AROUND THE COUNTIES By STAN WILTON
The Action Saturday 18th March 2017
It has been an important day at both ends of the table, and whilst the top two were doing combat pride of place should go to the other end of the table for the starting point. There will be shades of celebrations at GEDLING MINERS WELFARE at taking their unbeaten run to three games after such a dreadful start to the season. RADCLIFFE OLYMPIC were the latest team to feel the new Gedling Force as the visitors to the Recreation Ground came from two goals down to win the game. Ryan Smith’s 27th goal of the season gave Olympic a sixth minute advantage and Ian Marley doubled their lead before the break. But afterwards a Jordan Whitehead goal, following almost immediately by a Conor Moore own goal restored parity. It was Adam Whitehead on 70 minutes who gave Gedling their win, an important one which leaves them just seven points from safety.
At the top the clash of the top two saw WEST BRIDGFORD edge a little nearer the title with a 2-0 win at nearest challengers BIRSTALL UNITED. Aaron Large scored after 19 minutes and Tim Hopkinson after 37 for the visitors who have now stretched their lead at the top of the table to nine points.
Elsewhere, the battle for third and fourth places took place at Lees Lane and the positions were reversed in the table as SOUTH NORMANTON ATHLETIC edged out visitors AYLESTONE PARK by the odd goal of five in the day’s home win. Kevin Hamagou on 23 minutes and Luke Crosby’s 29th hit of the season six minutes later gave the Shiners a good start. Jason Lee reduced the arrears just before the break only for Courtney Bartley to reopen the two goal gap eleven minutes from the end. A late Mason Brown goal brought the score back a little closer.
STAPENHILL’s Steve Hart brought his goal tally for the week to four and for the season to 47 as his team left ELLISTOWN & IBSTOCK UNITED still looking for their first win of the season. Jamie Disney just before the break and Ash Grainger just after built up the visitors lead to which Hart added his late contribution for a 3-0 win.
And on a day when six of the eight fixtures ended in away wins, there was success for ASHBY IVANHOE at ANSTEY NOMADS after Darren Taylor had given Nomads an early advantage. Luke Thorogood and Josh Riley both bagged a brace as Ivanhoe recorded a 4-1 success. And just for good measure BLABY & WHETSTONE ATHLETIC recorded a similar scoreline at ARNOLD TOWN after Jack Allen had given the Eagles a third minute lead. Rikki Bates, James Ireland and a brace from Aaron Preston, the latter his 30th goal of the season, lifted Athletic into the top six.
There is a quite amazing statistic about BORROWASH VICTORIA just lately. In their last eight matches there has been a remarkable 46 goals scored. Little surprise then that today they should be involved in a game of five more with KIMBERLEY MINERS WELFARE beaten by a very late brace from Michael Fitzhugh. Scott Bailey opened the scoring for the home side five minutes before the break and it stayed like that until Rhoadri Meads levelled with twelve minutes left. Felix Hogg put the Stags back in front on 85 minutes and with the game running towards stoppage time it looked like they would move up the table. Enter Michael Fitzhugh with goals in 89 and 90+1 minutes to give advantage Vics.
The only drawn game of the day saw GRAHAM STREET PRIMS and BARROW TOWN share the spoils. Prims raced into a two goal lead inside the first ten minutes through Sam Groves and Jack Tyson. Marc Schulz pulled one back on half an hour and Dan Agar rescued a point with five minutes left.
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