Rainworth MW .........3 (Ingram 20' (P), 52', Radford 44')
Gedling MW ............3 (Hastings 17' (P), Miller 71' Brett 85')
Gedling Miners Welfare were knocked out of The Buildbase FA Vase second qualifying round on penalties by Rainworth. Despite staging a superb late second half comeback they were cruelly denied a place in the first round proper as Greg Tempest and Courtney Hastings saw their spot kicks well saved.
The visitors made four changes from the side that were beaten at home by Radford last time out. Matthew Simpson came in for his competitive debut to replace Keaton Sharpe in goal. Whilst Josh Thornton, Kyme Mason and the suspended Felix Hogg made way for Charlie Roberts, Liam Corrigan and Abdau Cole.
Gedling began the game in the ascendancy, with Steven Brett getting on the end of an early Tempest free kick from the right. However, he couldn’t quite steer the header towards either corner of the net and it was easily caught by Warren Squires in the Rainworth goal.
The hosts began to show some of their own attacking potency and it took a heroic last ditch challenge from Brett to block Owen Clarke’s seemingly goal bound strike on eight minutes.
This drew a response from the visitors and they nearly took the lead after 11 minutes. Kieran Harrison’s free kick was allowed to travel a long way into Rainworth’s box before dropping to Tempest with his back to goal. The midfielder improvised with a back-heel and it rolled agonisingly wide of the post.
Simpson’s debut had been relatively uneventful in the opening minutes of the game but this changed after a quarter of an hour when he was called into action to deny Aidy Harris the first goal of the game. The Rainworth skipper’s well struck free kick, from a considerable distance, looked destined for the back of the net but Simpson got down low to push it around the post and keep the scores level.
It was Gedling who took the lead two minutes later. Squires failed to hold Abdau Cole’s shot and as Liam Corrigan raced onto the rebound he was upended in the six yard box and referee James Tewson showed no hesitation in pointing to the penalty spot. Courtney Hastings stepped up and confidently fired the ball high into the right top corner for his first goal of the season.
The lead lasted barely 90 seconds though, as Rainworth were awarded a penalty of their own during their first attack since going behind. Brett and Clarke collided somewhat clumsily on the left edge of the area and Tewson again pointed to the spot. Ryan Ingram dispatched the penalty and it was 1-1 with 20 minutes played.
With the game evenly poised, Hastings spoke out of turn once too often and found himself sin binned for dissent. This gave Rainworth a man advantage for ten minutes and they wasted little time in taking control of the game.
Clarke, a threat throughout the game for the hosts, had two good chances in quick succession just before the half hour mark. His first was smartly saved by the legs of Simpson whilst his second was just wide of the target from the edge of the area following a corner.
Hastings’ return to the field evened the contest up again both numerically and in terms of control of the play.
With half time looming, Rainworth finished with a flourish. Ingram’s left footed shot from the edge of the area was brilliantly pushed over the bar with one hand by Simpson to prevent what would have been a superb goal.
The hosts weren’t to be denied a minute later though as Josh Radford turned home Isaac Fisher’s left wing cross. This proved to be the last meaningful action of the half.
Rainworth made the better start to the second half and they were duly rewarded when Ingram scored his second of the game on 52 minutes. Craig Mitchell made a strong run down the left and delivered an inviting cross into the box. Ingram controlled it well and produced a composed finish giving Simpson no chance.
Buoyed by their third goal, the hosts continued to press as they looked to put the game beyond Gedling. However, Simpson, who was inspired throughout, had other ideas as he made two superb saves, one with his hands, the other with his feet, to deny Clarke.
Gedling needed a reaction if they were to stop the game getting away from them and managers Chris Marks and Andy Clerke sent on Solomon Miller and Kyme Mason with little more than 20 minutes remaining. Both players made a big difference with Miller a constant threat down the left and Mason too direct and energetic for a tiring Rainworth midfield.
It was Miller who got the first goal back, turning in an inch perfect cross from Dwayne Brown on the right.
Gedling continued to attack and Brown again swung in a pacy, inviting delivery which Ruben Wiggins-Thomas brought down superbly. With the goal seemingly at his mercy he struck his shot straight at Squires and the Rainworth ‘keeper made a straightforward save. Miller then nearly had his second goal of the game but was denied by a sharp save from Squires.
For all of Gedling’s dominance in the final quarter of the game, Rainworth were still a threat on the counter attack and Ingram had a fine chance to complete his hat-trick but he failed to find the target.
The visitors punished this miss with five minutes remaining. Tempest swung in a corner and Brett rose highest to nod it into the back of the net and deservedly draw Gedling level.
With the full time whistle nearing only one side looked likely to win it: Gedling. And they might well have done had Tempest’s venomous strike not cannoned into the face of Harris or had Wiggins-Thomas’ low cross not been a yard behind Miller with the goal gaping.
However, they couldn’t make their late dominance tell and with the score tied at 3-3, the match went straight to a penalty shootout.
Gedling started the shootout and Tempest volunteered to take the first penalty. It was well struck, hard and low but Squires guessed correctly and dived low to his right to deny the midfielder.
Mitchell lashed Rainworth’s first penalty into the roof of the net and the hosts had the early advantage.
Ross McCaughey was the next man to step up and the captain showed all of his experience to calmly send the goalkeeper the wrong way and get Gedling on the scoreboard.
Simpson then sprung into action, turning Julian Topliss’ penalty around the post to mean the scores were level at 1-1 after two penalties each.
Liam Corrigan coolly dispatched his penalty, also sending Squires the wrong way, to give Gedling the lead for the first time in the shootout.
Kane Hempshall tucked his penalty away to once again bring the scores level after three penalties each.
Hastings could not repeat the result of his penalty from earlier in the match as Squires guessed correctly to block the well struck kick.
Ingram helped Rainworth capitalise on the miss as he slotted his penalty home.
Kieran Harrison stepped up to take Gedling’s fifth, knowing that if he missed they would be out of the competition. He was the calmest man in the ground as he drilled his penalty home giving Squires no chance.
Kurtis Bamford was left with the responsibility to send Rainworth through and despite Simpson getting a hand to it, his low strike into the right corner was enough to secure a 4-3 penalty win.
Gedling will look to bounce back from this Vase exit when they return to league action on Wednesday evening away at Belper United.
Chris Marks said: “I’m gutted to be fair. The last twenty minutes we showed what we’re about and we got back in the game. Had there been another ten minutes we probably would have gone on and won that game, we were on top thoroughly in the last twenty but we can’t turn up for twenty minute spells.
“When you go to penalties it’s a lottery. We will never blame anybody for putting their hand up and taking a penalty and missing because the fact that they’ve put their hand up shows good courage. We’re disappointed as a group and a management team.
The positive is we’re a good side, we’ve got a good dressing room, good players and we believe in them. it’s just taking us a little longer than we’d have liked to get going.”
Gedling Miners Welfare Man of the Match – Matthew Simpson
Match Attendance – 77
Referee- James Tewson
Assistant referees- Lee Clarke and Brandon Mersh
Rainworth Miners Welfare – Warren Squires, Ryan Herbert, Chadd Wootton, Josh Radford, Elliot Jones, Kane Hempshall, Isaac Fisher (Kurtis Bamford 68’), Aidy Harris (C) (Connor Wright 90+2’), Owen Clarke (Julian Topliss 74’), Craig Mitchell, Ryan Ingram
Unused Substitutes – Jack Havron, Keiran Coupe.
Cautions – Ryan Herbert 5’, Chad Wootton 83’
Gedling Miners Welfare – Matthew Simpson, Dwayne Brown, Charlie Roberts (Kyme Mason 68’), Ross McCaughey (C) Steven Brett, Liam Corrigan, Kieran Harrison, Greg Tempest, Courtney Hastings, Ruben Wiggins-Thomas, Abdau Cole (Solomon Miller 60’).
Unused Substitutes – Finlay Gaynor, Josh Thornton, Scott Miles.
Cautions – Steven Brett 13’ , Courtney Hastings 23’, Kieran Harrison 88’