Radford 3-1 Gedling MW
The Pheasants go marching on
Radford FC vs Gedling Miners Welfare 3/11/18 – East Midlands Counties League
By Michael Callander
Radford made it seven consecutive wins by beating Gedling Miners Welfare 3-1 in a combative affair at Selhurst Street, through a Conor Moore brace and a neat Eugene Francis finish late in proceedings. Despite their form, Radford maintain fourth place and Gedling occupy 16th at close of play. The Pheasants further extended their goalscoring run against a Gedling defence that had shipped 12 goals in their last five league games. Radford will hope to continue their consistency to mount an assault on the top three going into the winter.
Gedling took a direct approach towards the tunnel in the first few minutes. Despite their early pressure they didn’t create too many clear-cut chances, besides a Jack Jepson shot being comfortably held by Hadlee Dunn after he dribbled to the edge of the area.
They took advantage of the visitors’ wasted chances in the tenth minute, as CONOR MOORE’s shot proved too hot for Lance Walker to handle after Ravarn Jackson got into the area and squared for Moore to finish. 1-0 Radford.
Jackson was involved again three minutes later as his corner led to pinball in the area; two Radford shots were then deflected, the second clearing the bar and temporarily relieving the pressure for Gedling.
As with the Clifton game, this match was not short of robust challenges going unpunished. Luke Smith made a strong tackle on the halfway line which drew a foul but, surprisingly, he was not booked for his trouble.
Matt Hopewell took a long throw from the right-hand side in the 19th minute which was only half-cleared, the ball dropping to CONOR MOORE again. The striker, this time completely unmarked, took his time and fired past the unmoved Walker with power to double the advantage early-doors. 2-0 Radford.
Just past the half-hour mark, the visitors reduced the arrears in spectacular style. A half-clearance fell to JÜRGEN CHARLESWORTH outside the box who volleyed a beauty into the top-right corner, leaving Dunn rooted to the spot. 2-1 Radford.
Gedling might have equalised soon after and only last-ditch defending late in the first half preserved Radford’s lead. Play quickly became fragmented as the officials were heavily criticised by both sides for a series of questionable decisions.
Tom Black was pulled down on the run down Gedling’s right-hand side; the free-kick was headed over by Ryan Smith at the back post.
HT RADFORD 2-1 GEDLING MINERS WELFARE
Radford won a free kick soon after the restart as the ever-present Hopewell was floored down the right. Paul Durham’s delivery was knocked down but Conor Moore was unable to secure his hat-trick as he volleyed over.
Durham was replaced by Jack Smith 55 minutes in and Radford immediately pressed higher, creating several chances as hurried, wayward clearances gifted possession back to the home side.
By now every call the officials made was being contested in no uncertain terms by both teams and dugouts; they certainly didn’t have an easy day of it as the players made no secret of their feelings towards certain decisions.
Ben Clark replaced Ravarn Jackson an hour in but Gedling nearly levelled as Abou Sylla cut in from the left before laying it back to Luke Smith who fired straight at Dunn from 25 yards.
Kevin Spriggs received his second yellow 64 minutes in for an alleged high foot on Jepson; but didn’t put in the backs-to-the-wall performance many might have expected from this point on.
Matt Hopewell took several rash challenges throughout the match and one left him needing treatment 20 minutes from time. Gedling took advantage of the break in proceedings to replace Luke Smith with Mason Coy in midfield.
Radford soon responded as Eugene Francis injected fresh legs in place of Conor Moore who made the conversation for man of the match a difficult one. Ryan Smith muscled a Gedling defender off the ball down the left minutes later and drove to the edge of the area. Finding no options, however, he fired his shot into the car park.
Jack Jepson aimed to notch his side’s second impressive goal of the day by shaping up for an overhead kick, but his acrobatic effort went well over the bar.
Five minutes from time EUGENE FRANCIS made an intelligent run behind Gedling’s defence and finished well off the bar past Walker who rushed out. The visitors were incensed that offside wasn’t given and protested the issue for several minutes as the game began to lose its rhythm in the latter stages. 3-1 Radford.
Hilarity ensued minutes after Francis’ goal as Walker’s rushed clearance smashed a Gedling defender in the face from point-blank range and went out for a Radford corner. However, nothing came of the delivery into the box.
On an early November evening, there were fireworks around Nottingham and on the pitch as tempers continued to flare at refereeing decisions and tackles flew in towards the final whistle.
A mazy Tom Black run was halted by an impeccably-timed tackle. Jack Smith took his time with the throw-in as the home side looked to fragment the game and draw soft fouls whenever possible. They remained largely solid at the back despite being a man down for much of the second half.
FT RADFORD 3 – 1 GEDLING MINERS WELFARE