Author: Creative Streaks

Sports Sign New Striker

by Peter Scherer

Mickleover gave a second half debut to new signing Jahvan Davidson-Miller in the home win against Atherton.

The former Derby County Junior striker has spent time at Belper Town and Kettering before joining Barwell in late 2018.

Back To Winning Ways: Atherton Collieries (H)

by Peter Scherer

Not only did Mickleover returning to winning ways with a 2-0 victory over Atherton Collieries, it was their first double of the season, having beaten the Greater Manchester team away a few weeks ago.

Starting line-up 1-Callum Hawkins 2-Jake Bennett 3-Jordan Gough 4-James Butler 5-Phil Watt 6-Kemy Agustien 7-Joe Bateman 8-Mason Warren 9-Andy Dales 10-Stuart Beavon 11-Dexter Walters. Subs: Dempsey Arlott-John, Adam Haw, Pablo Mills, Jahvan Davidson. Ethan Mann.

It took a while for both teams to get up to pace, but Mickleover had their first chance after 16 minutes. Andy Dales led a counter attack from his own half, and having outpaced the defence, his cross went across the face of the goal with no one able to connect.

Seven minutes later a good positive build up from Warren out wide found Dales again, but his shot was blocked and went out for a corner.

It was still 0-0 when the visitors had their chance to open the scoring, but Elliot Rokka’s powerful close range shot was straight at Hawkins, who saved confidently.

Mickleover began to take charge towards the end of the first half, which was to bode well in the second.

Only three minutes back in action and it was 1-0 to Mickleover. A cross from Dales found Warren, who buried a powerful shot from 18 yards out into the bottom corner, with Atherton keeper Luke Hutchinson well beaten.

Six minutes later Warren was on the mark again, after a telling crossed had found Dales in the box, he was fouled in a melee of legs and the penalty was awarded.

Warren’s kick sent Hutchinson the wrong way, deep into the left corner 2-0.

Atherton continued to try and push forward and Marcus Cusani managed a shot in the 64th minute, but it was just over the bar.

Mickleover made their first change when Arlott-John came on for Walters after 65 minutes. But only a few minutes later it was so nearly a third for Sports. 

Agustien’s free kick was initially saved by Hutchinson before he pulled off an excellent reflex save from the rebound too.

Davidson came on for his debut replacing Beavon after 77 minutes, but the points were secure and just as importantly the Mickleover defence kept a clean sheet.

Mickleover Seek To Repeat Atherton Victory

by Peter Scherer

This weekend Mickleover face Atherton Collieries at the Don Amott Arena, in a game brought forward from January 29th. 

Atherton were the victims of Mickleover’s only away so far this season, so while we look to try and take three points to ease relegation fears, our visitors will be seeking revenge.

They were in 11th in the NPL before our visit, but have only taken one point since, in a home draw against South Shields. They went down 2-0 at Buxton on Tuesday night, and are now 16th.

Sharing goal keeping duties in recent matches have been Bolton loanee Luke Hutchinson and Elliott Wynne.

Wynne started out with Oldham Athletic and Rochdale, before joining AFC Fylde. He has also played for Fleetwood and Lancaster City, Glossop North and Abbey Hey, before joining Altrincham, prior to his move to Atherton.

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. But after being carried off in Tuesday nights game at Buxton, he’s a doubtful starter this weekend.

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. 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.

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 signed a week before our visit to Atherton 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. 

Former Blackpool midfielder Rowan Roache is a recent new signing from Workington. During his time at Blackpool he had loans at Southport, FC United, Derby County and Lancaster, before his loan at Bamber Bridge became permanent. He then moved on to Altrincham in November last year, before joining Workington at the beginning of this season.

Kick off as usual is 3pm and Sports can do with all the support they can muster.

Reserves On Target Again

by Peter Scherer

While the Mickleover first team struggle to get points on the board in the NPK, the reserves continue to go from strength to strength after trashing Arnold 8-1 at the Don Amott Arena last Saturday.

Josh Satchwell, Fin Barker and Ben Horleston hit two goals each, with Jude Ayetine and Will Robinson also on the score sheet.

Currently second in the Central Midlands League Premier Division South, Sports are five points behind Blidworth, with three points in hand.

They are without a game this weekend, but face Nottingham away on November 20th, before three successive home games against Mansfield Hosiery, Mickleover RBL and South Normanton over an eight day spell.

Mickleover Lose Out In Second Half Goal Spree: Radcliffe (A)

by Peter Scherer

Two second half substitutes got on the score sheet for Radcliffe to turn the tide and pick up all three points, after Sports led 1-0 at half time.

Radcliffe made it five wins on the bounce in all competitions after a clinical second half display claimed victory against Mickleover. 

Starting line-up: 1-Callum Hawkins 2-Jake Bennett; 3-Jordan Gough 4-Joe Bateman  5-James Butler 6-Phil Watt 6-Andy dales 8-Andrew Wright 9-Adam Haw 10-Stuart Beacon 11-Dexter walters. Subs: Mason Warren, Roger Lee, Dec Bacon, Bobby Battisson, Dempsey Arlott-John.

There were early chances for Mickleover when Butler headed wide from a corner after two minutes, and then shot wide after finding space in the box a couple of minutes later.

 Kole Hall should’ve put the hosts in front with a dinked attempt which scraped wide of the mark, after he  out muscled his man to create an opening for himself to shoot. He took his time on the ball before eventually chipping the goalkeeper, his effort looked to be dropping into the bottom corner but it wasn’t accurate enough as it bounced out for a goal kick. 

After 25 minutes Mickleover hit the post with a deflected shot, before the defence cleared the danger, but only a minute later a penalty was awarded after Radcliffe keeper Cam Belford clipped an oncoming attacker as he tried to round him. 

Captain Wright stepped up and sent the ball into the bottom corner of the net, Belford did get a hand to it, however his efforts weren’t enough. 1-0.

Belford denied Mickleover a second goal after 36 minutes, with a spectacular diving save to keep out Wright’s rocket free kick.

With half time approaching James Baxter had a chance for the hosts to equalise, when he latched onto a corner from Matty Crothers, only to shoot over the bar.

But Mickleover repeated their first half form by starting the second half on top again, but Belford was the hero once again for Radcliffe,  by making a multitude of superb saves to stop Mickleover  from increasing their lead. Those saves became even more beneficial  as Jo Cummings got the equaliser after 55 minutes.

Adam Dawson had picked up a loose ball down the left and then whipped an accurate cross into the box, before a mix of touches from both teams left a scramble in the Mickleover penalty area, with Cummings getting the decisive touch to tap home from a few yards out. 1-1.

The momentum quickly shifted in Radcliffe’s favour as they looked for another a goal.

They  mounted more and more attacking pressure onto the Mickleover defence and it was soon breached by failing to pick up substitute Chris Taylor at the back post, as he diverted the ball into the net to put Radcliffe ahead at the sixty-four minute mark.

 Bobby Grant had got on the end of a cross-field pass from  Dawson, he picked out Taylor who was waiting to pounce at the back post and at the second attempt, he slotted the ball into the bottom corner beyond a frustrated Hawkins. 1-2 

It could easily have been another goal for the hosts when Baxter’s shot appeared to aiming for the bottom corner, only for Hawkins to make a spectacular diving save to his left. 

But just seconds after coming onto the pitch, sub Luca Navarro wrapped up all three points for Radcliffe with his first touch, after latching onto a goal kick from  Belford, he chipped the ball over the on-rushing Hawkins, who had to helplessly watch the ball as it ricocheted off the surface and made its way into the net. 1-3. 

For 55 minutes Mickleover held their 1-0 advantage, but as on so many occasions this season it was not to be. But it now leaves them in a perilous 21st place in the NPL.

Report by Peter Scherer, from Kieran Wilson’s Radcliffe summary and twitter feed.

Mickleover Head For Radcliffe

by Peter Scherer

This time last season Mickleover were riding high at the top of the NPL, in a season, the second in succession, that was not to be.

How circumstances can change in one year, as we now seek points to escape the danger of relegation.

Our hosts this weekend at Radcliffe FC are another one of the teams who had been struggling this season. But having won their last three NPL games, Basford and Hyde away and Lancaster at home, they have now climbed to 17th in the table, two places and three points clear of Mickleover.

Their last game was last Saturday, when they beat Frickley 3-1 in the FA Trophy.

So let’s take a look at their team.

Cameron Belford is an experienced goalkeeper, who started out in Coventry City’s youth team. After a spell on loan at Tamworth, he spent six years with Bury in League’s One and Two making 86 appearances.

Further loans at Worcester City, Southend Utd and Accrington Stanley, then preceded a full time move to Tamworth. 

He then moved on to Mansfield Town, Rushall Olympic, Swindon Town and Wrexham, before a loan spell at Stranraer.

More recently he has played for Forest Green Rovers, Chorley and Nuneaton, before a loan spell at FC United. He came to Radcliffe in July last year.

Second choice keeper is Joey Oldham, a home grown talent who is learning from Belford’s experience.

Right back Tom Miller is a former Norwich City Youth team player. He moved on to Glasgow Rangers, but didn’t make the first team, but made one appearance for Brechin City during a loan spell.

His next stop was Dundalk in Ireland, where he played 37 games for the League of Ireland side, before moving to Newport County.

He then joined Lincoln City after an initial loan, before going to League Two Carlisle for four years. Spells at Bury and Fylde then came before his arrival at Radcliffe in October 2020.

Centre back Taylor Jones was signed pre-season from Oldham Athletic’s ranks, while fellow centre back Olly Thornley came in from Curzon Ashton, after coming through their youth scheme.

Defender Jo Cummings came through Sheffield United’s Academy and made two senior appearances for the Blades. He then moved to Charlton Athletic and made two appearances in his two seasons there and was also loaned to Guiseley.

He then moved to Scunthorpe but didn’t get the break and came to Radcliffe initially on loan in March last year, before making it permanent two months later.

Simon Lenighan is a midfielder with vast experience. After starting out with Leeds Utd, he had loans at Bradford PA and Halifax, before joining Harrogate on his release in 2014.

He had a loan at Alfreton before joining Frickley, Rotherham and then Warrington. Further moves have taken him to Altrincham, Shaw Lane and Glossop NE, then Guiseley before a return trip to Halifax.

He was at Mossley and Buxton before arriving at Radcliffe in July 2020.TheN after six months at Telford, he returned to Radcliffe pre-season.

Midfielder Jack Baxter is currently on loan from Preston North End. He has previously had loans at Clitheroe, Stalybridge and Cork City.

Midfielder Matty Crothers is one of Radcliffe’s longest serving players, having been part of their 2018/19 promotion side. He was previously at Curzon Ashton having been discovered in the Oldham Sunday League.

Striker Kole Hall is a Bermudan International. He was a youth team player at Tranmere Rovers, before joining City of Liverpool. He joined Radcliffe last year and has also been on loan at Telford Utd.

After coming through Accrington Stanley’s youth scheme, Bobby Grant went on to make 77 appearances and score 19 goals for the League Two side, before moving to Scunthorpe in the Championship and League One, scoring a further 11 goals in 70 games.

He went on loan to Rochdale and Accrington before a permanent move to Rochdale, then spent two seasons at Blackpool, with loans Fleetwood and Shrewsbury, before a permanent move to League One Fleetwood.

He made 139 appearances and scored 24 goals in his four seasons at Fleetwood and was at Wrexham and loan at Accrington again and Oldham, before arriving at Radcliffe in June as player coach.

Adam Dawson is another player with a vast experience. The winger played his youth football at Bury and Liverpool, before joining Wigan Athletic on his release. 

He made one first team appearance on loan at Accrington, before joining Bacup Brough, FC United and Barrow.

He was soon on the move again to Nelson, before signing for Leicester City in 2013 after a successful trial.

Loans at Notts County, Nuneaton and Bristol Rovers before joining Kidderminster. It was then a loan at Tranmere before joining Nuneaton, then short stays at Eastleigh and Tranmere again, which included a loan at Darlington.

He has moved on via Southport, Telford, Chester, Macclesfield, before a month’s loan at Radcliffe in December 2019. A brief stay in Cyprus with Achyronas Liopetriou preceded his move back to Radcliffe in August.

Midfielder Chris Taylor came through the ranks at Oldham Athletic before making 285 first team appearances scoring 33 goals.

After playing for Millwall, Blackburn Rovers and Bolton Wanderers, he returned to Oldham on loan in January 2017.

Further moves to Blackpoll and Bradford City followed, before he joined Radcliffe from League Two Barrow last month.

Jean Louis Akpa-Akpro is a striker who started out with his home town club Toulouse. He made 46 first team appearances and scored five goals, plus a loan spell at Brest followed before a move to FC Brussels.

He came to the UK in December 2008 with Grimsby Town scoring eight goals in 56 games. Over the next few years he was a regular goalscorer at Rochdale, Tranmere and Shrewsbury and was on loan at Bury too, before joining Barnet.

After a loan at Yeovil he joined UAE side Masfout, before returning to the UK with Oldham Athletic in November 2019. He signed for Radcliffe in March 2020 and his Brother Jean Daniel is an Ivory Coast International.

Kingsley Williams is midfielder and former Radcliffe captain who started out at Oldham and Sheffield United before joining Northwich Victoria. He then moved to Bacup Borough and Alfreton and has played for Sydney Olympic in Australia.

A short stay at Leonesa in Spain preceded his UK return with Ilkeston and after a year at Trafford Park he joined Radcliffe in December 2017. He then joined Widnes in February 2020 and returned to Radcliffe in July this year.

Nathan Valentine is an attacking midfielder. He spent time at Wakefield, Harrogate, AFC Liverpool, Radcliffe, Frickley, Scarborough Athletic, Stalybridge and Matlock before joining Bury In December 2020. He came to Radcliffe pre-season.

Striker Luca Navarro started out at a junior at Bolton Wanderers. He has just returned to Radcliffe from Stafford Rangers, after spells at Bamber Bridge and Atherton too.

Ben Rydel is a midfielder currently on loan from Salford City, after coming through their youth scheme.

Jordan Carroll is a midfielder who came to Radcliffe from Athlone Town in July, he has previously played in Ireland for various Academy sides.

Omar Ibrahim is a midfielder, but no other information seems to be available about him.

Also Radcliffe have had Bebelo Gomes, Zac Hutley, Tye Turner, Daniel Asam and Joe Frater in their first team squad this season, but there is no information whatsoever who they are?

Kick off as usual is at 3pm

10 Men Cup Exit For Sports: Grantham Town (H)

by Peter Scherer

Success in the FA Trophy would hopefully boost Mickleover’s form in the NPL, but alas it was not to be, as an early red card and first half goal for the visitors proved decisive.

Starting line-up: 1-Callum Hawkins 2- Roger Lee 3-Will Robinson 4-Mason Warren; 5 Phil Watt 6-Andrew Wright 7-Dexter Walters 8-Dempsey Arlott-John 9-Kemy Agustien 10-Stuart Beavon 15-Pablo Mills. Subs: Bobby Battisson, Dec Bacon, Fin Barker, George Atwal, Fin Bowen, Ben Lewin.

Although Grantham are currently bottom of the NPL a number of team changes have made them an unpredictable opponent.

Arlott-John went close for Mickleover after six minutes, when his effort was just over the bar. But only six minutes later Mills was on the receiving end of a red card and Sports were down to 10 men for the rest of the game.

With Mills missing there was a reshuffle in defence and Agustien came off to be replaced by Lewin, which allowed Robinson to move into the centre with Watt.

There were cries for a penalty for Mickleover after 17 mins, but they fell on deaf ears, and Beavon was taken down by Henry Eze, who received a yellow card.

But hopes of finding that elusive opening goal didn’t go in Sports favour and it was Grantham’s Jake Wright who succeeded after 29 minutes. 0-1.

Mickleover continued to try and push forward for the equaliser and Lewin put a tantalising cross into the box just before half time, but there was no one to receive it.

While it remained at 0-1 there was a chance of equalising, despite being a man down, and early into the second half Arlott-John was exchanged for Battisson.

The effort couldn’t be faulted but the chances never came. Both Lee and Warren received yellow card, and Atwal came on as a late sub for Warren. But the score remained the same and it’s Grantham that go into the hat for the next round, as Mickleover’s cup runs are over for another year.

Walters Joins Sports On Loan

by Peter Scherer

Mickleover FC boss John McGrath has made another loan signing to strengthen his squad, as Sports strive to escape the foot of the NPL table.

Winger Dexter Walters has arrived on an initial months loan from Tamworth and goes straight into the squad for tomorrow’s FA Trophy game at home to Grantham.

Walters returned to Tamworth in August 2020, after a two year spell at Coventry City, where he made one EFL Trophy appearance for the first team, but was a regular in the Sky Blues Under 23’s.