A Goal Down To 4-2 Winners

by Peter Scherer

Mickleover have gone two points clear at the top of the Southern Premier League Central Division, after a third successive win, 4-2 against Alvechurch.

Starting line-up: 1-Oliver Bosworth 2-Jake Bennett 3-Ryan Wilson 4-Will Atkinson 5-Fin Delap 6-Ethan Mann 7-Andy Dales 8-Ben Sault 9-Stuart Beavon 10-Marcus Barnes 11-Oli Greaves. Subs: George Nunn, Jim Pollard, Rhys Dolan, Andre Wright, Dan Bradley.

It was a fairly even start to the game at the Don Amott Arena. But Alvechurch showed they had pace on the breaks, when Mann lost possession in the third minute, but Delap had it covered, but gave away the first free kick.

Three minutes later our visitors broke again down their right- hand side, the shot was on target and Bosworth made a diving save to his right.

Mickleover had their first shot after eight minutes, when Bennett found Beavon who held the ball well, as Dales came in to have his shot saved by Eve in the Alvechurch goal.

Only a minute later Dales fired in another shot straight at the keeper and after patiently waiting for a gap in 13th minute, he found Sault, but the keeper had his final shot covered.

It was a close call three minutes later, as Barnes went up for a cross from Beavon, he was challenging the keeper in the air and the ball broke loose, but the defence managed to scramble it away.

It continued to be fairly end to end and after 20 minutes Greaves was fouled on the edge of the box after a telling run down the right. Wilson’s free kick was straight at the keeper, but Mickleover were passing with confidence, while still looking vulnerable to an Alvechurch break.

After some good work down the right from Greaves, Bennett floated in a cross in the 23rd minute, Beavon just missed out as keeper Eve beat him to the ball.

But two minutes later Alvechurch won a corner, the ball fell nicely to Ethan Patterson, who connected to send his header just inside the right-hand post and out of Bosworth’s reach, 0-1.

Janaai Gordon managed to outrun Delap on the half hour, but Bosworth saved both his initial shot and the rebound. But having gone 0-1 down Sports passing had started to go awry and even when Sault was upended on the touchline, the free kick came to nought.

But six minutes later Wilson showed his captains quality, finding himself unmarked, he called to Greaves who had progressed down the right. The cross was made with precision and with time on the ball, Wilson smashed home the equaliser, 1-1.

There could have been another goal barely a minute later after an interchange between Beavon and Dales, brought a cross that just missed Barnes head.

Mickleover were pressing hard and the previous breaks for Alvechurch had become a thing of the past. Dales beat Dyer on the left, cut in but shot straight at the keeper and Atkinson went on a run, found Barnes in the box, who was then pushed down, but no penalty.

The last five minutes of the first half were all Mickleover as Sault almost got Barnes through and then Dales cross from the left just missed connecting with Barnes too.

On the 45 Barnes went through again but shot over, before Sault had a shot blocked, Barnes hit the rebound, but with the keeper beaten it was cleared off the line, with the ball at least a third over.

With the whistle poised Beavon was then brough down right on the line as he headed for the box, penalties appeals were waved away, but it was mighty close.

It was a positive start to the second half too, with Barnes just missing out on a one on one with the keeper two minutes into the half.

Greaves was taunting the big the Alvechurch defenders and when he cut in from the right five minutes later, his shot was saved by Eve.

But two more minutes and the pressure was rewarded as Dales’ pace left the defence wanting, he fired the ball cross and found Barnes sliding in to make in 2-1 after 54 minutes.

As the hour mark approached ‘Church made two substitutions, followed by a tentative shot through a crowded goal mouth, which Bosworth had covered.

Mickleover were hungry for more and when Barnes pulled a ball back from the left corner, Dales placed it into the middle for Beavon, but the contact was inches short.

Alvechurch sub Adan George was almost through on Sports goal however, but his shot was blocked to earn a 69th minute corner..

But it was Sports on the up still and after 72 minutes it was 3-1, when yet another Dales charge into the middle, was met by Beavon who fired it home.

Dales tried a long shot which was tipped away by the keeper, but it was number four for sports after 83 minutes, when Greaves had a fine solo effort, running diagonally across the box before chipping the keeper, 4-1.

With five minutes of normal time left Bosworth had to make a point- blank reflex save, before Mickleover made two late substitutions, Nunn for Greaves and Dolan for Dales.

But in time added on Bosworth had tipped an effort over, but George got hold from the following corner and made it 4-2 in a goalmouth scramble.

Three out of three so far, now its Leamington next up away on Saturday. Fin Delap was declared man of the match, after some sterling work in the middle of Sports defence with Mann.

Share & Spread The Word