by Peter Scherer (Photos: Steve Ingers)
We have had the glory and the promise and now the disappointment, but after Saturday’s 0-5 home defeat to St.Ives, it’s time to dig deep on and off the field to return to winning ways.
Starting line-up: 1-Lewis Ridd 2- Jake Bennett 3-Matty Bowman 4-Will Atkinson 5-Blaine Rowe 6-Ethan Mann 7-Andy Dales 8-Ben Sault 9-Stuart Beavon 10-Marcus Barnes 11-Oli Greaves. Subs: Dan Bradley, Will Trueman, Leon Clarke, Brandon Ferron, Fin Ryder.
It was a promising start for Mickleover when Barnes was almost on target after four minutes, only for deflection from defender Casey to clear the danger.
But four minutes later a powerful shot from St.Ives’ Hottor was again on target until it received a deflection to from one his own team mates.
It had been fairly even with neither keeper really tested, but 19 minutes in Barton cut inside after collecting a Casey pass and hit the underside of the bar with Sports keeper Ridd beaten.
The pressure had started to build as Alexandrou got on the end of a patient build up down the left. He the sent Edwards clear who crossed back in for Alexandrou, but his header was just wide as Ridd raced across his goal to make sure.
Atkinson was the first Mickleover player in the book after 28 minutes, with Beavon following six minutes later. But Beavon was soon threatening the visitors goal, when his close range shot by the near post was blocked by Williams, after a telling run and cross from Bennett on the right.
St.Ives keeper Dadge then saved from a powerful Greaves effort, as Mickleover upped their pace and sought to break the deadlock.
But with two minutes left in he first half, Hottor picked up a clearance but was fouled by debutant Rowe. St.Ives skipper Richens then curled the ball into the top corner, out of Ridd’s reach and it was 0-1.
The visitors Josh Tomlinson made it three in the referee’s book as the half time whistle went, but they had the advantage after a fairly even first half.
Barely had the second half kicked off and it was 0-2, when Hottor won the ball, found Barton on the edge of the box’ He layed it off into Edwards’ path, who thumped it home from close range.
With Mickleover continuing to lose out possession wise, Barnes and Bowman made way for Trueman and Bradley after 55 minutes. It was the visitors that continued to push forward though, with little response from Sports.
Hottor was next to receive yellow card after 58 minutes, but there was soon a fourth goal for the visitors. Smith’s long throw missed everyone and bounced across the face of the Mickleover goal. Richens was first to react and put the ball back from the far post, from where it seemed to rebound off Edwards and into the net, 0-3 after 64 minutes.
Sports resolve had all but disappeared and only three minutes later Mann got his head to a long clearance from keeper Dadge. It was heading for a corner but Ridd managed to keep it in play, but lost the ball to Alexandrou who was then fouled.
Ridd went in the book and a penalty awarded, from which Edwards secured his hattrick and made it 0-4.
Sault became the fourth Mickleover to receive a yellow card, before Ryder came to for Greaves for the final 15 minutes.
But soon after the home defence was torn apart again with Harris collecting a long ball from Cowling. But Alexandrou fumbled as the defence managed to regroup, but still managed roll the ball into Edwards path for his fourth goal and St.Ives’ fifth 0-5.
There was almost a sixth before the final whistle, when Alexandrou dispossessed Mann and sent in a powerful long range shot, with Ridd beaten again as it bounced off the bar and clear.
It’s a home game again this weekend, with a drastic shake-up needed to get back on track.