Gedling Miners Welfare produced a dominant performance to run out comfortable victors in their penultimate pre-season friendly against Desford FC. Braces from Tony Law and Courtney Hastings, as well as a fine finish from Kyme Mason ensured a deserved win for the hosts at Plains Road.
Gedling started on the front foot and immediately showed the visitors that they would have a difficult afternoon ahead. Law headed narrowly wide before having a goal disallowed for offside, and Greg Tempest fired a shot over the bar from the edge of the area, all within the opening ten minutes.
Despite their dominance, it took until the twentieth minute for the deadlock to be broken by Gedling. Tempest’s fierce shot from distance cannoned off the post and Law was on hand to tuck home the rebound.
With the first goal to their name Gedling upped the tempo and the visitors could not cope with the barrage of pressure. Mason, only just on the field as a substitute, nearly made an instant impact, shooting narrowly wide of the target after lovely build up play. Liam Corrigan was the next to go close, heading a superb Tempest free kick wide.
Mason then showed great skill to beat two men and slotted a composed finish into the corner of the net beyond the Desford ‘keeper, giving Gedling their second goal in the space of six minutes.
He nearly had his second of the game four minutes later as Courtney Hastings cut the ball back for him but this time his shot didn’t quite have the accuracy required and whistled over the crossbar.
Just over half an hour in, Hastings got his name on the scoresheet with a right footed strike that took a slight deflection on its way into the net.
The visitors who had barely threatened during the first half won a free kick on the left hand edge of the penalty area with five minutes of the half remaining. A good delivery into the box was met by one of Desford’s tall centre halves and he nodded the ball into the net to reduce the deficit.
The second half was even more of a one sided affair than the first. Kieran Harrison threatened twice in the opening five minutes of the half. A well hit strike from distance just went over the bar before he turned provider from a free kick and picked out Corrigan with an excellent delivery. Corrigan couldn’t quite keep his header down from within the six yard box though and Desford survived.
Moments later, Hastings grabbed his second of the game finishing off a lovely through ball by Tempest and in doing so made the scoreline more of a true reflection of the game.
On the hour, Josh Gardner cut inside and saw his shot turned behind by the Desford ‘keeper. The resultant corner was clipped invitingly into the penalty area by Tempest and Mark Draycott headed it just over the bar. Law then produced a mazy run and was unlucky to see his shot land just wide of the target.
Gedling were relentless in their pursuit of more goals even as the game headed into the last 15 minutes. Hastings drilled a low cross into the box and found Law who turned superbly but saw his shot blocked by the onrushing ‘keeper.
Two minutes later, Law made no mistake to grab his second goal of the game, shrugging off a couple of Desford defenders before sliding the ball into the back of the net.
Both Hastings and Law spurned good opportunities to seal their hat-tricks in the final five minutes but it couldn’t take the shine off a thumping Gedling victory with just two weeks until the start of the season.
Manager Chris Marks said: “We’ve tested ourselves through pre-season with a variety of different oppositions. They’ve come from Leicester today, they’re a physical side, they put their foot in and they made it hard for us but I think we were very much in charge of the game. It could have been a lot more but we kept our shape and we kept our discipline which is key.”