Category: First Team

Sports 0-1 Ashton United: Match Report

by Laurie Newman

Mickleover Sports were defeated one-nil by Ashton United at home despite having a one man advantage for the majority of the game.

Mickleover Sports will be kicking themselves after today’s match as they had countless opportunities to draw level with the visitors who picked up their first league win of the season at the Don Amott Arena.

Ashton United took an early lead thanks to Aaron Smith after he dribbled the ball from inside his own half until he was just inside Mickleover’s box. He then stroked the ball past Nathan Broome and into the bottom right hand corner.

Sports nearly went two goals behind within a few minutes of the opener after Callum Dolan’s shot from inside the box nearly found the bottom left hand corner.

Ashton United were on the front foot as they had a number of opportunities to double their lead but the game was flipped on its head when Joshua Wilson brought down Nathan Modest after he was played in on goal with just the keeper to beat. 

The extra man advantage allowed Mickleover to dominate the ball for the remainder of the half but they failed to create any real chances for the remainder of the half apart from a header by Richard Batchelor at the back post which was saved by David Carnell.

Sports came out all guns blazing in the second half. They could have equalised within a minute of the referee’s whistle when Declan Bacon found himself inside the box with the ball at his feet, but he failed to get his shot away quickly and was subsequently tackled.

Mickleover were on the front foot and they continued to press Ashton and put them under pressure. Richard Batchelor nearly scored for Sports as he found himself at eh far post again but this time he couldn’t direct the ball towards the goal.

Sports had a few chances in quick succession. The first came from Lee Hughes when he nearly guided the ball into the top left corner from a tight angle after a quick throw in. The second came from Jack Storer whose shot was headed away after making his way past three players inside the box.

Declan Bacon who wasted a great chance in the first half would go on to squander two more chances before the end of the match.

Bacon’s first opportunity came when he shot straight at the keeper after being played in behind the back four by Batchelor and his second came when his volley from inside the box was easily saved in the centre of the goal.

Sports didn’t conjure up any more clear cut chances for the remainder of the match which left them kicking themselves after wasting numerous opportunities to equalise. If Sports did equalise they would have most likely went on to win the game.

Sports missed a great opportunity to move up the table as well as losing their 100% win ratio at home. There is now a long break before the next game which will be a great time to regroup and prepare for the next game.

Family Matchday Sponsorship at Mickleover Sports Club

SUPPORT YOUR LOCAL TEAM AND SPONSOR A MATCH!

Enjoy a warm and friendly atmosphere in which you can entertain your family and friends.

Birthdays, anniversaries – make a special day even more memorable.

The package includes:

• Admission to the match
• Reserved car parking at the ground
• Reserved table in the Hospitality Suite
• Complimentary drinks from the bar, pre-match, half time and full time
• Complementary pre-match cold buffet with cakes at half time
• Reserved seats in the Directors box
• Complimentary match day programmes and team sheets
• Recognition of sponsorship on the front and inside of the match day programme
• Acknowledgments over the PA system pre-match and at full time.

Package cost: £35.00 per person
Maximum of 6 persons

To book, please contact Charles Harrison:

Call 07989 488 503
Email charles.harrison26@btinternet.com

Sports On The Road: Grantham Town – Match Report

by Laurie Newman   (photo: granthamtownfc.com)

Mickleover Sports were held to a draw at the South Kesteven Sports Stadium as Grantham Town’s early goal was enough to earn a point for the home side.

The goal scorer for Grantham was none other than former Sports striker Chib Chilaka who takes his goal tally to two goals in as many games for the Gingerbreads.

Sports started off the better team as just two minutes into the game Lee Hughes thought he scored his first goal for Sports. Hughes beat his man to direct the ball into the top corner after a corner from Mason Warren, but unfortunately for him the linesman ruled it out for offside.  

Sports continued to dominate possession and it wasn’t long until they produced another fine chance. Lee Hughes again headed the ball towards the top corner but it was dramatically cleared away for a corner. 

Grantham Town started to get themselves into the game a little bit more. Chib Chilaka was one player who definitely stood out for the home side and it clearly looked like he was out to prove a point.  He first tested Mickleover with a shot from distance that caught everyone by surprise as it nearly found the top corner.

It was only a few minutes later though, when Chilaka would break the deadlock. He curled the ball into the top corner from a tight angle after forcing his way past Durrell Berry. 

Mickleover didn’t sit back despite going a goal behind. Lee Hughes was again at the forefront of Mickleover’s attacks when his powerful shot from inside the box was parried away for a corner.

Grantham were very clearly trying to hold onto their lead by any means necessary which made it increasingly hard for Mickleover to penetrate into their final third.

It wasn’t until the end of the half until Mickleover started to worry Grantham Town. Lee Hughes was clearly brought down in the box as he turned the defender marking him meaning that Sports would have a chance to level the score before the break.

The referee blew his whistle, but somehow not in favour of Mickleover who were shocked along with everyone else in the stadium about the decision that was made.

The first half ended in controversy and Sports were undeservedly trailing, but thankfully they had the second half to try and level things up.

Just like the first half, Mickleover hit the ground running. Even though the chance amounted to nothing Lee Hughes’ back heel from a cross nearly crept into the far corner of Grantham’s goal.

Although Grantham didn’t have many chances during the game they did force a fantastic save out of Louis Jones who was forced to save a header that was flicked right into the top corner.

Declan Bacon who had a quiet first half came close on a couple of occasions with one shot going just a few yards wide of the post and another going just a few yards over the bar.

Sports would eventually get their goal. Top goal scorer Mason Warren who had dictated the play like he does every game for Mickleover scored in the 81st minute to level things up.

His powerful shot from outside the box caught everyone off guard including Grantham’s keeper as it flew like a rocket into the back of the net.

Sports pushed for a winner and they nearly got one when Captain Jake Scott had a header tipped over the bar with only a few minutes of normal time left.

Although they deserved more from the game, a point keeps Mickleover close to the playoffs in 8th place. They will entertain Ashton United in their next game at the Don Amott Arena where they will hope to keep their 100% win ratio going.

Broome Selected for England U18 Squad

Our Stoke City Loan Keeper Nathan Broome has been selected for England MU18s! 

England MU18s host a four-nation tournament across the Midlands in September, facing Australia, Brazil and Korea Republic.

New head coach Ian Foster has picked a 21-strong squad for the games which kick-off against Australia at Leicester Road FC on Friday 6 September.

Fans can watch all three games with entry available on the day at all three venues, priced at £5 and £1 for concessions

The squad

Goalkeepers: Nathan Broome (Stoke City/Mickleover Sports Club (Loan)), Louie Moulden (Manchester City), James Trafford (Manchester City)

Defenders: Matthew Bondswell (RB Leipzig), Valentino Livramento (Chelsea), Teden Mengi (Manchester United), Haydon Roberts (Brighton & Hove Albion), Dynel Simeu (Chelsea), Nathan Wood (Middlesbrough)

Midfielders: Miguel Azeez (Arsenal), Lewis Bate (Chelsea), Fabio De Carvalho (Fulham), Nonso Madueke (PSV Eindhoven), Yunus Musah (Valencia), Morgan Rogers (Manchester City), Cole Palmer (Manchester City), Jensen Weir (Wigan Athletic),

Forwards: Joseph Gelhardt (Wigan Athletic), Alexander Mighten (Nottingham Forest), Ben Knight (Manchester City), Layton Stewart (Liverpool).

Sports on the Road: Warrington Town (a) Preview

by Laurie Newman

Mickleover Sports take on Warrington Town this Saturday in what should be an exciting fixture in the Northern Premier League. Sports will travel up to Cantilever Park in what will be their second away game of the season. 

Mickleover, who have won their last two games will be looking to continue their rich vein of form this Saturday. Sports have also won three of their four games this season in addition to keeping three clean sheets. 

Sports’ only weakness coming into this game though, is that they haven’t scored a goal from open play in the league yet. That being said, Warrington could be the ideal opponents to break that curse as they have only kept one clean sheet in the league as well as conceding over a goal a game so far.

Warrington will be the third Cheshire based side we have faced this season having previously played Stalybridge Celtic and Witton Albion already. Sports will be expected to keep the same starting XI that played against Stafford Rangers, but if Jack Storer is fit then it is likely that he could come straight back into the starting XI. 

New signing Declan Bacon who is on loan from Alfreton Town could also make his debut at the weekend with Sports still struggling up top. Declan Bacon will be with Sports for an initial 28 days so it will be vital that if he hits the ground running. Bacon could be the man to help fire Sports up the table as a few years ago he scored 45 times for Bottnesford in the Northern Counties East League Premier Division.

The result of the game on Saturday could determine a lot for both clubs.  Three points could catapult Sports into the playoffs as well as potentially seeing Warrington drop out. In addition to this it could see Mickleover extend their good run of form which will be vital to staying in and around the playoffs which is where Sports want to be.

Sports 1 0 Stafford Rangers: Match Report

by Laurie Newman
(Photo: © Sarah Middleton)

Mickleover Sports made it three wins out of four, after they beat Stafford Rangers thanks to a late goal by Mason Warren from the spot.

It was a game of few chances but when it came to step up to the plate, Mason Warren certainly held his nerve.

The win now puts Mickleover Sports in eleventh place after three games in the league, but they are yet to score from open play. 

The game was very slow to start, partly due to the heat, but also because both teams were trying to work their way into the game.

The first chance fell to Stafford when ex Mickleover striker Evan Garnett was played in on goal. Thankfully for Mickleover’s back four though, Nathan Broome came off of his line brilliantly to smother the ball into his chest and away from any danger.

It was now Sports’ turn to test Stafford’s keeper Lewis King, formerly of Mickleover Sports. Mason Warren tried to catch out the former Sports shot stopper, as his early cross-cum-shot from outside the box nearly caught him off guard.

Nathan Broome continued to show his class throughout the first half. Around twenty minutes into the first half the loanee produced a fantastic double save from close range to deny the visitors the lead.

All of his efforts were for nothing though, as the linesman waved his flag for offside.

There were little to no chances for either team for the remainder of the half. Stafford certainly had the better chances, but Mickleover were playing the ball around more.

The half time whistle also provided the players and fans alike a chance to cool off and refresh.

The second half gained momentum quite quickly, as within five minutes Mason Warren’s delightful ball into the box had a Mickleover players name written all over it but unfortunately it was headed out for a corner.

Sports came close roughly five minutes later when Jake Scott’s volley from inside the box was saved. Stafford duly replied with a shot of their own, but Broome was there yet again. 

The game was intensifying as both teams knew that time was running out. Mason Warren whipped in an almost identical ball to the one from earlier, but yet again there was no Sports head able to get on the end of it.

As quickly as the game intensified, it also died down. Neither team were able to break the opposition down. Both teams were relying on long ball’s and counter attacks in order to score.

Mickleover finally got their chance to score after Nathan Modest was vigorously pulled down in the box.

Mason Warren stepped up with nerves of steel, and when the referee blew his whistle Warren calmly slotted the ball into the bottom right hand corner as well as sending the Stafford goalkeeper the wrong way.

Mickleover defended for the last five minutes or so as if their lives depended on it and when the final whistle eventually blew there was a massive roar of ecstasy.

The win meant that Mickleover now sit in eleventh place as well as maintaining a 100 percent win ration at home this season. On the other hand they haven’t scored from open play yet in the league, something that will surely come sooner rather than later.

Attendance: 355

Sports v Coventry Sphinx: FA Cup: Match Report

by Laurie Newman

A hat-trick from James Cadman was enough to put Mickleover Sports through to the next round of the FA Cup after defeating Coventry Sphinx.

The game was a slow burner, but Sports found their hero in Cadman who stepped up and supplied his team with all three goals to help them advance into the next round.

Sports also made FA Cup history as manager John McGrath and his son Jay became the first father and son duo to play together in the competition. 

It was a slow start for both teams in the game but it was evident that Mickleover were the more experienced and better drilled team as they kept control of the ball. 

Sports continued to control the game as they moved the ball well, but they just couldn’t find a way to penetrate Coventry apart from the odd long shot.

Eventually  Sports’ class shone through when Jack Storer played a delightful ball over Coventry’s back four with the outside of his foot, allowing James Cadman the time and space to pick his spot and hand his team the lead.

Mickleover who were on the hunt for a second would have to wait a good 20 minutes to add to their lead. Half of that time was due to a floodlight failure which stunned unfortunately Sports’ momentum.

The second was definitely worth the wait though, as it put Sports in a comfortable position for the rest of the game. Cadman fired the ball from just outside the box into the bottom right hand corner after controlling the ball following a poor clearance.

Sports nearly added a third just before half time when Storer’s effort from just outside the box went narrowly wide. 

Sports who had a comfortable lead at the break, showed why they were leagues above without really having to apply too much pressure on Coventry.

The start of the second half saw both teams make a change. Sports brought on Chib Chilaka for Nathan Modest, and the visitors replaced Max Howard with Ryan Palmer.

Just like the first half, nothing of note really happened in the opening minutes. The first moment of any note was the substitution of Jack Storer who made way for Tomas Junek.

Soon enough though, the game would light up once more. Mason Warren’s incredible solo run in Coventry’s box was nearly matched by his shot which smashed the part of the woodwork where the post and bar meet.

About five minutes later, Cadman completed his hat-trick when he tapped in Ben Turner’s cross from only a few yards out.

Although, Cadman was the star man, Chilaka was certainly making his presence felt. He was involved in a number of chances for Sports, the best being when he nearly scored a sublime solo goal from inside the box.

Chilaka dribbled the ball past four or five Coventry players before smashing the ball across goal which was almost certain to hit the back of the net. 

Unfortunately for Chilaka Jake Scott threw himself at the ball, connecting with his head and subsequently heading the ball over the bar from only a few yards out.

Chilaka continued to push for his first goal in red and black, but clearly luck was not on his side.

In the last five minutes he hit the post after taking the ball round the keeper as well as having a goal ruled out for off-side. 

It clearly wasn’t meant to be for Chilaka, but we’re sure he won’t mind as Sports progressed to the next round comfortably.

A win tonight was vital too, as it would have definitely raised the team’s morale, especially after losing to Witton Albion in their last game.

 In addition to that, it will have boosted the team’s confidence ahead of their clash with Stafford Rangers on Monday.

Bank Holiday Football!

Come down to the Don Amott Arena today to see our Sports play Stafford Rangers at 3pm on this gorgeous Bank Holiday Monday.

Arrive early and enjoy the sun whilst helping make it our biggest attendance of the season. For children wearing their favourite football shirt its FREE ENTRY.

PLUS: Entertainment on the patio at 5:45pm

Come on you Sports!

Sports on the Road: Witton Match Report

by Laurie Newman

Witton Albion 1-0 Sports

Mickleover sports were defeated by Witton Albion at Wincham Park due to a 70th minute goal by Danny McKenna. 

Although the first half was an even contest, the second was a struggle for Sports who were unable to match Albion’s physicality and movement off the ball.

Sports, came into this game having beaten Stalybridge Celtic in their opening game whilst Witton Albion could only manage a draw away at Whitby Town.

Sports who had won their previous game looked the better team in the opening few minutes with Jack Storer eager to get forward and make something happen. 

McGrath’s men didn’t have to wait long before their first chance came. Ben Turner whipped in a cross to the far post, which found its way to Richard Batchelor. Fortunately for Witton, Batchelor’s header went wide of the post, leaving the score line level.

For the next few minutes the game started to even out, with Witton gaining more possession of the ball. Their confidence started to grow and at around the 15 minute mark they had a great opportunity to take the lead.

Witton’s Will Jones was so close breaking the dead lock but he couldn’t make contact with the ball after it was fizzed across and behind Mickleover’s back line, leaving practically an empty net to direct the ball into.

Throughout the first half there were no clear cut chances for either team which meant that players from both teams were resorting to long distance strikes in a bid to open the scoring.

Mason Warren came close after his low firing shot skimmed across the wet surface and just past the post. Witton replied with an attempt of their own which left everyone in the stadium gasping for air.

Danny McKenna let loose from about 30 yards – his shot hitting the cross bar as well as leaving Sports’ Nathan Broome utterly relieved.

The first half ended goalless, and with neither team really posing a threat to the other. 

Within a few minutes of the opening of the second half, Sports’ Batchelor found himself on the end of a nasty collision which left him on the ground for a few minutes.

Despite his best efforts to carry on he was replaced a few minutes later by Ricky Ravenhill.

There were no real chances for either team and the game remained a stale affair, but that all changed when Chib Chilaka was brought off with 25 minutes to go. Without him and Batchelor, Sports lacked any real physicality up top and Witton began to dominate the possession.

Witton who sensed Sports’ vulnerability took the lead within five minutes of Chilaka leaving the field. Witton had piled bodies into the box and a low cross/pass that was left for too long was eventually pounced upon by Danny McKenna who then fired the ball into the roof of the net.

Throughout the remainder of the game Sports tried to ride the storm and find a way back into the game. Although it was difficult, they managed to pin Witton back into their own half for the last 15 minutes. 

Time after Time Sports’ efforts were repelled, and in the dying minutes Nathan Modest was blatantly pushed in the penalty box whilst jumping for a header. Amazingly the referee did not award a penalty and by now it seemed as if it was all over and within a minute it was. 

Although Sports fought back towards the end of the second half, Danny McKenna’s strike was enough to secure all three points for the home side who now sit above Sports in the table. 

This Friday’s FA Cup game is a chance though to regroup and regain confidence before playing Stafford Rangers on Monday.

Sports on the Road: Witton Albion (a) Preview

by Laurie Newman

Mickleover Sports will be playing Cheshire based side Witton Albion tonight in the Northern Premier League. Sports will be looking to build upon their opening day victory against Stalybridge Celtic, where as Witton Albion will be hoping to get a win under their belts following their 1-1 draw away at Whitby Town on Saturday.

An impressive performance on Saturday by the team, especially defensively, will have boosted the confidence of the team. The fact that the team held on to their one goal lead for roughly 90 minutes speaks volumes of how well the team defended on Saturday, and surely they will be looking for their second win and clean sheet to set them up nicely for their FA Cup tie this Friday.

Tonight’s opponents are no pushovers though, something that McGrath and co will know. The Cheshire based side finished in ninth place last year, just nine points shy of making it into the play-offs. They have also won the Cheshire Senior Cup 11 times since 1902. Interestingly enough, they last won the cup in 2006 against last Saturday’s opponents Stalybridge Celtic.

McGrath will be expected to keep the same starting XI that defeated Stalybridge Celtic at the weekend with a few debutants having impressed at the weekend. Chib Chilaka had an impressive performance up front despite not scoring and Greg Young seems to have already formed a formidable partnership in defence with Pablo Mills. In addition to Young and Chilaka, Richard Batchelor bossed the midfield in his competitive debut with Jack Storer putting in a very impressive performance on his return to the Don Amott Arena. 

All the debutants were impressive but it was the team performance that was truly impressive and the team will be hoping to impress again tonight against what should be a tougher opposition. That being said, if they play anything like they did on the opening day then they have a very good chance of beating anybody in this league.