMCL commendably and, despite some mixed results, will certainly find themselves battling for a return to the Northern Counties East League come the end of the season.
They too started positively and the early exchanges in testing conditions looked encouraging. The visitors, looking to build on their 3-1 win against Borrowash last time, sought to get a foothold in the affair after a slow start and, after only 8 minutes, they took the lead.
After some neat wide play by Julian Topliss down the right evaded two, his excellent delicately floated cross to the back stick deceived Danny Brown, who misjudged, and Steve Sowter powered his header home to give his side the lead.
The opening goal set the tone and both sides were showing anything but a defensive mentality. 3 minutes after going behind, Hastings once again found himself in behind but, after being found by Ross McCaughey, his touch deserted him and Sheppard collected with ease.
Since going ahead, Clipstone looked the better side and they were starting to control the game with more purpose and intent. Sowter this time turned provider but his dangerous low cross in the 20th minute escaped all those in attendance as the ball fizzed across the 6-yard box when only a touch was needed. At the other end, and after being found by Hastings, Aboubacar Sylla struck a wonderful low volley that was terrifically matched by Sheppard as the ‘keeper held well.
From the neutral, the game was exciting and would certainly have warmed all spectators on an otherwise chilly afternoon. Whilst chances were limited in the most part early on, both sides continued to carry an attack prowess as both sets of rear guards were firmly tested.
Gedling responded well to going a goal down and in a series of low stinging efforts in a dominating few minutes, looking to utilise the slick pitch, they may have deserved an equaliser.
After 20 minutes, McCaughey tested his luck but his well struck hit was met by Sheppard. 2 minutes later and Bijan Pakrouz tested the ‘keepers handling once more but Clipstone’s number one was equal to the effort. Sylla then went close again in the 25th minute but, once again, Sheppard responded by collecting the wide man’s efforts at the second attempt. Despite their spell of dominance, whilst reassuring, Gedling couldn’t find a way past the lengthy frame of Sheppard and their efforts were in vain as in the 27th minute Clipstone doubled their lead.
After Brad Cox was fouled on the edge of the area by a committed McCaughey, leading goalscorer Topliss stepped up and nonchalantly passed the free kick into the bottom corner around an outstretched Brown to double Clipstone’s lead.
The game mellowed and Gedling seemed deflated after finding themselves two down. Though they could have no arguments 9 minutes later when, through their own undoing, Topliss added a third, his second.
After an innocuous looped pass from the middle of the park was seemingly dealt with, pressure from the striker caused hesitancy in the defensive ranks and his efforts were rewarded when a rushed clearance by Brown ricocheted off the number 10’s leg and the ball trickled its way into an empty net for his second of the afternoon.
3 up and comfortable heading into the interval, The Cobras looked good for their lead. Shortly before the whistle, and Hastings may have reduced the arrears but, after finding space in behind a stubborn Clipstone back line, he lacked composure and his effort was skewed wide.
As the rain continued to lash down, the away side looked to consolidate their position in the second half and hoped to take all 3 points and their 4th win in 5 back to the Lido Ground. 10 minutes after the break and Topliss may have taken the match ball back with him but his free kick was superbly tipped onto the crossbar by Brown who prevented Clipstone from running riot.
Gedling continued to be hindered by some early season inconsistency and they were never really in this one despite a flurry of chances in the first half.
The game turned feisty and both sides were utterly committed to their cause. Clipstone always posed a threat with the experienced Topliss and Cox spearheading an impressive attack and were excellent defensively with Paling standing out as he and colleagues thwarted everything Gedling threw at them. Just after the hour and after fine link up play between Dean Robinson and Topliss, the latter couldn’t keep his effort down and his wry smile suggested he should have done better.
The introduction of Will Bouden injected some pace into Gedling’s flanks and his interplay with Jimmy Spiers provided them with their best chance to pull within two but, in a carbon copy to Sowter’s contribution earlier in the game, the ball flashed across Sheppard’s goal evading all in a yellow shirt. 10 minutes before time and Topliss, still looking to add to his personal tally, curled wide of the mark with Brown ushering his effort wide.
As the time ticked, Clipstone remained fairly untroubled throughout and Gedling continued to pose very little and any surprise that may have emulated last season’s cup encounter was certainly not forthcoming and 3 minutes before time they sealed their victory.
After a pin point cross-field pass found from Paling found Connor Nowaczyk, the substitute controlled well around McCaughey and he advanced on goal and coolly slotted around Brown to add gloss to an already emphatic scoreline to compound Gedling’s misery.
Shortly before the referee drew time, McCaughey went closest to a consolation for the hosts but his free kick, in the 3rd minute of stoppage time, sailed over Sheppard’s crossbar as Clipstone celebrated their second highest win of the campaign.
Gedling’s performance on the day was below par and their slow start to the season continues as they succumbed to their 3rd league defeat in succession. They welcome Graham Street Prims, without a win in 6 in all competitions after a strong start to their campaign, to Plains Road on Saturday 13th October, kick off 3pm.
Gedling Miners Welfare Man of the Match – Jimmy Spiers
Referee – Olly Torrance
Assistant Referees – John Thornhill and Max Roulstone
Match Attendance – 74
Gedling Miners Welfare – Danny Brown, Sam Mellor, Ross McCaughey (c), Kallum Keane, Dwayne Brown, Jacob Tabreham (Ryan Perkins 62’), Bijan Pakrouz (Will Bouwen 70’), Jimmy Spiers, Courtney Hastings (Abubakar Wadada 78’), Joe Meakin, Aboubacar Sylla
Cautions – Wadada (dissent 90’)
Clipstone – Dale Sheppard, Gary Armstrong (Adon Spencer 84’), Rob Paling (c), Brad Wilson, Tom Robley, Dean Robinson, Olly Ashton, Danny Naylor, Brad Cox (Ethan Wiesztort 58’), Julian Topliss, Steve Sowter (Connor Nowaczyk 70’)
Unused Substitutes – Danny Tighe, Blake Vincent
Cautions - Robley (foul 31’), Nowaczyk (dissent 90’)
Match report compiled and edited by Marc Williams