MATCH REPORT | Graham Street Prims -v- Gedling Miners Welfare
By Marc Williams
Gedling take all 3 points in Derbyshire
Graham Street Prims –v– Gedling Miners Welfare
East Midlands Counties Football League
Saturday 8th December
Raygar Sports Ground | 3pm Kick Off
Graham Street Prims ……………… 1 (Allen 7’)
Gedling Miners Welfare ………….. 3 (Hastings 34’, Charlesworth 50’, Jepson 65’)
Gedling Miners Welfare made it two wins in a week on Saturday afternoon after beating Graham Street Prims 3-1 at the Raygar Sports Ground in the East Midlands Counties League. James Allen gave the home side an early lead but goals from Courtney Hastings, Jurgen Charlesworth and Jack Jepson sealed a much needed 3 points for the visitors as they pulled away from the relegation zone.
Looking to secure a double over Gedling after a 3-1 win at Plains Road in October, Prims started on the front foot as the rain began to heavily descend over Derbyshire. Unsurprisingly, however, both sides struggled in the conditions and the opening exchanges were scrappy. Michael Fitzhugh registered the first half opportunity of the game after 5 minutes but after the striker was found by George Lynam his effort was easy for Lance Walker who collected with ease.
Understandably, the weather was always going to play a part in how the game would pan out and it played a crucial role in the game’s first goal after only 9 minutes.
From the left, an innocuous cross from Matt Harris was seemingly dealt with by Walker but in the testing surroundings, the ‘keeper struggled to hold onto the delivery and the ball fell kindly to James Allen who had the simple task of tapping home to put the home side in front.
Amidst a slow start, Gedling posed very little in the early minutes but they had a superb chance to level the scoreline just 2 minutes after going behind. Jimmy Spiers’ pinpoint cross from the left found an unmarked Courtney Hastings at the back post but after electing to control, his touch deserted him and the ball ran out for a goal kick.
Rarely untroubled, the home side put the opportunity behind them and continued to push forward looking to double their lead. Shortly before the 20th minute, Kial Thurman, looking to utilise the slippery surface, tested Walker from range but the stalwart parried away to safety. 2 minutes later and Fitzhugh found Harris with an excellent cross and, with superb improvisation, his volley clipped the top of the crossbar and away to safety as Prims dominated.
As the half progressed, Gedling enjoyed little success going forward and strikers Mason Coy and Jack Jepson resembled very isolated figures as Prims continued to control the affair. Fitzhugh once again turning provider after finding Dominic Wilkinson, but, from an angle, the wide man flashed his effort over the woodwork on the half hour.
Despite the pressure, the home side couldn’t finish their chances and as the half ticked seemed very grateful for the early goal, but 4 minutes later they were made to rue their missed opportunities as, against the run of play, Gedling equalised in their first real venture forward.
Combining well in the middle of the park, Joe Meakin and Jurgen Charlesworth did well to find space on the boggy pitch and the latter’s delicate cross found Hastings who, after setting himself superbly with his chest, volleyed home past Andrew Fretwell to get his side back into the game with an extremely well taken effort.
The goal sparked Gedling into replicating recent performances of late that have warranted better results than their form guide suggests and they ended the half strongly as Prims, otherwise content, seemed panicked as half time approached.
10 minutes before the break, a clever free kick from Ross McCaughey found Coy and his drilled low cross was hesitantly dealt with by Fretwell as he just about cleared with his legs. 2 minutes later after McCaughey did well to dispossess Joe Hunt, his stinging shot was well held by Fretwell who calmed his troops as Gedling ended the half the stronger of the two sides.
The visitors began the second period where they left off in the first and looked to put themselves in front following an encouraging end to the opening 45 minutes and with their first attack since the interval, they deservedly took the lead.
After Spiers had found Charlesworth down the left, his cross-cum-shot was dangerous and the ball found itself travelling all the way through untouched before nestling into the far corner past a despairing Fretwell.
2 minutes later and Jepson, unusually quiet but not one to shy away from the action, may have extended Gedling’s lead but his shot, fiercely hit with venom, lacked precision and the ball fizzed wide of Fretwell’s post as the travellers sensed a third.
In contrast to their first half performance, Gedling now had complete control over the game as they looked for their second win in as many games following Tuesday night’s win over Collingham in the Nottinghamshire Senior Cup. Hasting’s stinging effort after pouncing on a ricocheted clearance just before the hour was wonderfully struck but Prims’ number 1 did well to claw away and keep his side in the game.
The home side, meanwhile, failed to capitalise on their promising start to the game and it became apparent why they have suffered mixed fortunes so far this season. Their best chance of the second half came after 62 minutes but after Fitzhugh and Wilkinson linked up once more, the latter’s effort was well saved by Walker who was rarely troubled since the break. From the rebound, McCaughey did well to thwart the onrushing Allen as the full back did well to prevent Prims’ goalscorer from adding a second.
The opportunity was about as good as it got for the home side as very little fell their way as the rain echoed their mood and a minute after missing the chance to level the score, it got even worse for Prims when Gedling extended their lead.
Keeping the play alive following another foray forward, Hastings’ looping header fell to Jepson and after wonderful control and poise to set himself up for the shot, he fired the strike across Fretwell and into the bottom corner as he was mobbed by his colleagues – a fine strike from Jepson to put himself amongst the leading goalscorers in the league with his 13th in all competitions.
By this stage, Gedling were in complete ascendency as Prims continued to struggle with their resiliency at the back. Not all went to plan, however, on the 70th minute when Chris Hall, making his return to the club, was surprisingly given his marching orders for a poor challenge on substitute Matthew Taylor. Referee Liam Vayro deeming Hall’s tackle reckless and uncontrollable as he dismissed all protests henceforth by his teammates.
With a man advantage, Prims set about making a game of it as the game ticked towards its close. 15 minutes from time and Fitzhugh, maintaining his efforts to kick-start a revival, crossed dangerously for Wilkinson at the back stick but superb defending from Raheen Suban, playing in an unfamiliar role, ensured the deficit remained at 2.
Despite earlier concerns in the match, Gedling saw out the remaining minutes with comfort and ease as Prims failed to build on a positive first half following their hammering against Ingles last time out. Jordan Lee, replacing goalscorer Allen 15 minutes from time, summed up his side’s afternoon by firing well over from range with an effort that Walker ushered over his crossbar with minimal worry as Gedling took a deserved 3 points back to Plains Road.
2 wins on the bounce now for Gedling as they look to put earlier season form behind them with an extremely welcoming win against a tricky Prims side. They look to continue the upturn in fortune as they welcome Eastwood Community to Plains Road on Tuesday night (11th December), kick off 7.45pm, before hosting table toppers Newark Flowserve on Saturday (15th), kick off 3.00pm.
Gedling Miners Welfare Man of the Match – Jimmy Spiers
Match Attendance – 38
Referee – Liam Vayro
Assistant Referees – Thomas Buhse and George Dibbs
Graham Street Prims – Andrew Fretwell, Joe Hunt, Ryan Seale, George Lynam, Elliott Dawson, Oliver Ball (c), James Allen (Jordan Lee 75’), Kial Thurman (Bhupinder Aietan 59’), Matthew Harris (Matthew Taylor 64’), Michael Fitzhugh, Dominic Wilkinson
Unused Substitutes – Kurt Dallison, Ben Greatorex
Cautions – Seale (foul 71’)
Gedling Miners Welfare – Lance Walker, Raheen Suban, Ross McCaughey (c), Joe Meakin, Luke Smith, Chris Hall, Courtney Hastings (James Rusby 88’), Jimmy Spiers, Jack Jepson, Mason Coy (Jack Millward 70’), Jurgen Charlesworth (Abubakar Wadada 84’)
Dismissals – Hall (foul 70’)
Match report compiled and edited by Marc Williams