Can We Make It Four In A Row In Promotion Push?

by Peter Scherer

It’s back on home turf for Mickleover on Saturday, when they welcome Halesowen Town to the Don Amott Arena.

Sports beat the Yeltz 2-1 back in December and they currently lie eighth in the table.

Mickleover will hopefully have a full squad to choose from having not played last weekend, but manager John McGrath may have to choose between a returning Will Tamen and the impressive Kyle Rowley to partner Ethan Mann in the middle of the defence.

Joe Bateman and Lewis Cunningham both came through their return games in the reserves 13-4 victory on Tuesday, where Stuart Beavon and Ethan Fitzhugh both hit hattricks.

Our visitors have recently replaced manager Paul Smith, who gained them promotion last season, with former Kidderminster Harriers boss Russ Penn. A former England C International, Penn played league football with Scunthorpe, Burton Albion, Cheltenham, York City and Carlisle Utd.

They have won their last two away games at Royston and Alvechurch without conceding a goal, after a run of six game without victory.

Dan Platt is their current goalkeeper, now in his third season with the club, after signing from Bromsgrove. He started out at Crewe Alexandra, before moving on to Telford, Nantwich, Stourport and Evesham. He then had three years with Oxford City, before making his first stop at Halesowen in 2015.

Four years later he had a brief spell at Hednesford, before two seasons at Bromsgrove preceded his current stay. He recently made his 100th consecutive appearance for the club, having made well over 250 in total, and is also the club captain.

Right back Jak Hickman was a Coventry City Junior. He was loaned out to Ashton Utd, Hereford and Bromsgrove, before joining Bolton Wanderers on his release. 

After a further loan at Kings Lynn he went to Ireland with St.Patrick’s Athletic, before returning to England with Stourbridge at the beginning of last year. He then returned to Lynn, before a move to Banbury at the beginning of last season. He came to Halesowen on loan in March, making his stay permanent pre-season.

Left back Reece Mitchell was a pre-season signing from Rushall Olympic, where he had spent four years since arriving from Boldmere. He started at Leamington and has also played for Barwell, Highgate Utd and Sutton Coldfield.

Todd Parker is a young midfielder who came out of the Wolves Academy. He had two years at Hednesford following his release and came to our visitors pre-season.

Centre or right back Luke Redfern came straight from Stoke City’s Under 21’s in pre-season. He had previously been with Burton Albion, who had loaned him to Nuneaton and Sutton Coldfield. During his time with the Potters he also went out on loan to Hednesford.

Experienced centre back Tom Taylor came from Bromsgrove in January, where he had captained the side. A former striker who became a defender, Taylor is an ex Shrewsbury junior, but has played much of his football in Wales, with Porthmadog, Caernarfon Town, Pentraeth, Glantraeth, Holyhead Hotspur and Llangefni Town. He left Bromsgrove in April 2021 after his first spell to join Stourbridge, but returned in the December.

Fellow centre back Victor Nirennold only signed for Halesowen at the end of January from Nuneaton. French born, he started his career at Stade Rennais, before going to the US with Miami City.

His first English Club was Fleetwood back in 2015, who also loaned him to Guiseley, before a permanent move to FK Senica in Slovakia.

He then had a year in Vietnam with Da Nang FC, before a two year spell in Malaysia with Uitm FC. After short stop at Motherwell he played for Gloucester City too, before starting this season with Nuneaton. 

Caine Elliott was out on loan at Rugby Town earlier this season, from where he was signed in July.  A young central midfielder. He had previously spent two years at Stratford.

Midfielder Nathan Hayward is in his second season as a Yeltz player, having arrived from Bromsgrove. He started at Kidderminster, before moving on to Malvern and Worcester City. He first joined Bromsgrove in July 2018, but started the following season at Stourbridge. Two years later he returned to Bromsgrove and came to Halesowen in July last year.

Miracle Okafor was another pre-season signing, a striker who came from Scunthorpe’s youth team. He was loaned to Frickley Athletic, before joining Alvechurch on his release. Guiseley and Stourbridge were his next stops, with sixth months at Sporting Khalsa preceding his move to our visitors.

Right back Josh Ezewele is a former West Bromwich Albion Junior. He went to Yeovil Town following his release and was initially loaned to Kidderminster, before making it permanent. He was at Fylde, Alvechurch, Stourbridge and Bromsgrove, before returning to Alvechurch in July 2021 and has been at Halesowen since February 2022.

Ryan Wynter came from Chasetown pre-season, after a three year stay, having made over 250 appearances. Now a centre back he started off as a striker with Stafford Rangers.

Striker Richard Gregory is one of the longer serving players, having come from Bromsgrove in July 2020. He started at Boldmere and has also played for Rugby Town, Stratford, Leamington and Stafford Rangers.

Defender Kieren Donnelly was signed from Redditch in October last 2022. A former Aston Villa Academy player, he has also played for Nuneaton Borough.

Midfielder Jack Holmes started at Burton Albion, before coming to Halesowen. He joined Hereford in September last year on a dual registration, but returned to our visitors last April.

Ryan Boothe was another pre-season signing too, a striker from Anstey Nomads. He has played for Rushall Olympic, Sutton Coldfield and Lye Town and had been at Anstey since September 2020.

Macauley Manning is an attacking midfielder who firstly came from Coventry Utd in November 2019. He has also played for Highgate Utd, Redditch and Alvechurch and returned to Halesowen in March last year, after a spell in New Zealand.

Midfielder Rhys Hilton came from Sutton Coldfield Town in January. An ex Birmingham City youngster, he was loaned to Redditch, before going to Sutton Coldfield on his release in October 2020. He moved on after a year to Bedworth Utd and Coleshill Town, before returning to Sutton Coldfield ’22.

Striker Luke Postle has also been in the squad recently after coming through the clubs own Academy.

Kick off at usual is 3pm, with all catering and bar facilities available.

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