by Peter Scherer
The Mickleover FC Academy Red squad continued their dominant start to the season with another 4-0 win against Belper Town in the ESPFA Midlands Division.
Coach Pablo Mills’ starting line-up was 1-Tom Smith 2-Ben Lewin 3-Wiliam Robinson 4-Louis Pennington 5-Cameron Anthony 6-Pat Pugh 7-George Atwal 8-Jacob Edge-Lucas 9-Kai Moore 10-Bobby Battisson 11-Josh Satchwell. Subs: Kyran Ward, Ted Stevenson, Niall Cole, Brodie Carter, Fin Barker, Sam Pipes.
Having beaten Belper 9-0 way a few weeks back, another high scoring game was anticipated.
The Mickleover team soon started to take charge, with Battisson the first to threaten after Belper lost possession in the fourth minute, his shot earning the first corner.
A minute later he was through again, firing his shot just wide of the right hand post.
Once the team had begun to settle, wing backs Robinson and Lewin began to enjoy plenty of freedom for long runs, and in the eighth Robinson put a shot just wide too.
But Belper had an early chance too when a rare mistake in the Mickleover defence, left a visiting striker with a clear shot just over the bar.
Battisson continued to cause problems in the Belper area and almost latched onto a long ball from Satchwell 13 minutes in.
But only a minute later another good through ball pierced the visiting defence, with Moore collecting and burying it in the left hand corner of the Belper net, 1-0.
They could easily have followed with a second almost immediately, Battisson cut inside to find Edge-Lucas who shot just wide.
The attacks continued to come thick and fast, with Pugh and Anthony marshalling the build up from central defence.
Battisson won a free kick on the outside of the box after 17 minutes, Atwal delivered, but the follow up was in the net but declared offside.
Soon after a Lewin corner caused havoc in the box, and Belper had to clear off the line.
It only seemed like a matter of time before a second goal and after Battison had another 23rd minute run stopped by the keeper, Moore got his second to make it 2-0 in the 26th minute. Belper had lost the ball on the halfway line and Satchwell’s interception provided the telling pass, before being brought down himself, which left Moore clear.
As the half hour was completed Battisson was still trying to get on the scoresheet, but had his shot saved again three minutes later.
Robinson managed to put another cross in across the face of the goal, but neither Moore nor Battisson could connect. But they followed up again almost immediately with Battisson taking a long ball from Satchwell, before the Belper keeper dived at his feet.
Another Satchwell cross then saw Battisson fail with his overhead attempt and after Moore turned the Belper wing back, Lewin had a shot tipped out for a corner.
Mickleover had only made one change in the first half, when Stevenson came on after Pennington took a knock.
It was Carter leading the Mickleover attack for the second half, but after an early corner for the home side, Belper got another good shot in just over Smith’s bar.
The shots began to reign in on the Belper even more, with Stevenson going close in the 54th minute. Five minutes later Lewin continued a run from his own half, only to have his final shot well saved.
But goal number three soon arrived, with Satchwell pushed off the ball in the area, the referee awarded a penalty.
Carter’s initial save brought out another fine save from the keeper, but the rebound fell straight to the Mickleover striker, who made no mistake with his second attempt, 3-0 on the hour.
There could have been a second for Carter only three minutes later, but his shot was easily saved, before Satchwell then had a go, only for the Belper keeper to whisk it off his foot.
Carter had another chance in the 73rd minute, but failed to connect properly and fell over.
There was no respite for Belper however as Carter made it 4-0 in the closing minutes and subs Cole and Pipes both had good chances foiled by the Belper keeper.
So the team remain unbeaten after three games, with a +19 goal difference, having yet to concede a goal. Next Thursday they are in action again, with a visit to Carlton.