Welfare return to winning ways and go top after comfortable win
Gedling MW …………….. 4 (Hastings 16′, 31′, 88′, Millward 36′)
Borrowash Victoria ….. 0
Gedling Miners Welfare went joint-top of the East Midlands Counties League after another Courtney Hastings hat trick completed a resounding victory over a Borrowash Victoria at Plains Road.
The visitors came into this one in retched form having lost all twelve of their previous outings and were immediately put under the cosh by a Gedling side looking for an immediate return to form following their defeat at Dunkirk in the week.
A barrage of promising attacks from Welfare nearly yielded an early opener when Aaron Large, Felix Hogg and the returning Sol Miller linked up well down the left but a final effort from the former Newark Flowserve winger lacked power.
Moments later, Miller was at it again when he found himself on the end of a deep delivery from Luke Smith, though a volleyed strike into the ground bobbled harmlessly wide of Marcell Monori’s near post.
Despite being rooted to the foot of the table, Victoria will have travelled to Mapperley buoyed by their recent managerial change following Paul Brooks’ arrival at the club and a host of new faces in their customary red and white, however they were always second best in a half under complete Gedling control.
On the quarter hour, Ross McCaughey’s free-kick wasn’t attacked and Monori had to be at his best to claw away the cross which was sneaking into the far corner.
Unexpectedly, Vics were pinned on the back foot and those who braved the wintry elements at Plains Road sensed the opening goal was imminent and with 16 minutes played it duly arrived.
After patient build-up play down the left, another inch-perfect cross from Smith evaded all and found the unmarked Courtney Hastings who nodded home to give Miners a deserved lead.
Not without intent, Borrowash finally found a break and started to enjoy a little more possession as they hunted an equaliser.
With 20 minutes played, their best chance came when a neat passage of interplay stemming from Harris Maqsood and Lynton Francis saw Jermaine Palmer scoop wide after he evaded Dean Gent’s attention.
Maqsoon then combined with Palmer, this time turning provider, as he set up Riccardo Leighton to sting the hands of an otherwise untroubled ‘keeper Keaton Sharpe as Vics sent a reminder to their dominant hosts that they weren’t there to simply make up numbers.
Hoping to avoid any bouts of complacency, Miners regained ascendancy as they looked to extend their lead and after half an hour they did just that.
When Hogg did excellently to break up play in the centre of the park, his astute pass through the lines was latched onto at pace by Hastings who, after composing himself well, fired past Monori to double his personal tally and put Gedling in the drivers seat.
Without any further attacking threat, Vics relied heavily on their defensive unit and Monori to keep them in the game but another loss looked likely 9 minutes before the break when Welfare added a third.
Venturing forward with purpose, Miller’s slotted through ball in behind a static Jak Kenworthy was perfect for both Hastings and Millward, and as Monori was rounded, the latter took control and slotted into an empty net for his second in as many games.
Millward may have added another only 3 minutes later when he struck a volley goalwards after good play down the right between McCaughey and Large, but Monori was equal to the venomous strike as he superbly palmed away to preserve a dignified scoreline.
To their credit, the visitors began the second period well and were unlucky not to get on the scoresheet following a series of fantastic opportunities that caught Gedling napping.
Firstly, Jordan Sanders found space in behind Dwayne Brown down the left and his cross-cum-shot had Sharpe back peddling but the ball could only loop onto the crossbar and away.
3 minutes later and the young stalwart really was at his best to deny Palmer after he benefited from a ricocheted cross to push a thunderous half-volley onto the post before the ball was cleared – a wonderful save from Sharpe who really is having a fine season.
With their final chance of a promising 10 minute spell after the break, Sanders found himself on the end of Kenworthy’s cross but could only blaze over from an angle as the home side settled themselves.
As the game quietened, Miners looked happy to consolidate their position as a fourth win in six looked on the horizon sending them to the top of the table, with Vics staring at an unwanted thirteenth straight defeat.
In the closing minutes, a hopeful punt forward saw Monori in unfamiliar territory and with Hastings adding some pressure, the ‘keeper’s poor header fell straight to the striker who made no mistake in stroking home to confirm his hat-trick and 21st of an impressive campaign to seal victory.
A comfortable victory for Miners who top the table with three other clubs and return back to winning ways in comfortable fashion. They hope the trend continues when they host Barrow Town next Saturday (9 November), kick off 15:00.
Gedling Miners Welfare Man of the Match – Ross McCaughey
Match Attendance – 87
Referee – Martin Beard
Assistant Referees – Jevon Swinscoe & Derek Spray
Gedling Miners Welfare – Keaton Sharpe, Dwayne Brown, Luke Smith, Ross McCaughey (c), Dean Gent (Takunda Mushambi 73′), Kieran Harrison, Sol Miller (Cameron Thurgood 65′), Felix Hogg, Courtney Hastings, Curtis Millward (Jordan Knight 61′), Aaron Large
Unused Substitutes – Jacob Tabreham, Alex Haughton
Cautions – Harrison (foul 76′)
Borrowash Victoria – Marcell Monori, Lewis Partridge, Nathan Bennett, Jak Kenworthy (c), Liam Buckley, Lynton Francis, Harris Maqsood (Issac Johnson 78′), Riccardo Leighton, Jermaine Palmer, Shay Wiggins (Lee Naughton 72′), Jordan Sanders (Zak Anderson 65′)
Unused Substitutes – Joel Issac, Oskar Kruk
Cautions – Kenworthy (foul 65′)