Author: Dave Bird

Member of the Mickleover Sports finance committee, with the role of managing the website and social media.

Match Postponed: Marine (H)

We can confirm that following a pitch inspection, todays home game against Marine has been postponed due to a waterlogged pitch.

A rescheduled date will be announced in due course.


Match Report: Sports 2-0 Matlock Town (H)

Mickleover SPORTS 2-0 Matlock Town

By Phil Matthews

Sports:- King, Grocott, Mulders, Scott, Mills, Burgin, Dales, Morrison (Belgrave 82), Morris, Garnett (Palmer 60), Phillips.

Subs:- Horne, Williams, Turner.

Matlock:- Barnes, Green, Yeomans, Wallace, Yates, Wiley, Jackson, Vince, Harrod, Limb, Cribley.

Subs:- Doyle-Charles, Hunt, Sharpe, Brunt, Smith-Eccles.

Referee R Hathaway.

Attn:- 410

All games between Mickleover Sports and Matlock are guaranteed to be feisty, and this was no different. With the Gladiators managed by former Mickleover bosses Glen Kirkwood and Craig Hopkins and three ex Sports players in their match day 16 it was never going to be anything else.

Matlock have never won a game at the Don Amott Arena and they must have feared the worst from the moment that Evan Garnett gave the home team a 14th minute lead as he latched onto a loose ball and fired home after an Andy Dales shot was only half cleared.

Dales and Garnett provided a dangerous partnership in the first half, often combining to good effect though never making the most of opportunities that each provided for the other.

The nearest that Sports came to doubling their lead in the first period fell to loan signing Ollie Mulders whose free kick from outside the box beat everyone, but hit the foot of the post and bounced away to safety.

Mickleover did double their lead on 65 minutes with a Mulders corner that was headed home by Pablo Mills.

Matlock had opportunities of their own but most of their efforts were well caught by home keeper Lewis King, who could be pleased with his day’s work.

The hosts worked hard all over the pitch to maintain their lead and deny the visitors opportunities wherever possible and fully deserved their victory.



Sports Re-Sign Medi Abalimba

Mickleover Sports have re-signed 24-year-old midfielder Medi Abalimba.

Abalimba, who was previously with Southend United, Derby County and Perpignon, returns to the club where he played last season before health issues curtailed his season.

He has also played for Liverpool on trial, and trialled with both Manchester United and Manchester City. He’s keen to kick start what was seen as a very promising career.

“I’m finally over a major knee issue I picked up in training, and I’m keen and ready to go. I can’t think of a better place to be at this stage than Mickleover. Chairman Don Amott and his committee have been wonderful to me, and as for manager John McGrath, he’s just a superb man to be around. A wonderful coach and a real professional, I’ve already learned a lot from him.”

Chairman Don Amott added; “We’re really chuffed to have Medi back. He fits into our midfield nicely, and is so enthusiastic it’s infectious!”

Photo caption – Medi Abalimba signs for Mickleover Sports watched by club secretary Tony Shaw.

2018/19 Kit And Training Gear Reveal

2018/19 Kit Reveal

We are excited to reveal the new Mickleover Sports FC home and away kits for the 2018/19 season. We also reveal new polo shirt designs, the profit from which will be donated to the Air Ambulance charity.

The home and away shirts are sponsored by the Northern Premier league (NPL) Football Academy ( – the first in English football to launch a youth league and academy combining football with further education.

The other kit sponsors are Escape Design And Print (, a leading Derby-based design and print company and Monetise (, a Melbourne-based lead generation and performance marketing company.

This also marks the start of the club’s new deal with kit manufacturer TAG based in Burton on Trent. TAG have a reputation for manufacturing high-quality football kit and training gear and are working closely with the club to support future releases.

Mickleover Sports chairman, Don Amott, said:

“I’m absolutely delighted with the design and quality of the new kit and training gear from TAG, and am excited by our relationship with the NPL Football Academy who are supporting us with the biggest shirt sponsorship deal in the club’s history. This once again underlines the ambition we have here at Mickleover Sports Football Club”.

More details about the availability of the kit and polo shirts (amongst other merchandise) to follow.

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Danny Davidson Named As New Assistant Manager

John McGrath has moved to bolster his managerial staff with the addition of Danny Davidson as Assistant Manager following the departure of Liam Walshe.

Davidson has been at the club for 5 years working with the Juniors and Reserve and is currently in the final stages of his UEFA B coaching qualification and has a wealth of experience at Conference and Conference North level with the likes of Burton Albion, Hereford, Stafford R, Crawley Town, Tamworth, Alfreton and Boston Utd.

McGrath has announced the appointment of Davidson to assist him to the end of the season.



Match Report: Stourbridge (A)



Stourbridge: Gould, Christophorou, Westlake, McCone, Pierpoint, Tonks. Dodd, Broadhurst, Benbow, Anderson (Shearer 72), Green (Gater 77). Other subsDuggan, Cooke, Hawk.

Sports: King, Horne, Turner, McGrath, Mills, Burgin, Dales, Mulders, Morrison (Belgrave 80), Palmer (Garnett 60), Phillips. Other subs Williams, Morris.

Sports faced a tough task against Stourbridge who had won their last two games 5-0 and 4-0. They also had to patch up their forward line with Evan Garnett not fit to start and Brad Grayson transferred to Buxton on Friday. Jermaine Palmer came in to partner Clinton Morrison.

Sports started in a composed manner keeping possession well with neither side looking threatening. The first opportunity fell to Sports when Ben Turner did well on the left and his cross was met by Andy Dales but his header cleared the bar.

A poor clearance from Tom Burgin presented a chance to Luke Benbow but he screwed his shot wide. Benbow then went close from a cross by Matt Dodd but his volley was straight at Lewis King. Dales found space on the left and his cross was won by Jermaine Palmer but the ball went out for a goal kick.

In the 34th minute King saved well from a free kick by Tom Tonks but two minutes later was beaten by a cross-cum-shot by Tonks to open the scoring for the home side. Stourbridge went close to a second on 44 minutes but Matt Dodd’s came back off the bar.

Tom Tonks’ throw ins were causing problems for Sports and they came close in the 56th minute a back header from Paul McCone just over the bar. Sports were still in the game and after replacing Palmer, Evan Garnett went close on 65 minutes but his 20 yard shot was wide of the far post. Jimmy Phillips fired a 20 yard shot over. Stourbridge almost increased their lead when a free kick form Dodd was headed just wide by Leon Broadhurst.

Sports then got a last gasp equaliser their efforts deserved. John McGrath’s free kick was won by Pablo Mills and went the ball bounced loose in the area Andy Dales was on hand to fire in a close range shot

Next game – Tuesday 7.45 ko v Buxton – Derbyshire Senior Cup quarter final.





Sports Extend Talented Birmingham City Midfielder’s Loan

Sports are set to extend the loan agreement with Birmingham City for talented midfielder Olly Mulders in an attempt to widen the midfield options available to first-team manager John McGrath for the rest of the season.

Mulders, 19, will be available to John McGrath ahead of Saturday’s trip to Stourbridge following a satisfactory Christmas period that has seen Sports unbeaten in the last 3 matches.


Image credit:


Match Report: Nantwich (A)

Nantwich Town 1-2 Mickleover Sports

By Tony Shaw 

Nantwich: Spiess, Hughes, Wildin, Stair, Bourne, Hall, Mwasile(Strong 46), Bell, Cole, Cooke, Forbes (Morgan 58). Other subs Phillips, Walley, Burzynski.

Sports: King, Grocott, Turner, Mcgrath, Mills, Burgin, Dales, Morrison(Mulders 75), Scott, Garnett, Grayson. Other subs Morris, Palmer.

Sports were out to avenge an earlier defeat at home to Nantwich to end the year on a winning note. Facing a strong wind in the first half Sports were back to their best short game as they controlled the game in the early stages. Evan Garnett fired a 15 yard shot over the bar and Andy Dales forced a good save from Fabian Spiess.

The home side took an 11th minute lead with a goal from nowhere. Fullback, Courtney Wildin ,advanced under no challenge and unleashed a terrific shot from 25 yards into the top corner. Nantwich were buoyed by this and Sports were pushed back. Some fine defending with Pablo Mills excelling kept them at bay forcing shots from distance that Lewis King dealt with comfortably. The best chance for the hosts came on 35 minutes when a corner was flicked on at the near post but Joel Stair lashed the ball over the bar. John Mcgrath almost equalised but his cross cum shot was just wide.

With the wind behind them Sports came out strongly in the second half and were rewarded with an equaliser on 47 minutes. Andy Dales was fouled 20 yards out and with most people expecting a shot John Mcgrath put in an excellent cross tat Pablo Mills met with a thumping header into the bottom corner. Sports were now in command and scored what was the winner on 54 minutes. Andy Dales played a one- two with Evan Garnett and raced clear, rounding keeper Spiess, before rolling the ball home.

Having taken the lead Sports snuffed out Nantwich as an attacking force, dominating possession and it was they who almost scored the next goal. Andy Dales was again played through and he beat his marker but was denied by a good stop from Spiess from close range.

A New Year’s Message From The Chairman

Satisfied with 2017

Happy New Year! I really do hope it’s a happy and fulfilling one for you AND for Mickleover Sports Football Club.

Looking back at a satisfying 2017, I’d like to firstly congratulate manager John McGrath. John led us to our greatest ever points haul in the Northern League Premier Division in 2016-17, and I’m hoping we’ll top that this season. He’s never lost faith in playing quality, entertaining, football. Although adherence to that can sometimes open the door for an opposition break away, John has put together a strong defence to back up what must be close to the best midfield in the division and our forward options. One of the biggest challenges for a manager at our level is the fact that whenever a player shines brightly, he’s liable to be plucked by a bigger club. It’s filling those sudden holes that is the mark of a good manager.

Meanwhile as a club, we’ve lived within our resources, as we have no wish to saddle future committees with unsustainable debt. It happens at this level, either with a rich benefactor who suddenly loses interest, or a gamble on reaching a higher level to make a debt manageable. We choose to try and expand the financial base within the club. And the off field team knocked it out of the park with the Hot August Night event. More than 3,500 people enjoyed the day/night in 2017 and we’re doing it again this year, bigger and better, on August 5th.

Our fireworks evening was a great show and a great success, .. it’s fair to say it went off with a bang! I was also delighted with our Christmas dinner with over 370 people present. Maybe we can issue a video of next year’s event (as long as we can bleep the swearing)!

And we’ve signed our new lease for a 30 year tenure at this ground. That means the other more grandiose plans we’ve had on the back burner can be brought forward now.

All in all I’m loving my time as Chairman, although I wasn’t so sure coming in! I think it’s down to the marvellous volunteers, staff, committee members and of course the players and coaching staff. I’d like to think the supporters are enjoying it too. There can’t be too many clubs at our level where you can enjoy a drink and a chat with living legends like Clinton Morrison and Pablo Mills after the game!

Our influential committee man Keith Loring overcame a bout of ill health to help drive through much of the important developments. Keith, you’re an inspiration!

So we welcome 2018 with hope, and also with a determination to keep driving forward. Ane whether you’re on the committee, coaching, playing, volunteering or you’re a fan of our club, it IS ours! Let’s take it forward together.

God bless you, I hope 2018 brings you all you hope for.

Go Sports!

Don Amott