A goal from talisman Sean Green 40 seconds into the second half gave Kimberley a come-from-behind win against Gedling Miners Welfare who extend their winless run in the East Midlands Counties League to five on Saturday afternoon at the Stag Ground.
The visitors started well and, to reflect some of their impressive performances of late without result, immediately put their hosts on the back foot and they made the perfect start as they set about rectifying their poor form guide.
In the opening minute, a long punt forward by full back Sam Mellor forced a corner. From the resultant set piece, Ross McCaughey picked up the clearance and fed Aboubacar Sylla down the left and the winger’s pass inside found the onrushing Joe Meakin who smashed the ball, hard and low with superb accuracy, past the sprawling Louis Kinnerley for the opening goal.
After a frantic start, the game quietened and the home side reacted well to going a goal behind. Looking to Grant Tobin, playing the architectural figure in the middle of the park, they sought to level the scoreline as quickly as they went behind. Jonathan Jebbison registered Kimberley’s first noteworthy attempt on 5 minutes but Danny Brown, in the away goal, anticipated the danger well and held the threatening low cross well.
At the other end, Sylla had started promisingly and started to worry Kimberley. His direct approach drew a few early fouls as referee Tom Bingley had to be careful on handing out any unwanted home cautions in the opening stages. 15 minutes had been played when his dazzling footwork troubled 3 defenders but his finish lacked any finesse and the ball sailed wide.
Trying to find their way in the match after a sluggish start, Kimberley continued to pose very little that would give Gedling’s defensive unit anything to think about. Former Gedling man Joe Harrison, offering an indication of his undoubted talent, stung a shot goalwards but Brown was equal to the effort. A minute later and he had another opportunity to get his side back on level terms but his shot skewed over the crossbar.
Despite the score, Kimberley started to control possession and their passes were slowly starting to find their targets with more consistency. Their best chance came shortly before the 20th minute when Alex Doyle, after rounding 2, couldn’t find the connection he wished for and ball trickled wide as Brown scrambled to ensure his angles were safe.
The home side seemed frustrated and it was evident why they may have succumbed to a mix bag of results in the East Midlands Counties League so far this campaign. Another former Gedling man Adam Morley found it difficult under the relentless visiting pressure and the defender was culpable of several misplaced passes that put his side on the unnecessary defensive, much to the dismay of his inquisitive colleagues.
Gedling on the other hand were content with their lead and, whilst allowing Kimberley ample opportunity to retain possession, seemed fairly comfortable with their position. However, in the 24th minute, and rather disappointingly through their own undoing, they handed the home side a chance back into the game.
After Will Bouwen lost possession on the half way line, Harrison found himself at the by-line and his low cross found Sean Green but the striker was felled by Kallum Keane, attempting to clear, in the area and referee Bingley made no hesitation in pointing to the spot. Greg Tobin stepped up and slammed the ball into the bottom corner for the equaliser.
Arguably deserved, Kimberley found ascendency and ventured forward more often and 2 minutes after finding the leveller, they could, and probably should have, taken the lead.
After Jebbison found Green, the forward tested Brown’s lengthy frame and the ‘keeper tipped superbly but the ball found its way to Harrison who simply needed to pass the ball home but Brown, reacting excellently to his initial stop, was scrambling full stretch to deflect the ball over the crossbar with his legs. Brown setting a standard that would grace any professional setting as he deservedly took the plaudits from around the ground.
The opportunity sparked Kimberley and their switch to a 4-3-3 formation was a shrewd one from the bench and their confidence was clearly evident since their goal.
Shortly before the break, though, and it was Gedling who may have gone in to the break leading but after Meakin was found in behind by Liam Corrigan, the midfielder, who was tireless throughout the half, failed to trouble Kinnerley and his rushed effort was pickings for the home ‘keeper.
Whilst Gedling weren’t spectacular, their work rate was admirable and it seemed that frustrated the hosts at times. They themselves may have felt aggrieved on more than one occasion but their justified protests to the officials fell on deaf ears.
Level at the break in a game that could have gone either way after the restart, the second half opened as the first ended, but those in attendance would have been surprised at how early the next goal of the game arrived when, only 40 seconds after the interval, Kimberley took the lead.
Down the right, a fine cross by Mason Frizelle, following a gallivanting run from deep, found the head of Greg Tobin and his delicate header under pressure came back of the crossbar, but the ball bounced back to the unmarked Green who had the simple task of nodding home into an empty net to give his side the go ahead goal. The assistant on the far side judging that Green was onside when the initial header from Tobin was played despite the protestations from those in yellow.
10 minutes later and they may have extended their lead further but, after Green’s header across goal, aiming for Grant Tobin, was dangerous, McCaughey snubbed the threat and cleared well.
Gedling continued with their game plan and their determined mind set to continuously pressure Kimberley caused minor panic in a side defending a perilous scoreline. In reflection the game turned feisty as Mr. Bingley did his best to settle the tension amidst a flurry of second half cautions for both sides.
Shortly after the hour, Callum Lloyd, benefiting from a poor bunch from Brown after a Frizelle set piece, could only spoon his unorthodox volley over the bar. 10 minutes later and following a Grant Tobin corner Lloyd had another opportunity to put the game to bed but he couldn’t find his angles as Gedling sensed a comeback was possible through Kimberley’s lack of clinical finishing.
However, the final stages offered very little and Gedling really failed to pose any further threat that would detriment the home side’s leading position. They were limited to only half chances and Sam Farn and company were superb in thwarting any possible threat as the game neared its conclusion.
Looking to seal the 3 points, Jebbison continued to cause trouble with his low centre of gravity and direct methodology but the striker couldn’t find any luck as some excellent last ditch defending from Jacob Tabreham prevented him from finding the scoresheet in the dying minutes as the referee drew a close to the game as Gedling headed back to Plains Road with a fifth consecutive defeat in the league.
They welcome Teversal to Plains Road next Saturday (27th October) in the East Midlands Counties League looking for a change in fortune and hoping to end their pointless run in the league, 3pm kick off.