Teversal…………… 1 (Smith 8′)
Gedling MW……… 4 (Hastings pen 11′, 18′, 60, Harrison 51′)
Courtney Hastings’ hat trick guided Gedling Miners Welfare to second in the East Midlands Counties League as they eased to victory over Teversal on Saturday afternoon.
They may have gone one up after only 45 seconds when Hastings cutely spun marker Adam Colton following Dwayne Brown’s pass but could only fire wide past a sprawling Gareth Briggs in the home goal.
The hosts have stumbled since they took all three points in the reverse fixture in August and their form has only seen two league wins all campaign. However, they started brightly in this one.
Only 4 minutes had passed when an unmarked Greg Smith nodded wide Colton’s deep corner, but they weren’t to be denied only moments later following a spell of early pressure when they took the lead.
Colton had time and space to deliver from wide and although his cross was headed away by Brown, Smith was on hand to fire goalwards and his effort carried enough power to beat Keaton Sharpe as Teversal found themselves ahead.
Buoyed by impressive wins recently over Sherwood Colliery and Clipstone, Miners retaliated well and found an instant response 3 minutes after going behind when Kieran Harrison’s thunderous strike hit the arm of an unsuspecting Sam Levelle and referee Gary Thomas harshly pointed to the spot.
Hastings stepped up and forced his penalty under Briggs to pull his side back to level terms.
The visitors rallied and started to take real control of the game on a difficult surface. Down for only a matter of minutes, they deserved the equaliser and shortly before the 20 minute mark, they turned the game on it’s head.
Josh Thornton’s arrowed pass in behind Adam Li was excellent and was latched onto at speed by Hastings who, after picking his spot, fired across Briggs to nestle the go-ahead goal into the far corner to put Gedling in front.
The hosts became deflated having seen their early lead squandered and after finding themselves with it all to do, failed to cause Gedling any further troubles as Sharpe and his rearguard coped with minimal difficulty.
Shortly before the half hour, Joe Fox’s effort from all of 35-yards summed up their first half as the ball ballooned well wide of its target.
Gedling continued to push forward hoping to put the game out of Teversal’s sight by the break and 8 minutes before the interval, Aaron Large’s shot, bound for the top corner, was superbly tipped onto the crossbar by Briggs, before Harrison failed to capitalise on the rebound as he rushed his follow-up.
Comfortably ahead at the break, the travellers picked up where they left off in the second by immediately putting the home side on the back foot and after Hastings was felled on the edge of the penalty area 6 minutes after the restart, they added a third.
With time and poise to set himself, Harrison’s sumptuously struck free-kick curled venomously into the top corner via the underside of the crossbar as Briggs could only watch and admire the midfielder’s first for the club.
Despite good intentions, Teversal really were second best all afternoon and struggled to make use of experienced frontman Dave Cockerill and nimble wingers around him.
With 54 played, Cockerill, once of Sheffield Wednesday, did well to fend off Dean Gent in the area after being found by Fox but his scuffed effort was easy for Sharpe who remained untested.
At the other end, Thornton’s raking pass to Cameron Thurgood allowed the wing-back to cut inside Li but his lowly-driven shot was kept out by Briggs at his near post.
With a third win on the bounce on the horizon, Welfare could afford to cast one eye over next week’s crunch match with Hucknall Town and they were able to relax further on the hour mark when the win was sealed.
Gent’s fine control and punt forward under no pressure was perfect for Hastings to cleverly break the offside trap in behind a static defensive line and as the talisman bared down on goal, he was clumsily hauled down by the retreating Ash Bartle and Thomas awarded Miners another penalty.
For the second time in the match, Hastings dusted himself down and whilst his initial effort was well saved by Briggs diving low to his left, the rebound was smashed home with conviction tallying another hat-trick for the striker, his 18th goal of the season, and confirmed the three points headed back to Plains Road.
As the final 25 minutes approached, Teversal continued to offer very little going forward and Cockerill’s tame strike into the welcoming arms of Sharpe was about as good as it got for them as they registered a fifth loss in nine.
An all-but-perfect showing for Gedling on the day despite Thornton’s late dismissal following a needless tackle on Joel Smith as they continue their impressive run. They now look forward to a huge tie with Andy Graves’ Town at Plains Road on Saturday (19th October), kick off 15:00.
Manager Chris Marks put forward his thoughts after the game –
“We were really pleased with the result today. The lads got the job done and got the 3 points to climb up the table. We felt we owed Teversal as we thought we deserved more from when they beat us at home earlier in the season. There’s a good vibe across the place at the moment and the squad is strong. The competition for places is high which allows the lads to keep raising their standards. It will be a tough test next week against Hucknall, but we’ve said it from the start of the season that on our day we are more than capable of beating any team in this league.”
Gedling Miners Welfare Man of the Match – Tony Law
Match Attendance – 68
Referee – Gary Thomas
Assistant Referees – Daniel Ghent & Kevin Tietjen
Teversal – Gareth Briggs, Ashley Bartle (Miles Thirnwill 66′), Adam Li, Adam Colton (c), Sam Lavelle (Matt Wilkinson 70′), Greg Smith, Joe Fox, Joel Smith, David Cockerill, Liam Vardy (Dan Fullwood 54′) Jon Watkin
Unused Substitutes – Ryan Duffy-McGirr, Rio Alberry
Cautions – Colton (foul 49′), Lavelle (sin-binned for dissent 58′), Cockerill (foul 56′)
Gedling Miners Welfare – Keaton Sharpe, Dwayne Brown, Ross McCaughey (c), TK Mushambi (Felix Hogg 61′), Dean Gent, Cameron Thurgood (Charlie Roberts 76′), Aaron Large, Josh Thornton, Courtney Hastings (Curtis Millward 66′), Tony Law, Kieran Harrison
Unused Substitutes – Jordan Knight, Alex Haughton
Dismissals – Thornton (serious foul play 68′)