Author: Creative Streaks

Mickleover Celebrate First Away Win Of The Season: Atherton Collieries (A)

Report from Atherton Collieries FC media with additional words by Peter Scherer

Goals from Andy Dales and the returning Stuart Beavon gave a Mickleover their first away win of the season and their first win since the end of August, returning home 2-1 victors at Atherton Collieries.

Starting line-up 1-Callum Hawkins 2-Jake Bennett 3-Jordan Gough 4-Joe Bateman 5-Phil Watt 20-Pablo Mills 6-Liam Ravenhill 7-Andy Dales 8-Andrew Wright 10=Stuart Beavon 15-Kemy Agustien, Subs: Adam Haw, Mason Warren, Bobby Battisson, Roger Lee, Dec Bacon.

Chances proved hard to come by in the first half for both teams, Marcus Cusani going close for the hosts and Luke Hutchinson making a good save from a Mickleover attack. Both defences were well and truly on top as their attacking colleagues struggled to break through.

The game could only improve in the second half and it did significantly. It was Mickleover who seized the advantage on the hour mark, Andy Dales evading unscathed from some tepid defending and firing a speculative low drive which got the better of Atherton keeper Hutchinson 1-0..

In their search for a response, Atherton created a couple of good openings. Danny Lambert and Matty Gillam both found themselves denied in the penalty box. However, the hosts luck turned with ten minutes left on the clock, when full back Gareth Peet was tripped in the box. The referee pointing straight to the spot and Gillam tucked the penalty home with confidence to level the scores. 1-1.

Hawkins saved well as Peet tried a close range shot, but it was still deadlock with time running out, but it was Stuart Beavon that struck late on for Mickleover, taking a chance well at the near post to send the Sports  on their return home jubilant with a 2-1 victory.


Mickleover Go Points Hunting At Atherton: Atherton Collieries (A)

by Peter Scherer

After the two games at home it’s back on the road for Mickleover this weekend, with a visit to Atherton Collieries.

Our hosts are 11th in the NPL having won their last two games away at Bamber Bridge and at home to Championship leaders Matlock.  They have had six wins and a draw so far. 

First choice keeper Danny Taberner made his first team debut for Rochdale as a 16 year old. He moved on to Stockport Sports and Salford City, before his first spell at Atherton in 2014. After 94 games he moved on again to Prestwich and Ramsbottom, before spending two years at Northwich Victoria. He came back to Atherton in March 2020 from Cheadle Town.

Clive Smith is a right back who started out at Preston North End. He had loans at Bamber Bridge and St.Johnstone, but never made the Preston first team and was released in December 2017. After six months at Southport he joined Droylsden and has been at Atherton since December 2018.

Wing back Gareth Peet is an Atherton legend, having joined the club back in 2010. He has also played at Ashton, Skelmersdale and Nelson.

US born Luca De Freitas-Hansen was a pre-season signing from Ashton. The young centre back played for Weston Academy and Portland Pilots in the States, before joining Ashton Athletic in August 2018.His brother plays for Swansea City.

Centre back and skipper Danny Lafferty is another long serving player, having joined Atherton 13 years ago. He has also played for Oldham Borough and Radcliffe Borough. 

Joel Amado came from Trafford FC at the end of last season. The young defender has also played at Curzon Ashton and Irlam and represented England Universities.

Attacking midfielder Ben Conway has returned to Atherton in July 2018 after playing in the US with IW Cardinals, OKC Energy and Corpus Christi.

Danny Lambert is another long serving player. The winger started out at Wigan, before moving on to Darlington and is now in his fifth year at Atherton. He has also played at Ashton, Radcliffe and Trafford.

Another player in his second spell with our hosts is striker Marcus Cusani. Currently the leading scorer with four goals. He came back to Atherton last season after a spell at Warrington and has also played for Ashton.

Central midfielder Jack Lenehan is a former Rochdale junior. He was loaned to Prescott Cables before joining Chorley and came to Atherton last year after a season with FC United.

Scott Sephton started out with Leigh Genesis. Prior to joining Atherton in May, the midfielder was captain of Stalybridge Celtic. He has also played for Matlock, Warrington, Buxton, Ashton, Trafford, Porthmadog and Prescott Cables.

Striker Elliot Rokka has come from the Tranmere Academy. He arrived at Atherton in March last year from Radcliffe.

Dylan Glass is another striker, who came from Ashton, having started his career at Warrington.

Young defender Niall Battersby was spotted playing in the local Manchester League and signed for Atherton. While Luke Hutchinson is second choice keeper and is on loan until January from Bolton Wanderers.

Lewis Doyle is another young midfielder, who was signed from Accrington in July last year. He was previously at Southport, having started out in the Preston North End Academy.

Ethan Kershaw was a Burnley junior before joining Longridge. He moved to Mossley in July last year and came to Atherton pre-season.

Matty Gillam was another new pre-season signing. The young striker was with Rochdale until August last year and had loan spells at Stalybridge and Cork City, before joining Guiseley on his release.

Aaron Smith was only signed in the last week and made his debut this week with a goal in the 2-1 win at Bamber Bridge. He started as a Nottingham Forest junior, before spending a year in Scotland with Hamilton Academicals.  From there he moved to Ashton Utd, before joining Northwich 1874. He went back to Ashton and then moved to Curzon Ashton, before his return to Northwich preceded his arrival at Atherton. 

Valuable Point In Tough Night For Mickleover: Stafford Rangers (H)

by Peter Scherer

After their recent home defeats Mickleover came out fighting against Stafford Rangers, and earned a valuable point in a 0-0 draw.

Starting line-up: 1-Callum Hawkins 2-Jake Bennett 3-Jordan Gough 4-Joe Bateman 5-James Butler 20-Pablo Mills 7-Liam Ravenhill 8-Andrew Wright 9-Andy Dales 15-Kemy Agustien 11-Lee Holmes. Subs: Bobby Battisson, Dec Bacon, Josh Satchwell, Ben Lewin, Mason Warren.

From the kick off Mickleover were straight on the attack and within the first five minutes Dales earned a free kick and the resulting shot was just over from Mills.

 Holmes then showed his skills and created his own space to put his effort just wide of the left hand post after a through ball from Dales.

Bennett then earned a free kick after 10 minutes when he was obstructed on a positive run down the wing.

A minute later Hawkins made a comfortable save from a Stafford effort, before Mickleover went on the attack again, with new signing Gough finding Dales, whose effort was intercepted.

Stafford earned consecutive corners in the 16th minute, but both were dealt with by Butler and Mills, before a dangerous break from the visitors was comfortably dealt with by Bateman.

Stafford went close again when a 21st minute cross was cleared for a corner by Mills.

But Stafford defender James O’Neill was lucky to get away with stamping on Dales leg after a tackle, as neither the referee nor his assistant saw the incident.

The visitors had another half chance which went wide but Mickleover were forced to make a change when Holmes limped off and was replaced by Battisson.

Stafford began to push forward and put a telling cross over the face of the goal, before following up with a shot over the bar from outside the box.

Captain Wright was doing his best to inspire, ably assisted by the hard running Dales, mixed with a blend of Agustien’s calmness and Ravenhill’s enthusiasm.

After 27 minutes Bennett came so close to scoring, when Wright put him through for a run on goal, colliding heavily with defender Ben Woods and keeper Luke Pilling, earning a corner.

Agustien’s foresight resulted in a great pass from the left, leaving Battisson to collect on the right, but his run was then blocked.

It was still end to end, with Stafford having another shot over the bar, before Navarro had a chance to open the scoring for Stafford, but it was well saved by Hawkins. 

With half time approaching another Stafford effort was fired well over, but in time added on Mickleover went close too. Dales flashed in a telling cross, but as Wright went for it, Pilling got a hand there first and punched it away, so it remained 0-0.

It was the visitors that were on the ascendancy as the second half got underway. 47 minutes and a low cross just missed the head of a diving Stafford striker and two more attacks, with a shot over, preceded a low shot to Hawkins left, which was saved by the Mickleover keeper.

Gradually Sports came back into the game and Dales shot was only just wide after connecting with a Battisson cross after 51 minutes.

Bennett then found Battisson, whose dangerous cross was cleared, but the teenage midfielder fired it back in again only for it to be cleared on the left.

Mickleover were entering their best spell of the game and started to pile the pressure on the Stafford defence. 

Just after the hour Dales tried a lob that almost caught Pilling out and a minute later he broke through the ranks to go one on one with visitor’s keeper. His shot came off Pilling’s leg but in the melee one of the defenders almost put it in the net.

Dales was looking for another one on one three minutes later, but the keeper had it covered.

For the final push Mickleover brought on Bacon for Wright.

Hawkins had another save low to his right in the last five minutes and a Sports corner from Agustien in time added on, was punched clear of danger.

The 0-0 draw gave Mickleover a valuable point, but more important was the fight shown to succeed as we now look forward to Saturday’s visit to Atherton Collieries.

Tuesday Night… Match Night: Stafford Rangers (H)

by Peter Scherer

For the last two unfinished seasons, Stafford Rangers have spent most of their time fighting against relegation, but this year’s its all change.

They started with a 3-1 home win over Morpeth and have had mixed form with five wins and four draws from their 14 games, plus they were knocked out of the FA Cup by Rushall Olympic after a replay.

Last weekend they went down 0-1 at home against Scarborough, and currently are ninth in the NPL table.

First choice goalkeeper Luke Pilling started out as a Tranmere youth team player, making seven first appearances and spending a loan period at Ashton before joining Notts County in September 2020. He came to Stafford during pre-season and is capped by Wales at Under 20 and Under 21 levels.

A full back or centre back, Andrew Burns was a junior at Bolton Wanderers. After moving on to Bradford City, he came to Stafford this summer via Redbridge and Barrow.

Ben Woods is a winger or wing back, a recent signing from Spanish club Lorca. He’s a former Burnley youth player and has NPL experience with Stalybridge.

Skipper and midfielder Alex-Ray Harvey started off at Burnley too and had loans at Fleetwood and Barrow, before making a permanent move to Barrow. After spells at Guiseley and Hednesford, he joined Stafford in July 2019.

Centre back Ethan Stewart was only signed from Alfreton just over a week ago. He was at the Nottingham Forest Academy until July last year, during which time he was loaned to Billericay and Alfreton. On release he joined Nuneaton, from where he joined Alfreton again in July this year.

Centre back or midfield James O’Neil came from Welsh League Newtown in July. He started out at Telford and had three years at Chasetown in between spells at Newtown.

Joe Kenton is joint leading scorer for Stafford with five. The attacking midfielder or striker started out with Wolves and Shrewsbury, and was another Welsh League player from Newtown. He had previously played for Tividale and came to Stafford July last year.

Tom Tonks is the other joint highest scorer, a summer signing from Tamworth. Having started at Tipton, he has had numerous spells at Stourbridge and has also played for Telford, Solihull Moors, and Alvechurch.

Former Huddersfield junior Jake Charles came to the Terriers from Garforth Villa and made one first team appearance during his spell at Huddersfield. A loan at Guiseley preceded a move to Barnsley, followed by a loan at York City, before signing for Stalybridge.

His first spell at Stafford was in October 2018, scoring on his debut. But after 55 games and 18 goals he joined Farsley Celtic, before returning to Stafford in June this year.

He has represented Wales at Under 16, 17, 19 and 21 levels and is the Grandson of the legendary John Charles.

Alex Fletcher is a central midfielder with more Welsh connections. After his release from Shrewsbury Town, he joined Tividale, before signing for Newtown in June 2016. He had a short spell at Southport before coming to Stafford in October 2017, but left after three months to rejoin Newtown. 

After a brief stay at Stourbridge he had a third spell at Newtown, before arriving at Stafford again in pre-season.

Striker Luca Navarro is another recent signing. The former Bolton junior had spells at Bamber Bridge and Hull City before coming to Stafford during the summer.

There are more Welsh connections with winger Theo Bailey-Jones. He started his career at Wrexham, with loans at Colwyn and Macclesfield, before a permanent move to Macclesfield. He moved on to play at Stalybridge and Altrincham, before coming to Stafford in July 2018. After two years he went to Hyde, before returning to Stafford last week.

Striker Joe Cuff is in his second spell at Stafford. Signed originally from Market Drayton for the 2018/19 season, he returned to Shropshire after one season, and has been back in the Stafford fold since pre-season.

Striker Max McCarthy is another brand new signing, on loan from Stoke City for a month initially.

Tolani Omotola is another striker recently signed from Hyde. He started out at Tranmere and made one first team appearance, before moving on to Witton and Burscough on loan. He then joined Altrincham and was loaned out to Ramsbottom and Loughborough Dynamo, before moves to Coalville, Buxton, Corby and Barwell.

After starting off at Solihull Moors, left back Josh Endall joined Coventry City for a couple of seasons. He was released and joined Stratford Town, moving to Redditch, Banbury and Alvechurch, before his move to Stafford in the summer.

Charlie Ten-Grotenhuis is another summer signing. The midfielder was a Bristol Rovers product, who was loaned to Gloucester City, before a permanent move to Hungerford. Further moves to Farnborough, Stratford, Paulton and Hednesford preceded his move to Stafford.

Midfielder Tre Pemberton only arrived at Stafford last week from CFC United. He played his junior football at Blackburn and Stoke City, before joining FC United. He has also had a loan spell at Longridge. 

Jon Moran started out at Crewe, with a loan at Nantwich which was made permanent. Forest Green, Halesowen, Chester and Bradford PA were his next stops, before coming to Stafford in November 2019.

Kick off as usual is at 7.45pm, so come along and help Sports get some points on the board.

Highwaymen Stand & Deliver For 4-0 Victory: Morpeth Town (H)

by Peter Scherer (Photo: Sarah Middleton)

Morpeth certainly lived up to their name of the Highwaymen, as they inflicted a crushing defeat on Mickleover last Saturday.

Starting line-up: 1 Callum Hawkins 2-Jake Bennett 3-Ben Lewin 4-Mason Warren 5-James Butler 6-Joe Bateman 7-Andy Dales 8-Liam Ravenhill 20-Pablo Mills 10 Dec Bacon 11-Lee Holmes. Subs: Josh Satchwell, Ethan Mann, Kemy Agustien, Andrew Wright, Fin Barker.

The game had only been under way for five minutes when Morpeth scored their first goal, with Gary Johnson collecting at the edge of the box and firing it home 0-1.

Although Mickleover tried to fight back, Lewin was booked for a foul on the edge of the Mickleover box, from where the free kick hit the post.

19 minutes and it was 0-2 as Johnson scored again, with a header into the top corner.

Bacon though he had pulled one back for Sports, but although he put it in the back of the net, play was pulled back with Bacon adjudged to have pushed a defender.

The situation was compounded still further when 27 minutes in Ben Sayer had a shot saved by Hawkins, but he followed up with a rebound header, 0-3.

Warren came close too when his 33rd minute free kick was only collected by the visitors keeper at the second attempt.

It could have been Johnson’s hattrick three minutes later, when he was  given a  free header  only just wide, but with Holmes then booked for a foul on a Morpeth striker, it remained 0-3 in Morpeth’s favour half time.

As Mickleover tried to bring some credibility to the scoreline, Wright came on for Mills, with Agustien and Barker on for Warren and Bacon, but the hour was up and it continued to look bleak.

Agustien had only been on the field a few minutes when he reacted badly to being fouled and was in the refs book too.

Johnson managed to get a cross in for the visitors after 67 minutes, but his attempt was high and wide from a tight angle, while Ravenhill managed to get a cross inside the visitors defence but there was no one to collect.

Morpeth’s Ben Sayer was then in the book too after he caught the ball in a Mickleover counter attack.

Holmes went near with an 83 rd minute free kick in the 83rd minute, but was then sent off for second yellow card.

In the closing minutes Ramsey took a free kick for Morpeth, but it was well taken by Hawkins.

So it was another home defeat which now leaves then fourth from the bottom of the table and in dire need of points.

Sports Lose Out In Youth Cup Tie

by Peter Scherer

Mickleover travelled to Boston Utd on Wednesday night for their latest tie in the FA Youth Cup.

After going behind to a sixth minute goal from Zane Millar, Sports were back level after 35 minutes when Fin Barker equalised.

Owen Sheriff made sure the hosts went in at half time however, with their lead restored, after made it 2-1 to Boston in the 42nd minute.

As the Sports Juniors gave their all for an equaliser, Sheriff scored his second after 81 minutes, as Boston secured the win 3-1.

Sports Back Home And Seeking Three Points!! Morpeth Town (H)

by Peter Scherer

Having come so close to holding the NPL table toppers Matlock Town away on Tuesday evening, its back to home advantage for the injury ravaged Mickleover FC.

Saturday’s match is against 19th in the table Morpeth Town, with two wins under their belt, the second having come on Tuesday evening 3-1 away to Radcliffe. Only three days earlier they had also knocked Radcliffe out of the FA Cup by the same score at home.

They are currently three points behind Mickleover in the league with game in hand, on exactly the same goals difference.

Keeper Dan Lowson originally came to Morpeth on loan from Spennymoor, but made his move permanent from July 2018. He previously played Ilkeston, Blyth Spartans, Alfreton and Celtic Nation.

Joe Walton is another ex Spennymoor player, having won the FA Vase with the club. A play anywhere versatile sort of player with a good eye for goal.

Long serving defender Michael Turner should reach the 200 appearances mark for the Highwaymen this season. He joined them from South Shields when they were Northern League Division One side.

Defensive midfielder or centre back, Ben Sayer has spent all of his career in the North East. Originally at Blyth Spartans, he came to Morpeth from Spennymoor in November 2014.

Skipper and solid defender Jeff Henderson was a Newcastle Utd youth player, before joining Gateshead in 2011. He then moved to Ireland with Sligo, where he stayed for three years. Back to England with Stobswood, from where he joined Morpeth in July 2018.

Centre back Callum Morris was another Newcastle Junior, who joined Blyth Spartans on his release. A short spell in Spain with Jerez Industrial preceded a season with Hayes & Yeading Utd. But his more recent career has been spent in Scotland, at Dunfermline, Dundee Utd and Aberdeen. He signed for Morpeth last summer after three years at Ross County and is capped by the Republic of Ireland at Under 19 and Under 21.

Striker Jack Foalle came to Morpeth from Whitley Bay in October 2018 where he was a prolific goal scorer.

Liam Noble is a midfielder with lots of experience. The former Sunderland youth player had a loan spell at Carlisle before making his move permanent in January 2012. After 99 appearances for the League One side, he joined Notts County in 2014. 

After a year at Forest Green Rovers he returned to Meadow Lane, before joining Hartlepool, from where he arrived at Morpeth last season, with over 250 League appearances under his belt.

Liam Henderson is the clubs leading scorer, a former Hartlepool and Watford Academy player who played 21 times for Hornets, before loans at Wealdstone, Hartlepool, Colchester, Aldershot and Rotherham, racking up experience in Leagues One and two. 

Following his release he joined York City and moved on via Forest Green, Gainsborough and Gateshead and has been at Morpeth since June 2016.

Winger or midfielder, Ryan Donaldson came out of the Newcastle Academy, where he captained the Magpies Youth Cup side. He gained League One experience with loans at Hartlepool and Tranmere, before spending the 2012/13 season at Gateshead.

Three years at Cambridge Utd and one at Plymouth Argyle gave him plenty of league experience, before he made his move to Hartlepool permanent. He was a summer signing for Morpeth and played for England at Under 17 and Under 19 levels.

Striker Andrew Johnson is a former Ashington player, who came to Morpeth from Spennymoor in May 2020.

Wayne Phillips is vastly experienced winger and a double FA Vase winner, once with Spennymoor and once with South Shields. He started at Blyth Spartans and came to Morpeth from South Shields in June 2017.

Defender Chris Reid is another long serving player having signed from Whitley Bay in 2015/16.

Ben Ramsey is a local talent, already attracting interest from League Clubs. The young defender made his first team debut in February and scored within seconds.

Sam Hodgson is a midfielder who came from Shildon in 2018, after starting out at South Shields.

Bailey Geliher and Noah Millington have only recently joined the first team squad, both products of their own youth set up.

Kick off is 3pm as usual and the bar is open, SO BE THERE!!