Jack Jepson’s late penalty wasn’t enough to complete a spirited fightback as Gedling Miners Welfare fell short against Ingles at the Dovecoat Stadium on Saturday afternoon in the East Midlands Counties Football League.
Gedling looked to build on their positive start and Courtney Hastings’ dipping shot with only 5 minutes played was a sign of some early promise as home ‘keeper Ollie Buchanan did just about enough to thwart the effort.
At the other end, Vijay Godhania’s rasping strike from 12 yards sailed just over the bar after Danny Brown had punched Dan Tuck’s corner clear.
Ingles, who recently announced Adam Vasey as their new first team manager from next season following Matt Smith’s decision to step down, settled into the game following a nervy start and started to take control of the game and after only 11 minutes on the clock they took the lead.
Buchanan’s high punt upfield wasn’t dealt with in the middle of the park and Kyle Fowkes had all the time in the world to flick into the path of Dan Bryans who, in behind a static Gedling four, slotted past Brown to give Ingles an early lead.
Despite showing intention early on, Miners couldn’t find a way through the home side’s rear guard spearheaded by captain James Brooks who was colossal all afternoon.
Doing his best to spark some energy into his side, Hasting’s again went close but his snapshot was easy pickings for Buchanan.
Since going behind, the visitors struggled with Ingles intricate approach, coupled with their ability to go long when necessary which started to pay dividends.
Fowkes this time found himself in behind only 4 minutes after playing his part in the opener but, from a tight angle, couldn’t keep his effort down as Brown saw it comfortably over his bar. However, their second wasn’t long in coming as only a minute later, the hosts doubled their advantage.
Following some superb interplay down the right between Fowkes and Tuck, a static Gedling could only look on as the latter’s effort was initially saved by an onrushing Brown. However, on the rebound, Tuck’s square pass found Rob Mulonga, joining up with play from full back, and he had the simple task of passing the ball into an empty net to give Ingles a deserved two goal cushion.
With Gedling posing very little going forward, the home side headed toward the interval with a commanding lead which was under little threat as they looked to consolidate their position as the half wore on.
With half an hour played, the travellers did start to show some signs that this game wasn’t completely out of their reach as they enjoyed more possession amidst Ingles’ decision to rest on their laurels.
With 34 minutes gone, excellent work down the right by Jack Jepson and Jurgen Charlesworth provided Joe Meakin with a chance to reduce the arrears but his touch when in behind Mulonga uncharacteristically let him down.
Not long after and Jepson, quiet to this point, was instrumental in getting behind Mulonga and crossing dangerously for an unmarked Charlie Roberts, but he couldn’t quite stretch far enough at the back post and the chance went begging.
A positive ending to the half for the away side as they looked to recover from the damage done in the opening 16 minutes.
They picked up from where they left off in the second half and controlled the opening exchanges with minimal worry. Jimmy Spiers stung the hands of Buchanan just after the restart but the ‘keeper did well to collect at the second attempt.
A minute later and following a high looping cross from Charlesworth after a good build-up with Spiers, Jepson’s thunderous volley on the turn arrowed just over as Gedling sensed a way back into the game.
Now completely dominant, Miners continued to push looking for that elusive goal back into the game that would make for a cagey last half an hour for the home side. However, they weren’t helped by the withdrawal of Jack Millward, impressive on the day, just after the break following a knock.
Their best chance of the match came on the hour but as Meakin’s excellent deep cross found an unmarked Luke Smith at the back post, his powerful header was smothered at his near post by Buchanan before the ball was hastily thumped clear by Josh Bowley.
Despite the dominance, Gedling failed to yield any further menacing attack that would worry Buchanan, buoyed by the attention of Brooks who was utterly dominant throughout, and the home side would rely on the counter attacking to seal the game as the visitors committed more bodies forward.
As the game ticked towards its close, the game became stagnant as Gedling faced a second successive defeat. However, with 9 minutes left, they were handed their chance to reduce the deficit.
Following Ross McCaughey’s high ball in behind, Jepson raced onto the pass and, just before pulling the trigger when through on goal, was hauled down by Michael Tuck and referee Imran Khan pointed to the spot.
As was the case against Newark Flowserve last time out, Jepson dusted himself down and stepped up to slot past Buchanan as the striker looked to rally Gedling, seeking to take an unlikely point from the game.
As it turned out, the penalty was as good as it got for Gedling who couldn’t trouble Buchanan and company in the latter parts of the game before Khan blew for time.
Gedling’s second half performance was admirable and plenty of positives can be taken but all damage was done in a very welcoming 16 minute opening spell for the home side.
Miners look for a change in their form and hope to return to winning ways as they welcome Clifton All Whites to Plains Road on Tuesday evening (16th April) following the abandonment of the game earlier in the season, kick off 7.45pm.
Match Attendance – 38
Referee – Imran Khan
Assistant Referees – Edgar Brown & Harry Moir