Mickleover Sports 1-2 Alfreton Town
Emirates F.A. Cup 3rd Round Qualitfying
Saturday 6th October 2018
Mickleover Sports FA Cup dreams were left in tatters after bowing out of the competition two goals to one to National League North side Alfreton Town. After Lewis King made a terrific double save from one penalty kick, he could not prevent the second after an extremely ludicrous decision led to Jordan Sinnott giving the visitors the lead. Sports were clearly aggrieved and conceded a second before half time through Richard Peniket scrambling the ball home. Sports battled well in the second half and got a goal back through an Isai Marselia penalty after Pablo Mills was bundled down in the box. But despite wave after wave of pressure from Sports it just wasn’t to be as a mixture of bad decision making and bad luck saw the hosts FA Cup dreams shelved for another season.
As always Lewis King started in goal between the sticks. A back four or Jake Scott, Pablo Mills, Tom Burgin and Ben Turner started behind John McGrath and Jimmy Phillips in midfield. On the wings were Curtis Burrows and Ted Cribley with Evan Garnett and Nathan Jarman upfront. A youthful bench for Sports included Jack Walsh, Harley Kozluk, Mason Warren, Oliver Roberts and Isai Marselia.
Sports had the first effort of the game as Evan Garnett went close after being played in behind the Alfreton defense but his low shot was dragged wide of the right hand post. Alfreton came forward a few minutes later and despite some heavy pressure Sports held firm and it resulted in Bobby Johnson sending a strike wide of Kings left hand post. Two further efforts from Reds winger Jordan Sinnott then followed with both being well handled by King in the Sports goal. Next chance for the visitors came when a long ball forward was headed back into danger by Mills which fell kindly to James Clifton but his snap shot was hit well over the bar for a goal kick.
Next up came the first Alfreton penalty as Ben Turner clipped for Alfreton Town strike inside the box. However Lewis King saved well down to his right hand side before getting up and tipping the follow up with both hands over the bar for a corner. However the drama did not end there as the referee on the 34th minute gave another penalty which nobody in the ground claimed for. The referee adjudged John McGrath to have stamped on the Alfreton players foot but you can tell a lot about a decision when neither the player or the visiting fans don’t appeal for it whether it’s the correct call or not. This time Jordan Sinnott stepped up and sent King the wrong way to put the visitor’s one goal up. Sports players were evidently aggrieved with the referee’s decision and unfortunately after two missed chances from Garnett and McGrath, the players switched off for the second goal from the Reds right before half time. An Alfreton corner was floated in and after a scramble to clear in the box the ball fell kindly to Richard Peniket who stuck the ball in from close range to put the visitor’s two goals to the good at the half time break.
Sports started the second half well as Pablo Mills headed a McGrath corner wide. Alfreton then had the ball in the back of the net once more but this time the decision was in Sports favor as the linesman on the far side raised his flag for offside. Another Sports chance then came and went as a McGrath free kick was headed back into the danger area by Mills across the goal but the on rushing Tom Burgin couldn’t quite get to the ball as it went out for a goal kick. A bizarre moment occurred moments later as Evan Garnett burst through into the box with pace, cut inside and looked to have been brought down but the referee took the view he had dived and booked Garnett to his anger. Isai Marselia then came on for Curtis Burrows. With eight minutes of normal time left Sports got themselves back into the game through a penalty kick of their own. Pablo Mills was rugby tackled in the area and up stepped Isai Marselia with nerves of steel to score into the bottom right corner.
However as much as Sports piled the pressure on the visitors saw the game out well and had the only remaining concrete chance of the match as goal scorer Sinnott put an effort over the bar. All in all Sports will feel that their FA Cup adventure was brought to an end by a bad decision but they can still take a lot of pride away from a battling performance as they competed well against a side a league above them. It’s back to the league on Tuesday night as Sports travel to Witton Albion on Tuesday 9th October 2018, 7:45pm Kick Off.
Written by Sam Goldsworthy.