By Phil Matthews
Sports:- Draper, Grocott, Turner, McGrath, Mills, Ricketts, Dales, Scott( Belgrave 84), Blake (Cole 53), Hall, Abablimba.
Subs:- Baskerville, Lansdown, Williams
Stafford:-Whitehouse, Little, Bowen, Morris, Bailey, Heath,I Reid, Sherratt (Tolley 84), Perry, Haseley (Haughton 87), Barton (L Reid 65).
Subs:- Taylor, Griffiths.
Referee M Law
After the disappointment of a 0-5 defeat at home to Spennymoor Town last Saturday there was much for Sports supporters to be excited about. Connor Hall had resigned for the remainder of the season, Medi Abalimba had got his international clearance through, and the very experienced Paul Groves had come as replacement for Steve taylor for the final weeks of the season.
Both sides started well, and the opening 10 minutes suggested that this game was going to be a cracker. Mickleover took the lead after 6 minutes when Tyler Blake was on hand to fire home after Stafford keeper Adam Whitehouse spilt a John McGrath free kick taken from the edge of the box.
The lead lasted 5 minutes before Izak Reid powered a free kick home from the edge of the box.
Things turned sour for Sports on 13 minutes as Abalimba slid into a tackle on Tyler LIttle from a distance away that the referee adjudged to be reckless and potentially dangerous. It was possible to understand the official’s viewpoint although there were many in the ground who felt that a yellow card would have been sufficient. Whatever the truth of the matter it left the hosts with a one man disadvantage for 77 minutes or more depending on time added on.
Stafford went ahead for the first time on 27 minutes when Kieran Morris was allowed unhampered access to head a corner home.
Sports rallied after this and for much of the second half it was hard to remember that they were a man short as they launched waves of attacks on the visitors goal.
Connor Hall was a constant thorn in the side of the Stafford attack, and the ex Sheffield United man set up a number of chances, but could not be in the right place to create and complete.
The away side3 finally made all three points safe in the 81st minute. Kyle Perry was fouled in midfield and the referee allowed play to continue. It may have benefited Sports had he blown for a free kick as the ball found its way to Levi Reid who scored the third with a cross shot that the splendid Nick Draper was unable to keep out.
If Sports can convert performances like these into points there could be a number of good days at the Don Amott Arena before the campaign is over.
|March 25, 2017||3:00 pm||Evo Stik NPL Premier Division||2016/17|
|Don Amott Arena|
|320 Station Rd, Derby, Derby DE3 9FB, UK|