MATCH REPORT | Gedling Miners Welfare 2 -v- 3 Eastwood Community
By Marc Williams
Gedling lose out to late goal
Gedling Miners Welfare –v– Eastwood Community
East Midlands Counties League
Tuesday 11th December
Plains Road | 7.45pm Kick Off
Gedling Miners Welfare ……… 2 (Hastings 8, Jepson 69’)
Eastwood Community ……….. 3 (Knight 18’, Wrenn 43’, Hayes 90+1’)
A late Danny Hayes header in the dying seconds against his former club gave Eastwood Community all 3 points against Gedling Miners Welfare at Plains Road on Tuesday night. The hosts went ahead through Courtney Hastings before Kieran Knight and Connor Wrenn gave the visitors a turnaround half time lead. Jack Jepson equalised midway through the second half for Gedling but Hayes’ effort in injury time snatched the win as Eastwood maintained the pressure on the top 4.
Gedling started the affair well and made a promising start to a game they would have been underdogs for prior to kick off. 3 minutes in and Mason Coy found space after some fine football down the right and his goal bound effort was deflected over by Danny Hayes after the home side looked to pick up where they left off following their 3-1 win against Graham Street Prims at the weekend.
They continued the better team as Eastwood seemed to suffer with the hangover after their impressive win against Ilkeston Town in the FA Vase recently and after only 8 minutes, they found themselves a goal down.
After being found by Joe Meakin on the edge of the area, Courtney Hastings found time and space after turning well and promptly drilled the ball past Jack Pearson in the away goal to put Gedling into a deserved lead.
The Red Badgers had the chance to equalise only 2 minutes later but Jack Allen couldn’t find his feet after tempting 3 tackles from Gedling defenders who eventually dispossessed the striker. From the resulting counter attack, the home side flooded forward and Jurgen Charlesworth’s curling effort lacked any form of accuracy and Pearson caught with ease.
The hosts continued dominating the early exchanges and their football on show was superb but just lacked that killer touch in the final third. However their early promise counted for nothing as, after 18 minutes and in their real first foray forward, Eastwood equalised.
After Allen’s flicked header found Joe Butler down the left, his cute square pass between the lines found the onrushing Kieran Knight and the wide man slotted the ball into the roof of the net via the underside of the bar as the officials ignored protests from Gedling who deemed Butler offside in the build-up and were aggrieved that Knight was lucky to remain on the pitch after earlier dissent toward the near linesman for which he was only cautioned.
The game mellowed and both ‘keepers were tested with only half chances as the game dwindled into a very quiet game; a stark contrast to how the opening minutes panned out. Showing his undoubted ability on the half hour, Knight drove forward from the half way line and after evading tackles of those in yellow, unleashed a fine effort from distance that only marginally cleared the crossbar as the away supporters showed their appreciation.
Looking to extend their run of only 1 loss in 9 in all competitions, Eastwood got back into the game after their sluggish start, but found it difficult against a stubborn Gedling side who arguably edged the half as the game headed towards the interval.
Meakin may have sent his side into the break with the lead but his swirling effort after 39 minutes was parried away by Pearson who may have been unsighted in the thick fog slowly descending on Plains Road.
Miners continued to play their promising football and at times, the visitors found it difficult to cope with their attacking intentions as they looked to build on their promising start. Jack Jepson nearly got in on the act seeking to build on his impressive personal form of late but, from a tight angle, his arrowed shot 2 minutes later flew wide of Pearson’s post.
Down the other end, Knight, looking to spark some attacking prowess for his side bombarded down the right and was tripped by Charlesworth and from the subsequent set piece, Eastwood took the lead.
Sam Meakin’s delightfully curled free kick was tempting and after Lance Walker had committed himself through a body of players, Connor Wrenn got there first and nodded home into an unguarded net to give his side the go ahead goal as he felt the full force of the ‘keepers attempts to punch the ball clear.
The away team may have extended their lead only 2 minutes into the second half, but Allen’s effort at the back stick, following a cross from Butler, was palmed away by Walker who did well at his near post to prevent the deficit extending to 2. 7 minutes later and Allen did have the ball in the back of the net but was thwarted by Oliver Thornhill’s flag on the far side, barely spotted by Anthony Wingate through the dense conditions.
The game was starting to emulate the opening minutes and both sides were looking to continue their recent form that made this game an eagerly anticipated tie beforehand. Seeking to deservedly draw the scores level, Dwayne Brown’s surging run lead to the ball finding Jepson but his effort from the corner of the box was blocked by the combined efforts of Billy Brooks and Aaron Short.
However, 2 minutes later and Jepson, not to be kept quiet, bagged his customary goal to secure the equaliser for Gedling. After Meakin had found the striker with acres of room on the edge of the area, his run wasn’t halted and having been allowed time to pick his spot, drove his shot past the rooted Pearson into the bottom corner.
Shortly after and Meakin’s effort from range was apprehensively dealt with by Eastwood’s number 1 as Gedling looked to control the tie following their encouraging performance and 4 minutes after the equaliser the game turned on its head.
Firstly, under no pressure, Sam Meakin’s free kick back to Short was underhit and was pounced on by Charlesworth who sensed the initiative. Driving forward, his cute pass found the committed Jepson but the talisman could only drag his effort wide of Pearson’s post as he uncharacteristically squandered the chance to put Gedling in front for a second time.
The chance came and went, but the home side continued to push for the 3 points their performance had deserved. However, their task was made harder when Hastings was dismissed for a second bookable offence not long after. An innocuous trip on Hayes on the half way line was deemed excessive by Wingate and the referee gave the striker his marching orders following a caution 3 minutes earlier for dissent.
With a tough quarter of an hour ahead of them, Gedling battled to preserve a point they thoroughly deserved against a tricky Eastwood team who will be looking to challenge for the EMCL title come May.
Walker had to be on his toes to keep his side on equal terms 5 minutes before time when substitute Kallum Greaves’ snapshot looked to be creeping in the corner but was clawed away to safety by Gedling’s custodian who reacted well. However, in the dying seconds, he could do nothing to prevent the visitors taking an unassailable lead.
After youngster Louis Czerwak was hacked down on the far side by Ross McCaughey, Meakin’s free kick in the first minute of injury time wasn’t dealt with and Hayes was on hand to bundle home against his former club to ensure Eastwood headed back to Chewton Street with the 3 points.
An unwarranted result for Gedling who were excellent on the night and certainly deserved at least a point from a game that, in spells, they were completely dominant in. They look to rectify the form guide on Saturday (15th December) when they welcome table toppers Newark Flowserve to Plains Road, 3pm kick off.
Gedling Miners Welfare Man of the Match – Dwayne Brown
Match Attendance - 94
Referee – Antony Wingate
Assistant Referee – Nick Lees and Oliver Thornhill
Gedling Miners Welfare – Lance Walker, Jack Millward (Charlie Roberts 70’), Ross McCaughey (c), Joe Meakin (James Rusby 85’), Dwayne Brown, Luke Smith, Mason Coy (Reiss Coy 65’), Jimmy Spiers, Jack Jepson, Courtney Hastings, Jurgen Charlesworth
Unused Substitutes – Abubakar Wadada
Cautions – Hastings (dissent 71’), McCaughey (foul 89’)
Dismissals – Hastings (foul 74’)
Eastwood Community – Jake Pearson, Billy Brooks (c), Sam Meakin, Ruban Mitchell, Aaron Short, Danny Hayes, Greg Conn, Connor Wrenn, Kieran Knight, Joe Butler, Jack Allen
Unused Substitutes – John Whitehurst
Cautions – Knight (dissent 16’), Conn (foul)
Match report compiled and edited by Marc Williams