The Vics came into this game after two superb away displays against two of the high flyers in the EMCL. This fixture at Gedling MW continued a run of tough away fixtures over an intensive short period of time. Steve Smith was away on a course, so young Charlie Mansfield came in goals from the Reserves and David Hind replaced Jamie Pawley on the left hand side.
It was maybe the large amount of games which contributed to an horrific start by Borrowash who decided it was a good idea to give the home side a two goal lead within 5 minutes of the game starting. There were a catalogue of errors which led up to each goal by the away side which to be fair to the Gedling scorers were expertly taken.
This finally woke the Vics up and the game settled down with both sides huffing and puffing, although Gedling showing a lot of fight and at times nice passing football. Even so the Vics could not be happy with what was happening and required a spark from somewhere.
This finally came on 30 minutes when good link up play and a fine cross by Rob Ritchie-Smith was pulled down by Hind at the back post, who cut inside and finished superbly from 15 yards out.
Borrowash were now taking more control and 8 minutes later good play down the right resulted in a ball into Joe Mansfield who showed great strength to hold off a defender, and turn in the box only to be hacked down before he was able to slot the ball home with only have the keeper to beat for a blatant penalty. Rob Ritchie-Smith stroked this home without any fuss.
Then on the stroke of half time the turnaround was complete, when another heavy challenge from a Gedling midfielder on Chris King on 44 minutes on the edge of the box resulted in a free kick. Up stepped David ‘podge’ Hind who produced a piece of superb set piece play, by whipping the ball over the wall and it clattered in off the underside of the bar.
The whistle was then blown not long after to complete a whirlwind first half where Borrowash were far from their best, but showed huge character to come from two behind so early in the game.
Half time – Geding 2 Borrowash 3
The second half was a different story with Borrowash controlling the majority of the game, although Gedling continued to be highly competitive and not see this as a routine end of season fixture. The Vics were finally getting to grips all over the park, getting the ball down and playing alongside winning individual battles.
It took until the 71st minute to seal the game when great play by Martin Smyth down the right resulted in a pinpoint low cross which was finished following a midfield run into the box by Sam Kellogg.
The rest of the game was seen out without any fuss and further opportunities spurned. Gedling gave a fright but huge character and quality where it mattered ultimately was the difference.
Full time – Geding 2 Borrowash 4
Mansfield (c), leigh ,land, tansley, betteridge (t), hind, kellogg (s), king, ritchie-smith, Mansfield (j), smyth . subs – baker, pawley, riley, jellyman and kellogg (t).
Joint manager Sam Kellogg says –
“ Tonight we started like we were half asleep and what can only be described as gifted them two goals through poor decision making by a number of our players. We then however, have shown a character and quality of performance to not just roll over and give up.
Gedling have some quality and were highly competitive which shows how well we have done to come back. On the flipside we cannot do this every week and need to start with a level of intensity from the first second.
We have had such a lot of games and to be where we are at this stage of the season is testament to all in this highly competitive league.
I would like to pick out young Charlie Mansfield in goal who showed great maturity and was completely comfortable all night. He has a superb attitude who listens and wants to learn and certainly has a bright future if he continues with this approach to his game.”