Category: First Team


Match Report: Sutton Coldfield Town(H)

By Phil Matthews

Mickleover SPORTS 2-0 Sutton Coldfield TOWN

Sports:- King, Horne, Turner, McGrath, Mills, Burgin, Dales, Scott (Hickman 68), Morris, Garnett, Phillips (Dickinson 90).

Subs:- Williams, Morrison, Tyrell.

Sutton Coldfield:- Draper, Beresford, Martin, Smith (Lovett 45), Kelly, (Probert 75), Haran, Little, Webb, Knight (Howell 63), O’Callaghan, Singh.

Subs:- Walters, Perry.

Referee Paul Tomes

Attn 230.

Mickleover Sports are on a great run of form at the moment, with impressive back to back league victories on the road – and it continued with a win against bottom of the table Sutton Coldfield Town at the Don Amott Arena.

In goal for the visitors was Nick Draper who had served the home club well last season before departing earlier this after hitting a bad patch of form. This was not a home coming that he will wish to remember for long having been beaten between the posts more times that he would wish.

Sports took the lead on the 13th minute as a superb through ball by Jimmy Phillips was collected by Andy Dales who took it round Draper before firing home.

So dominant were the hosts in the first half that it was 35 minutes into the contest before the visitors struck a shot worthy of note. Gurjit Singh struck it from the edge of the box after referee  Paul Tomes awarded a free kick against Sports keeper Lewis King who was adjudged to have held onto the ball fractionally outside his area. The free kick flew over the bar.

By this stage Mickleover had already found the back of the net four times, only for the linesman to rule out three of them for various offences.

The first disallowed goal came in the 10th minute as Tom Burgin netted from close range only to have his effort ruled out for an infringement in the build up to the shot.

The other two to be annulled were by Evan Garnett, the first a shot after an Alex Morris strike had rebounded off the post, and the second a header. Both apparently ruled out for offside.

Pablo Mills completed the scoring on 54 minutes. Dales was fouled at the edge of the area and Mills  took an immaculate free kick that Draper could only help into the net – although it was already over the line before he got a hand to it.

Garnett did well to forge a chance with a 58th minute cross that no one was able to get a final touch to, and Dales blazed over on 64.

Best chance to increase the score, though, fell to Ben Turner who failed to find the target from close range on 86 minutes when it looked impossible to miss.

Sports were good value for their win as their winning run continues.


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Remembrance Weekend: FREE Entry To All Service Personnel

With this weekend being Remembrance Weekend, we thought we would honour the occasion with the offer of free entry to all ex and current service personnel who would like to attend Saturday’s home game at the Don Amott Arena (Sutton Coldfield Town, 3pm KO).

To request tickets on this basis, please email Dave Kelsey ( with details (before the end of Friday) and you will be added to our guest list for the day.

There will be collections on the day on behalf of the Royal British Legion.


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Match Report: Stalybridge Celtic (A) – Sports Hit Celtic For Five

By Tony Shaw

StaLybridge Celtic 0-5 Mickleover Sports

Stalybridge: Slinn, Morton, Neville (Honeyball 69), Brown (Wilkinson 46), Ashworth, Killock, Baily-Jones, Roberts, Dickinson, Wolfenden, Hughes (Charles 63). Other subs Julien, Crowley
Sports : King, Horne, Turner, Mcgrath, Mills, Burgin, Dales Samoud 75), Scott, Morris, Garnett (Tyrell 87), Phillips

Another fine away win for Sports against one of the form teams with five goals and a clean sheet. Sports got off to the perfect start with an opening goal on five minutes. A through ball from Turner found Andy Dales in space and Joe Slinn could only clatter inti him to give away a penalty which John Mcgrath dispatched into the bottom corner. Stalybridge fought back and former Rams striker Liam Dickinson saw his shot hit the outside of the post. Matty Wolfenden headed a Lee Neville cross wide as the home side pressed forward. Pablo Mills fired a shot just over the bar but Connor Hughes went closer with a 20 yard shot that clipped the bar.

Sports were defending well but needed a second goal and this came on 40 minutes. A great run down the channel by Evan Garnett saw his pass put in Jimmy Phillips who hit a first time shot which hit the post, bounced out to Dales who fired in a first time shot from 12 yards.

Sports needed a solid start to the second half and Lewis King produced a fingertip save to touch over a 40 yard shot from Greg Wilkinson on 47 mins. Sports then produced another fine counter attack with Garnett again running clear and his cross was knocked in by Jake Scott on 52 mins.Sports looked dangerous on every attack and scored a 4th on 68 minutes when Garnett, yet again got clear on the left. His pass inside found Andy Dales in space to score with a low shot into the corner from 18 yards out.
To make it worse for the home team sports scored a 5th on 86 minutes as his pace caused panic in the home defence and a poor pass back saw him run the ball into the net.

Stalybridge went close again in the last minute Oli Roberts shot hit the bar.

Attendance 258. 

Referee Andrew Smith – Barnsley


Match Report: Whitby Town (H). Sports Impress With 2-1 Win

By Dom Hynes

Sports 2-1 Whitby Town

The Mickleover attack was a treat to watch on the night of Halloween as an excellent first half helped secure Sports a 2-1 over Whitby Town.

Despite a great start for Mickleover that saw Clinton Morrison head just wide, it was Whitby who took the lead.

Goalkeeper Lewis King was disposed in his box by Kiaran Weledji who then tapped into the empty goal to put his side ahead.

But Sports responded well as Evan Garnett levelling the score just 10 minutes later. Morrison played an excellent ball in to Garnett to split the defence, the forward then struck a shot excellently across the keeper and into the bottom corner.

The old football cliché says that scoring just before half-time is the best time to score – if that is the case, then Andy Dales superb volley from outside the box was the perfect goal.

Morrsion chested the ball down superbly for Dales who thundered the ball into the bottom right to put Sports in front with the last kick off the half.

The visitors began to get into the game more and more as the game grew older. But some brave defending from the Mickleover defence made life difficult for the Whitby attackers.

A great block from Tom Burgin on the line followed by a heroic dive that saw King clatter with the post somehow maintained Sports lead.

Despite the ever-mounting pressure; Sports held on for a deserved three points that saw Mickleover climb to 14th in the table.

One of the few negatives for John McGrath’s side was to see substitute Lewis Belgrave limp off the field with a hip injury just 10 minutes after entering play.

Sports will look to continue the winning run as we travel to face Stalybridge Celtic on Saturday.



Coach Travel To Hednesford Town Available

The club are providing coach travel to any supporters that would like to travel to Saturday’s FA Trophy tie with Hednesford Town (3.00pm kick off).

The coach will leave the ground at 12.15pm with tickets priced at £10.00 (return).

Please contact Tony Shaw at to book your place.

Come on Sports!



Saturday Is Non-League Day For Prostate Cancer (Free Programmes)

Saturday 7th October is Non-League Day where Sports will take on Ashton United on Saturday (3pm) at the Don Amott Arena.

In support of Non League Day for Prostate Cancer UK, Sports chairman Don Amott has kindly offered to provide free match programmes to all supporters (although a donation to Prostate Cancer would be more than welcome!).

In addition, season ticket holders from any league club can enter the ground for half the normal price upon showing a valid season ticket.


Phill Coates

More about Prostate Cancer UK from Phill Coates…

“I wear my Prostate Cancer UK pin badge because of the great support and advice I received”

Once known by the St Albans City faithful as club mascot Sammy the Saint, Phill Coates tells us why Non-League Day’s partnership with Prostate Cancer UK means so much to him and why he wears his ‘Man of Men’ pin-badge with pride.

“I wear Prostate Cancer UK’s badge because of the great support and advice I received from the charity when I was diagnosed with prostate cancer in August 2014.

“It was lucky that I visited the doctor when I did. If I’d gone earlier, I may have avoided invasive surgery; but if I’d gone later, the cancer may well have spread.

“After my diagnosis I found the service I received from Prostate Cancer UK invaluable, particularly from the Specialist Nurses and a member of the fundraising team, Sam, who would speak to me every couple of weeks.

“Sam was great and it felt like I had a friend at the end of the line. Whilst chatting he mentioned the Football to Amsterdam bike ride to me which felt like the incentive and challenge I needed after having surgery just two weeks earlier.

“I’ve come a long way since then. I’ve walked ten marathons with Jeff Stelling, cycled three Football to Amsterdam bike rides and have worn my badge to raise awareness just like Jeff and the guys on Soccer Saturday.

“As well as support from Prostate Cancer UK, I’ve also felt supported by my club, St Albans City FC, and I’m so pleased that they’re backing Prostate Cancer UK and Non-League Day’s partnership once again, so that we can get the message out to even more men and their families.”

Join Phill in the fight against prostate cancer. Text BADGE to 70004 to donate £5* and get a badge to wear with pride.

* Text costs £5 plus network charge. Prostate Cancer UK receives 100% of your donation. Obtain bill payers permission. Customer care 0800 082 1616. Charity No 1005541.



Sports Sign Highly-Rated Defender Alex Morris

John McGrath has dipped into the transfer market to secure the signing of Alex Morris, a player that became a target for the club following his impressive performance against Sports in this seasons FA Cup tie.

Morris is a strong defender who will add to the defensive options available to McGrath who had the following to say:

“I am delighted to sign Alex and look forward to working closely with him. A towering centre half but with great ability on the ball he will add great quality to an already excellent back line. He is exactly the character I want to add to the squad. He’s a natural born leader and winner. Welcome to sports Alex”.

Morris added:

“Mickleover are a great club and I am really happy to have signed for them. It is a great opportunity to prove myself after being in and out of football for the past 3 years due to university commitments. I am looking forward to the challenge and cannot wait to get started”.





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Match Report: Sports Hammer Hednesford Town

By Phil Matthews

Mickleover Sports 5 0 Hednesford Town

Sports:- King, Grocott, Turner, McGrath (Scott 56), Mills, Burgin, Dales, Morrison (Thomas 68), Phillips (Horne 74), Garnett, Belgrave.

Subs:- Gordon, Draper.

Hednesford:- Wren, Platt (Oji 46), Weir, Bailey, Mutton, Fitzpatrick, Bullock (Lyttle 68), Thorley, Glover, Lawrie, Davies (Levingston 45).

Subs:- Melbourne, Syteele.

Referee Lee Hible

Attn 200

After a worrying three game run when Sports could not buy a  result despite the quality of their football, they returned to winning ways with victory achieved with some style against A Hednesford Town outfit that went into the game above them in the table on points.

If the recent run of results had dented the confidence of the hosts it was impossible to tell as they went after their opponents from the first whistle.

Evan Garnett and Andy Dales combined after 3 minutes to set up an opportunity but Dales shot was blocked, a minute Jimmy Phillips saw his rasping drive go wide.

On 6 minutes left back  Ben Turner had a  shot from the right turned away for a corner.

Turner did not have to wait long for his reward as he headed home powerfully from a left wing corner to give the home side a 7th minute lead.

The visitors tried to regain parity but found Lewis King on song as his positioning meant that he was able to deal comfortably with everything thrown at him.

The game was effectively over as a contest with a 2 goal burst from Garnett. His first in the 28th minute owed much to the work of Jimmy Phillips in the build up, although it was a fine strike across goal and into the net by Garnett to double the lead.

Ten minutes later he got his second and Sports third with a simple tap in after tremendous approach play by Dales – and he was quick to acknowledge that after scoring.

Hednesford were falling apart and the jeers from some of the large number of visiting fans can have done little to their faltering confidence.

Mickleover started the second period in the same manner they had played the first – on the front foot.

They netted their 4th two minutes after the restart. A free kick on the edge of the visitors box was only partially cleared. The ball fell to the foot of Lewis Belgrave who fired home through a crowded penalty area to make it clear to the opposition that any possibility of a revival was not going to happen.

Dales completed the scoring on 54 minutes after good link up play by Garnett and Clinton Morrison gave the winger the chance to fire home from the edge of the area.

It was no more than the player deserved for his work on the day.

Sports could have made it six 7 minutes from time as Dales was tripped in the box for an obvious penalty.

Garnett placed the ball on the spot but this time fluffed his opportunity of a hat trick firing high over the bar.

It was still a good days work by Sports which left their fans purring at the final whistle.



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Match Report: Mickleover Sports VS Hinckley AFC

By Phil Matthews (Image courtesy: Derby Evening Telegraph)

Mickleover Sports 2-1 Hinckley AFC

Sports:- King, Grocott, Gordon, McGrath, Mills, Burgin, Dales, Scott, Garnett, Grayson, Thomas (Phillips 67)

Subs:- Belgrave, Williams, Morris, Draper.

Hinckley:- Whitcombe, J Williams (Rolston 62), Haines (Cooper 67), Smith, Melligan, Morris, Butler, Miveld (Healey 76), Agar, Bowerman, S Williams.

Subs:- Tomlinson, Rad, Minto, Stretton.

Referee Mark Howes

Attn 305


Cliche though it may be the FA Cup at any stage of the competition can be a great leveller as Mickleover nearly discovered to their cost.

Hinckley may ply their trade several levels below their hosts, but gave a decent account of themselves all the same.

Sports took the lead on 24 minutes with a superbly struck free kick from outside the box by Zeph Thomas that would have beaten keepers many levels above the Evo Stik Prem, yet alone one from lower down.

The home team nearly doubled their lead on 37 when player manager John McGrath was played in on goal but was unable to keep his shot down.

Both Bradley Grayson and Andy Dales caused danger when raiding down the flanks but on neither occasion was there anyone lurking in front of goal to complete the good work.

Mickleover’s attacking dominance was all for naught though as George Bowerman converted a far post cross to head the sides level on the stroke of half time.

Grayson continued to create problems along the touchline and was unlucky to see his shot blocked after 51 minutes.

The game looked to be drifting away from the hosts after 52 minutes as Dales was shown a straight red for what the referee saw to be an attempted headbutt by the Mickleover player, although his team mates were still adamant after the game that the match official had misjudged the situation and  the incident was only deserving of a caution rather than a dismissal.

With the odds suddenly stacked against them 10 man Mickleover rolled up their collective sleeves and regained the lead in the 71st minute with McGrath once again foraging into enemy territory and finishing off a well worked move with a super strike.

Sports could have made the final minutes more comfortable for themselves if Evan Garnett had not shot wide in the 80th minute, but managed to claim  the victory and a place in the hat for the next round with their first victory in four matches and the hope that a corner had been turned.


5 Days Countdown – Sports Face Coventry City In Big Pre-Season Clash

Following from the recent positive performances against higher league opposition, Sports face Coventry City in what promises to be another entertaining game at the Don Amott Arena.

City, who recently took an army of 41,000 fans to Wembley in the EFL Trophy, their first trophy since 1987’s famous FA Cup victory will prove to be a sterner test for first-team manager John McGrath’s squad. The fixture will be a quick return for ex-Sports assistant manager Steve Taylor and the visitors have indicated they will be bringing a strong team to Station Road.

Sports have already claimed two league scalps following impressive displays against Notts County and Mansfield Town and will be looking to add the Sky Blues to this list come Tuesday evening.

Entry (on the gate) will be £6 adults and £4 for concessions.