Gedling MW ………………… 1 (Hogg 80′)
Hucknall Town …………….. 1 (Short 47′)
Felix Hogg’s 80th minute equaliser extends Gedling Miners Welfare’s unbeaten run to four after they shared the spoils with Hucknall Town at Plains Road on Saturday afternoon.
Straight from kick off, the home side may have snatched an opener after just 15 seconds when Ross McCaughey’s punt forward caused a mix up between Adam Jablonski and Oliver Brown, but Alex Haughton’s effort was cleared off the line by Aaron Short who spared early blushes.
Both sides came into this one in good form and Hucknall arrived in Mapperely having only lost one all season. Former-Miner midfielder Sam Sims’ effort from range with 4 minutes played was easy for Keaton Sharpe as they looked for an early stronghold.
Miners hosted after winning their last three but failed to make any early possession pay as both sets of rearguards were winning early battles.
However, a rare lapse, but when Courtney Hastings did well to dispossess a complacent Lenford Jenkins in the far corner with 18 minutes played, he could only flash his strike from an angle wide of Jablonski’s post as Gedling looked for a settler.
At the other end, Joe Ashurst’s nimble footwork saw him beyond Dean Gent, though couldn’t find a way past Sharpe who saved excellently at his near post.
A minute later and Sharpe was again called upon when Joe Butler found himself in behind, but the ‘keeper’s trailing leg ensured the scorelines remained level with a fine reflex save.
The game came to life and Miners enjoyed a decent spell of play in a fixture that always encourages a bumper crowd.
Hasting’s dogged work down the right just before the half hour saw room for a cross, but his delivery was just out of reach of Charlie Roberts who was loitering at the back post.
Moments later and Hastings’, from a similar position, once more invited pressure with a low cross but Jenkins did well to hack clear ahead of a waiting Houghton.
Despite the good intentions, the game lacked any real quality and the home side constantly fell foul of Jevon Swinscoe’s flag on the far side as they found it difficult to break down a stubborn away defence.
Town’s best chance came shortly before the break when Butler’s flicked header from Ashurst’s deft cross saw Sharpe beaten but could only clip the top of the crossbar before referee Paul Buck sent the teams in.
An unwanted respite for the visitors who would have wanted to carry on momentum following a promising chance later in the first half, however they didn’t let the interval deter them when only 2 minutes into the second period, they took the lead in controversial circumstances.
A deep corner from Brown caused a hectic goalmouth scramble but as Sharpe seemingly pounced on the loose ball with two hands, captain Short poked the ball home with Buck allowing the goal to stand ignoring the justified protestations which saw Hastings sin-binned for his part.
Shortly after Hucknall took the lead, all eyes were once again on Buck after he waved away a viably strong handball claim from Miners when confusion in the away area saw the ball hit a flailing hand.
Now chasing the game, a disconsolate Miners pushed forward as the game turned scrappy.
Dwayne Brown’s header from Kieran Harrison’s free kick on the hour mark looped just wide of the far post as they began to take the ascendancy.
Town remained on the back foot, but seemed happy to soak up a strong spell of pressure; spearheaded by Michael Bannister who was excellent all afternoon.
However, as they retreated deeper into their half, the charge continued and with only 10 minutes remaining, the home side deservedly drew level.
Matt Newton’s excellent spin-and-turn to evade Sims’ tackle preceded a sumptuous pass into the space of Felix Hogg who slotted past an onrushing Jablonski to cap a fine individual showing and level the scoreline.
A frantic end saw both teams doing their part to preserve strong starts to respective campaigns as they each looked to sneak a late winner.
With only seconds remaining, Hastings raced through on goal after he was found by Hogg but despite doing wonderfully to skip around Short’s last ditch tackle, minor hesitancy allowed Sims to retreat and fully alleviate the danger before Buck closed an entertaining affair.
A fair point overall for Gedling who extend their unbeaten run to four and they will look to keep the trend going when they visit Ingles next Saturday (26th), kick off 15:00.
Gedling Miners Welfare Man of the Match – Keaton Sharpe
Match Attendance – 232
Referee – Paul Buck
Assistant Referees – Rob Boam & Jevin Swinscoe
Gedling Miners Welfare – Keaton Sharpe, Matt Newton, Dwayne Brown, Ross McCaughey (c), Dean Gent, Charlie Roberts, Aaron Large, Felix Hogg, Courtney Hastings, Kieran Harrison (Cameron Thurgood 63′), Alex Houghton (Jordan Knight 66′)
Unused Substitutes – TK Mushambi
Cautions – Gent (foul 28′), Hastings (dissent – sin bin 48′), Roberts (foul 87′), McCaughey (foul 90′)
Hucknall Town – Adam Jablonski, Michael Bannister, Oliver Brown, Lenford Jenkins, Aaron Short (c), Sam Sims, Jamie Crawford (Cayne Maxwell 66′), Tom Hubbard, Joe Butler (Jack Smith 77′), Matthew Brian (Adam Nelson 73′), Joe Ashurst
Unused Substitutes – Jake Pearson
Cautions – Brown (foul 52′), Ashurst (foul 87′)