Carter Hat-trick, But It’s Just A Point For Reserves

by Peter Scherer

An impressive first half from Mickleover Reserves, saw them take an early lead. But despite a Josh Carter hattrick, Mansfield Hosiery fought back to secure a late point.

Starting line-up: 1-Josh Bulll 2-Toby Smith 3-Zac Sandhu 4-Jared Cholerton 5-Pablo Mills 6-Will Trueman 7-Josh Carter 8-Ryan Wilson 9-Will Robinson 10-Mason Tudgay 11-Josh Powell, Subs: Dean Ironmonger, Sam Johnson, Silas Donker, Harry Atwal.

There was a free kick for Mickleover almost from the kick off, when Trueman was brought down. Only two minutes later Mills had the first shot and although the keeper failed to hold it after his initial save, there was no one following up as it went out for corner.

The visitors had their first shot after four minutes, well wide of Bull’s left-hand upright, but three minutes later a cross from the right, was well met by a Mansfield striker, but his header was straight in Bull’s hands.

Smith’s first surge down the right wing, left him clear for the cross. But there was too much pace on the ball as it went for a throw in on the far side, as Mills waited in the middle.

It was another Smith run that took him close after 11 minutes. As he cut in from the right, his shot was just over the bar.

As the defence struggled to contain Smith on the right, he fired in another cross, met by Tudgay, but the shot was saved but not held again, but no one ready to try for a rebound.

15 minutes in and there was chaos in the Mansfield defence though, again following a Smith cross. The keeper called for the ball but missed it, but fortunately for him so did everyone else as it rolled clear.

Powell and Tudgay combined for a nice move on the left a few minutes later, until the defence intercepted. But with Trueman and Wilson controlling midfield, Carter and Tudgay had time to roam, ably supported by Mills and Powell.

Mills should have opened the scoring after 19 minutes, from yet another Smith cross. He took his time to place his shot, but it was wide of the mark and remained 0-0.

Shortly afterwards Mills fired a free kick over the bar, as the rain began to fall again.

But Mansfield had two chances inside two minutes. The first fell nicely for the striker, but he failed to trouble Bull and the follow up was a shot just wide of the right-hand post.

Both sides had chances, but were unable to convert. A nice one-two between Smith and Tudgay almost set up Trueman after 25 minutes, but the keeper raced off his line to intercept.

Bull had to make another save with his feet on the half hour and just a minute later, he made a diving save low to his right.

Mills hit the post after 33 minutes, but four minutes later the deadlock was finally broken. Smith again caused the problem, sending in a nicely weighted cross for Carter to slot into the far corner, 1-0.

Sandhu hadn’t had the same effectiveness on the left wing attacks as Smith had on the right, but with seven minutes left in the first half, he had a long run, head down and looking for goal until his path was blocked on the edge of the box.

As the whistle blew it was still 1-0, but maybe a fair score after Mickleover had dominated possession, would have been 3-1.

Carter made it 2-0 in Mickleover’s favour after 53 minutes, but Mansfield continued to push forward. They earned a free kick, but it was well over the bar, and still mainly Sports possession wise.

Wilson put Tudgay through on the hour, but he shot wide. 63 minutes in though and Sandhu lost out on the left. As the striker began to cut inside he shot wide to Bull’s left into the far corner to make it 2-1.

Tudgay could have restored the two goal lead but miskicked in front of goal and following a Mansfield corner after 65 minutes, the visitors came back again and chipped Bull to make it 2-2.

Atwal and Johnson then came on for Trueman and Wilson, before Carter completed his hattrick to make it 3-2 to Mickleover.

Mills just missed out on a fourth for Mickleover from a Carter pass, but with nine minutes left, the defence seemed to freeze and Mansfield made it 3-3.

Mills hit the post again after 86 minutes and Powell had a shot straight at the keeper. But almost on the full time whistle Bull went off injured and Donker came on, with Cholerton going in goal. He had one free kick to face before the whistle blew, but it was more two points lost than a point gained on the night.


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