Radford FC.........1 (Kirkham 16)
Gedling MW.......2 (Wells 38, 72)
Wells double sinks the Pheasants
Gedling made the short trip to Selhurst Street eager to consolidate on recent form. George Bradley made his debut at the heart of the defence in place of the suspended Chris Peet. Midfielder Richard Saxton returned from injury and Keiran Wells returned to Gedling’s line up after an unhappy few weeks at Blackwell.
Both sides started brightly in an end to end game in wintry conditions and Saxton and Lewis Capewell both went close in the first 12 minutes for the visitors and skipper for the day Simon Labbate had to be alert to keep out a decent effort from Radford’s Ash Marshall. The opening goal came in the 16th minute. Carl Najuk got down smartly to parry a good shot from Myles Gorey. The ball however rebounded to a gleeful Steve Kirkham who made no mistake from 8 yards. Barely a minute later the lead should have been doubled. Rob Labbate dinked the ball over the bar with Najuk stranded. Gedling’s first real shot in anger came in the 24th minute as a fierce shot from Wells was neatly tipped over by home custodian Jack Harvey. Danny Hough then moved forward with pace and missed with a low shot.
Ex-Miner Rich Harrison was pulling all the right strings in midfield as he urged his team mates forward and the Pheasants always looked dangerous on the break. The equaliser arrived on 38. Rhys Jeffery picked up a loose ball in midfield and dinked over a delightful cross in to the box and Wells scored with a looping header which left Harvey groping air.
The second period carried on in the same vein and again Hough went close for Gedling and Tom Bryan was denied by Najuk. The third goal was always going to be important and returning striker settled the game in the 72nd minute. Picking up a loose ball some 35 yards from goal he powered forward despite the close attentions of three defenders. Fortunately Mr Vardy allowed him to keep possession and he let fly from 22 yards for his second of the game.
Fitness began to tell in the last 20 and the Miners could and should have increased their lead and grip on the game. At least 4 or 5 decent chances fell to Wells, Hough and sub Seb Darling but a combination of the woodwork, offside flag and Harvey saved Radford from a far more heavier defeat.
A tremendous performance from Gedling. From back to front the application was spot on and the victory was well deserved. The icing on the cake was the scoring return to his spiritual home of Wells who picked up where he left off before a temporary stay away from Plains Road.
Gedlings Man of Match – Keiran Wells
a winning return for the ace marksman
Referee ~ Paul Vardy
Att ~ 48
Radford FC ~ Harvey, Labbate (Powell 79) Marshall, Warden (C) Dewar, Harrison (Baker 72) Allen, Tyres, Bryan, Gorey (Ward 78)
Kirkham. Subs not used ~ Johnson.
Gedling MW ~ Najuk, Muldoon ( Bonnick 78) Labbate (C) Hough, Marzano, Bradley, Capewell, Saxton (Harding 66) Jeffery, Bedward (Darling 63) Wells. Subs not used ~ Ellis, Morgan.
Yellow card ~ Saxton (34 foul)