Gedling MW ………… 3 (Hastings 38′, 90’+1, Large 88′)
Clipstone………………. 2 (McDonald 79′, Pickering 80′)
Gedling Miners Welfare left it late on Saturday afternoon as a 91st minute Courtney Hastings strike secures a second win in as many games against Clipstone at Plains Road.
The visitors arrived in Mapperley in mixed form despite an impressive win at Kimberley last week. They started well and Daniel Fields’ shot in anger with only 3 minutes played was a warning sign for Gedling who hosted after recently derailing Sherwood Colliery’s unbeaten start to the season.
Early promise may have suggested an end-to-end affair but both teams resulted in scoping one another out as chances on goal were scarce.
Cameron Thurgood’s decent cross was met by Courtney Hastings with 10 minutes played, but the striker couldn’t direct his header and away ‘keeper Sam Ogden ushered it wide.
Shortly after, Tony Law nearly capitalised on some Ogden hesitation when he received a pass-back from Roberto Marchetta, but the stalwart managed to avoid any embarrassment as he just about cleared his lines.
The home side were dominant but failed to make any promising possession count in a first half that offered very little as both Ogden and Lance Walker in the home goal cut very isolated figures.
Just after the half hour, Aaron Large linked up well with Law down the right but his end product lacked accuracy.
With very little to note, the game needed a spark to enlighten a tedious encounter and 7 minutes before the break Gedling duly delivered.
Down the left, Smith, Large and Law all combined with some fine interplay and the lay off for Hastings was perfect to sumptuously curl the ball into the far corner past a stranded Ogden and give his side a deserved lead.
As the half approached, a flurry of late chances could have seen the hosts go into the interval with a healthier scoreline.
Moments after going ahead, the impressive Thurgood looked to emulate Hastings’ strike but his effort from range curled agonisingly wide.
2 minutes later Kieran Harrison, an earlier substitute for Jimmy Spiers, dragged his shot across Ogden but clipped the outside of the post as Welfare ended the half well on top.
Chances kept on coming after the break and Harrison should have done better when he benefited from a fortunate ricochet after a tackle with Jack Gibb, but could only scoop the ball over the crossbar with Ogden at his mercy.
He went even closer to notching his first goal for the club only minutes later, however his free kick crashed back off the woodwork with Ogden beaten all ends up.
The dominance continued as the hour mark approached, with Gedling seeking the second goal that would ensure the three points stayed at Plains Road.
Thurgood’s weaving run down the right went undetected but his left footed hit bounced back out off the bar as the Cobra’s goal was living an extremely charmed life.
Posing very little up front, Clipstone’s defence were doing all they could to preserve the one goal deficit, sensing they could possibly snatch an unlikely something late on as they relied heavily on the counter attack.
In a rare venture forward, Josh Pickering sprung the offside trap but could only see his dinked effort drop the other side of Walker’s post.
Through renewed confidence, the visitors grew into the half late on and started to enjoy a commanding spell hoping to take anything back to Mansfield and 11 minutes from time, they snatched an equaliser.
Fine build-up play down the right saw Jason Foster and Pickering combine and the latter’s sly reverse pass to substitute Sheldon McDonald was confidently slotted home to draw Clipstone level.
Sensing the impetus, the visitors may have settled for a point, though could never have expected to lead only 30 seconds later when they added a quickfire second.
A lobbed through ball over a protesting Gedling defence allowed Pickering to bare down on goal and chip over an onrushing Walker to put Clipstone in an unforeseen lead, much to the delight of their devoted supporters, whilst referee Max Atherwood waved away all subsequent offside claims.
Finding themselves in an unpredictable position, the home side, unsurprisingly shaken, now had everything to do to salvage a second win in two.
Charlie Roberts’ towering header, on the end of Thornton’s deep cross with 4 minutes remaining, was cleared off the line by Tony Weaver as Clipstone edged closer to only their third win of the season.
Such was the case against Sherwood last week, managers Andy Clerke and Chris Marks looked to the bench for inspiration.
2 minutes from time and their decision to introduce Curtis Millward late on was rewarded when his tenacious work down the right allowed room for a deep cross to find Large at the back post who controlled well and fired home into the far corner.
In a series of unprecedented events, Miners, with their performance deserving more, pushed for the winner not settling for a point and, as the time ticked over to one minute added, they re-took the lead amidst mass jubilation.
Large’s persistence down the left saw room in behind Gibb and his pass found Hastings who deked past his marker and fire the ball past Ogden who couldn’t prevent the striker’s 15th strike of the season despite a strong hand as Atherton closed an up-and-down second half to secure the points for the home side.
A hard-fought victory for Gedling who overcame a late scare to secure their sixth league win of the campaign and rise to seventh. They travel to Carnarvon Street next Saturday (12 October) where they face Teversal hoping to prolong the recent form, kick off 15:00.
Gedling Miners Welfare Man of the Match – Dean Gent
Match Attendance – 92
Referee – Max Atherton
Assistant Referees – Wayne Porter & Lawrence Chapman
Gedling Miners Welfare – Lance Walker, Dwayne Brown, Luke Smith (c) (Charlie Roberts 59′), TK Mushambi, Dean Gent, Cameron Thurgood, Aaron Large, Josh Thornton, Courtney Hastings, Jimmy Spiers (Kieran Harrison 40′), Tony Law (Curtis Millward 75′)
Unused Substitutes – Jordan Knight, Joe Meakin
Cautions – Harrison (foul 65′)
Clipstone – Sam Ogden, Jack Gibb, Roberto Marchetta (Sheldon McDonald 75′), Matthew Mullins (Curtis Birchall 70′), Tony Weaver, Liam Carrington, Daniel Fields, Connor Nowacyzk (Josh Devereux 43′), Marcus Beddoe, Jason Foster (c), Josh Pickering
Cautions – Nowacyzk (foul 20′)