Category: First Team

Mickleover Go Down To Belper Utd In Poor All Round Performance

by Peter Scherer

Following the comfortable Don Amott Spring Cup semi final win at Heanor, Mickleover once again fielded the majority of their first team for their Cup Final game at Borrowash against Belper United.

Belper were first on the attack, earning a corner in the fifth minute, before George Milner passed to Stuart Beavon, finding Dec Bacon, whose shot was just wide.

Captain for the day Bobby Battisson then had a good run, but ran out of space before managing to fire in a shot. But then the   Mickleover attacks were becoming more and more intense, with Beavon’s attempt just wide after eight minute, followed by a shot from Milner two minutes later.

The Mickleover game wasn’t its usual flowing play however and with Alex Morris in the middle of the defence with James Butler, Jake Bennett was at left back, with Larell King on the right and that familiar look reliability seemed to be lacking.

 But 14 minutes in the Belper keeper missed a cross and it fell nicely for Beavon, who made no mistake from close range with a powerful header 1-0. Belper  came back fighting however, earning another corner four minutes later and their determination was rewarded after 20 minutes, when a cross from Tom Lewis on the left was deflected, finding its way passed Mickleover keeper Fin Bowen’s  far post 1-1.

The usual machine like midfield of Mason Warren, Ben Gowing , Milner and Battisson, were struggling too, and despite some challenging runs, the final ball continually failed to reach the strikers.

Belper were quicker on the break and looked dangerous on a number of occasions. After a couple of near misses they split the Mickleover defence right down the middle in the last five minutes of the first half, before Richard Hanslow slotted it past the advancing Bowen 1-2.

As the team returned for the second half, Academy centre back Will Robinson was on for King, which meant Bennett and Morris reverted to their more familiar right and left back positions. Gowing also made way for Kemy Agustien.

The equaliser almost came in the opening minutes of the second half when Robinson’s effort hit the underside of the bar and bounced out. But the promise didn’t last long, and after 49 minutes Belper had another shot just wide.

There were still very few chances coming Mickleover’s way, even though they began to take more possession.

Belper had a wild shot high and wide in the 56th minute, before Bacon lofted a dangerous ball into the box five minutes later, which was blocked by the defence.

There was a free kick for Mickleover after Morris was fouled and took a knock to the head,  but Agustien’s kick was well off target.

But more danger followed in the  Mickleover defence after Morris lost possession on the left wing. Robinson managed to clear the danger, only for Belper to make an immediate return with a powerful header going close.

Robinson then lost possession himself on the edge of the box, calling on Bowen to race off his line and rescue the situation.

Although there seemed to more input from the Mickleover team, the results were still not there. Bacon put a promising ball in to the area, it was cleared and then Agustien fired the final shot over the bar.

Only two minutes later Belper had shot wide again, before following up with a double attempt, one blocked and one wide again.

Time was running out for the elusive equaliser, but Belper continued to try and make it safe. With four minutes left Bowen pulled off another good save, which was followed by an attempted overhead kick from a Belper striker, who failed to connect.

In the final minutes Beavon headed just over from a build up from Warren and Morris, and with the whistle poised Warren fired a shot into the crowded box, but it was game over and a disappointing defeat, after a lack lustre and uninspiring all round performance.

Basford Take The Non-Elite Cup

by Peter Scherer
Images courtesy of Basford United

Mickleover FC sent a mixture of first team, reserves and academy players to Basford, for the inaugural Nottinghamshire & Derbyshire Non Elite Cup.

In the opening minutes Mickleover could have taken the lead, when a through ball was cut off by Brad Gascoigne, as it was about to land at Paddy Webb’s feet.

Although Basford got the lead through Ryan Wilson in the eighth minute, there were few chances created by either side for much of the first half.

Basford sprung back to life for the final third though, when after a long run by Callum Chettle, left Kane Richards shooting wide, before Richards made amends a minute later to make it 0-2.

Webb and Will Monteiro up front for Mickleover had few chances, but wing backs Jake Edge-Lucas and Ben Lewin, supported by Ethan Mann in the middle of the defence, restricted Basford’s efforts somewhat too.

Hawkins had little to do again in the Mickleover goal, but after taking a relatively easy save from Niall Towle, the striker was on the receiving end when Hawkins punched away a James Clifton effort, making it 0-3 to the hosts.

First teamer Aman Verma, Josh Waldram and reserve pairing Lopes Massampo and Surafel Tefera combined well with the Academy’s Sam Pipes, and second half subs Tom Eccleshall, Devon Smith and Ash Elliott, but on the day the experience of the virtual Basford first team lifted the trophy, even though a three goal success may have flattered to deceive.

Beavon Doubles Sinks Heanor Hopes

by Peter Scherer

Three second half goals for Mickleover ended any hopes Heanor Town had of a comeback in the Don Amott Spring Cup semi final.

It was a full strength side from Mickleover on this occasion, 1-Fin Bowen 2-Larell King 3-Jake Bennett 4-Kemy Agustien 5-James Butler 6-Alex Morris 7-George Milner 8-Mason Warren 9-Paddy Webb 10-Stuart Beavon 11-Declan Bacon. Subs – Josh Waldram, Ethan Mann, Will Monteiro, Ben Gowing.

Mickleover won a corner in the first minute, which was played out to Warren whose shot was just wide.

But Heanor responded similarly a few minutes later, before there was a brief scare when Bowen came off his line and a Heanor striker tried to chip over him.

Mickleover soon started to settle into the precise interplay that took them to the top of the Northern Premier League, with King playing a through ball on the overlap to Agustien, finding Webb who just missed out with a header.

Beavon almost got Webb through too, before Adam Jablonski in the Heanor goal intercepted.

Heanor kept trying to push forward, and after one of their attacks broke down, Webb burst clear but was fouled as his progress ceased.

On the 15 minute mark Mickleover struck, when a cross from the left found Beavon’s head, beating the keeper on his left side. 1-0.

Five minutes later Heanor could have equalised, after a high bouncing ball caught Bowen out, only for the pursuing Heanor player to go down.

Possession became more and more in Mickleover’s favour, with King and Bennett both overlapping, while Agustien and Warren alternating between staying deep and joining the attack.

After a 21st minute cross from Milner, followed a long ball from Agustien. The keeper came out but from a scramble, Beavon had the ball with his back to goal, from where the host defence cleared.

There was another chance for Heanor after 33 minutes, when a telling cross from Joe Nice on the left found Kyle Daley, whose shot was well over the top.

Jordan Ball had another shot for Heanor, so high it went out of the ground, but Mickleover were keen for a second goal before half time.

King had a shot well saved by the keeper after 40 minutes, before Heanor’s Lewis Weaver followed up his weak initial effort, with a more precise shot, stretching Bowen to his limit with a good diving save.

Bacon managed another shot from a Webb cross for Mickleover, saved in the final minutes of the first half, so it remained 1-0 at the break.

Heanor started the started the second strongly with Daley shooting straight at Bowen, plus two more shots well off target.

Butler also caused some concern with a short back pass, forcing Bowen to race off his line.

Beavon and Bacon both had shots saved after six minutes, before the substitution was made with Gowing on for Agustien.

After 15 minutes Bennett’s run into the area was thwarted when he was brought down, but penalty appeals were waved away.

Five minutes later Milner had a point black shot saved from a Beavon cross, before the rebound hit the bar.

Monteiro came on as the second sub, and made an immediate impact. His 25th shot came out and Bennett smashed the rebound high into the Heanor net, 2-0.

Waldram then came on for Webb and Mann for King, but apart from an occasional random shot the last 10 minutes were all Mickleover, with Morris and Butler continuing to look solid at the back.

With five minutes left Warren’s shot was deflected passed Jablonski, 3-0 and almost on the full time whistle Beavon made it 4-0, as Mickleover now move in to Saturday’s final.

First Two Players Re-Sign For 21/22 Season

by Peter Scherer

Mickleover FC are proud to announce the first two re-signings from last years aborted but very successful season.

Club captain Mason Warren will be back to orchestrate the midfield, as well as being the dead ball tactician,

For me it was a no-brainer to re-sign again for the coming season. Everything about the club is moving forward both on and off the pitch and like many others players in the squad I want to be a part of the journey. The group is raring to go and show what we can do and kick on again from last season.

Gaffer John McGrath has always valued Warren’s input in all his capacities within the club and it was important for him to make his captain the first to sign up for the forthcoming campaign.

Mason fits the bill of exactly what I look for in a player and a captain. He is a talented footballer who leads by example and is a massive influence both on and off the pitch for the football club. I am delighted that he has committed to continue his own progression and development with us here at Mickleover FC.

Centre back James Butler has also pledged himself for another season, having only joined the club last summer. But his life has been football, following on the footsteps of his father Tony,

I am delighted to sign a new deal with the club. I have loved my time here and I am looking forward to seeing where we can go as a football club. We will aim for the same performances as last season and I am sure we will be fighting again at the top of the table.

explained James.

Butts is a rare find in non-league. For someone so young he has all the ability and know-how you would associate with a seasoned professional footballer. He is a highly competitive footballer and he drives our standards on the pitch and in the changing room. In my opinion will be a future football league player and I am excited to play a part in his journey as he will no doubt develop into the player, we all know he can be.

added gaffer McGrath.

Gresley Hit Sports for 5 in The Don Amott Spring Cup

by Peter Scherer,

It was certainly men against boys at the Moat ground last night, when Gresley Rovers inflicted a first defeat on Mickleover FC in the Don Amott Spring Cup, by 5-0.

The Mickleover side made up of a few of the first team squad, but mainly academy players, were up against it from the kick off, against a much bigger and stronger Gresley side.

The home sides first chance was as early as three minutes, when Munday’s shot from just outside the box, whistled past Fin Bowen’s post.

But Mickleover got a first shot in a few minutes later, when Bobby Battisson fired in just over the bar.

Gresley kept pressing and although Bailey managed to turn Will Robinson, his effort was just wide too.

Mickleover tried to break out of their own area, but it was proving difficult, but after 10 minutes Battisson had a good run down the right, and Josh Satchwell’s shot earned the first corner.

Marcus Calderone then had a header just wide from a Battisson cross, before a dangerous Gresley free kick ended with a spectacular but very wide overhead kick from Lansdowne.

Louis Pennington was next to push forward starting a good move from midfield, before Declan Bacon followed up with a shot straight into keeper Fryatt’s hands.

But 14 minutes and the first goal came for Gresley. A good cross from Munday on the right into a crowded box, saw Oli Bailey’s header heading past Bowen, 0-1.

Gresley were almost through again three minutes later, but the attempt was blocked, before Mickleover had their best chance so far.

Bacon was through but had his back to the line, before Josh Baker got a shot in. Fryatt saved well but from the resulting clearance, Satchwell’s header was just wide.

Bailey then hit the bar for Gresley in the 20th minute and the attacks became ever more relentless. 

26 minutes and Bailey was on target again, after Bowen initially lost possession on his near post. But at the second attempt the ball was turned back in for the striker to head home for his second goal, 0-2.

It wasn’t long before there was a third, after Calderone lost possession. Bailey fumbled his first attempt, but had so much time he was able to jink into space again and fire home, for his hattrick 0-3!

Robinson had a good run for Mickleover, but Battisson was brought down on the edge of the box from the resulting cross. Bacon’s resulting free-kick was then saved by Fryatt.

Bowen saved well from Gresley’s Holmes after 39 minutes and Baker responded for Mickleover, with a promising cross to Battisson, finding Bacon who shot just wide.

As half time approached Gresley made it four after Phil Watt fouled, Ryan Seal had Bowen well beaten.

Maslen-Jones almost made it five at the break, when his wild volley went close.

Mickleover had more of the ball as the second half got underway, but possession wasn’t always leading to progress.

Gresley had an early shot wide and Bacon had a chance from a Baker cross, but the ball bobbled unkindly and was easily collected by Fryatt.

Both sides began to make changes and George Atwal was first on for Mickleover, replacing the hardworking Pennington.

Josh Waldram managed to find Battisson on the edge of the area, but he couldn’t connect, then Atwal put a good ball into the box which was cleared.

57 minutes in and another good build resulted in a Battisson shot being saved, but just after the hour Calderone was booked for an innocuous foul, forcing Bowen into an excellent save from the free kick.

Atwal managed to create space for his own shot in the 65th minute, tipped just over and earning a corner.

But as Mickleover sought their first goal, Gresley continued to look dangerous on every attack. Bowen had to pull off a diving save after 70 minutes, when Calderone misjudged a bounce, which fell kindly for the striker.

Ben Lewin and Ethan Mann both came on for Jacob Edge-Lucas and Dec Bacon. Lewin tried an early shot just wide, and 75 minutes in Satchwell sent a great curling shot just wide of the post for a corner.

Satchwell went a close again a few minutes later and Atwal had a free kick on target but saved.

Robinson overlapped to cross for Battisson, but his 79th effort was straight the keeper and with three minutes left Satchwell was almost there again, after a good build up from Robinson and Atwal.

But almost on full time Gresley got their fifth, when Keith Thomas picked up a rebound and was left with an empty net 0-5.

Mickleover Beat Ingles 3-1 To Keep 100 Per Cent Spring Cup Record

by Peter Scherer

First team regulars Phil Watt and Dec Bacon once again joined a mainly Academy based line-up at Borrowash last Friday, when Mickleover FC faced FC Ingles in the Don Amott Spring Cup.

It was five minutes into the game when Mickleover went ahead. Bobby Battisson picked the ball up and played it to Jacob Edge-Lucas, playing at wing back, his cross was met by Bacon 1-0,

Three minutes later it was George Atwal scoring his first senior goal. Having seen the Ingles keeper off his line, he placed a 40 yard chip over his head into the empty and welcoming net.  2-0.

It wasn’t all Mickleover though and  Sports Keeper Fin Bowen had to pull off a great save to deny an Ingles striker in the 13th minute, before the visitors had another chance but wasted a free kick.

Battisson then earned a free kick for Sports after 22 minutes, but Bacon’s effort was just wide of the post.

Watt and Will Robinson had stayed solid at the back, which freed up Edge-Lucas and Satchwell on the wings. But Ingles managed to pull one back to go into half time 2-1.

Into the second half Louis Pennington added a third for Mickleover over 55 mins and was later subbed to give Ethan Mann a run out.

The next game is May 5th at Gresley Rovers.

Sports Penalty Sinks Vics Challenge: Match Report

by Peter Scherer

A first half penalty was the difference between Mickleover  FC and Borrowash Victoria, after Sports came away as 1-0 victors  in the first round of matches  in the Don Amott Spring Cup.

Mickleover’s line-up was a combination of youth and experience, with Academy Keeper Fin Bowen starting, before handing over to Tom Smith.

In defence the experience of Phil Watt and Josh Satchwell, was combined with reserve player Larrell King and Academy wing back Will Robinson.

First teamers/Academy players Bobby Battisson and Louis  Pennington were in midfield, with former Irish international and football pundit Clinton Morrison , while first team squad strikers Dec Bacon and Will Monteiro were up front.

After a fairly robust start from both teams, Mickleover’s pace started to cause problems, although no real  early chances were created were created from either side.

After 23 minutes  Mickleover went close , after a curling cross into the box was put out for a corner. But on the half hour the dominance increased, but Vics defence still held out.

After a Mickleover free kick was easily saved by the Vics keeper, Pennington was then brought down in the area and a penalty awarded after 38 minutes, making it 1-0 to Mickleover after Bacon sent the keeper the wrong way.

Vics had a chance to equalise right on half time, but the shot went wide.

Apart from taking a couple free kicks very easily, Smith had little to do in the second half in the Mickleover goal and with Academy strikers George Atwal and Emilio De Abreu both given a run out too. It remained at 1-0, with a penalty appeal from Vics turned down in the 90th minute which could easily have changed things.

Mickleover’s next game is as hosts at Borrowash, when they face FC Ingles.

Player Insight: Will Monteiro

by Peter Scherer

Young striker Will Monteiro joined Mickleover last July and has been part of the first team squad throughout last season.

Did he always want to be a footballer?

From a very young age, football was a massive part of my life, from playing at school with friends, to playing competitively on a Sunday.Ever since then, I have strived to keep to keep on improving as a footballer, to give myself the best opportunity to get to the highest levels possible.

He started at Rotherham Utd but then won sports scholarship.

I was at Rotherham from 12 to 16 before being released. My former coach Tom Newey spoke to me about an opportunity at a school who were offering sports scholarships to high level sports people, and after seeing the facilities and the standard of sports there, I decided it was the best place for me to go and develop my football.

He’s played in a few different positions, but how did he settle as a striker?

Playing different positions helped me understand the game from many different aspects and also allowed me to improve my own game. It was the decision of Tom Newey that I went to Queen Ethelburgas, and he decided he wanted me to lead the line for the team, and this was the best decision he could have made for me. It massively improved me as a footballer.

So how did he come from a private school in Yorkshire to sign for Mickleover?

The gaffer saw me playing for Queen Ethelburgas and approached me about coming to play for Mickleover. Once I had spoken to him about his plans with me and I had seen the standard of the players there and the teams we play against, it was a no brainer that it would be the best place for to develop my football.

Having scored on his debut at Clipstone, that must have helped him settle in?

It was a really nice moment for me and yes it did help me settle in massively. The support and the buzz of the lads when it happened, really made me feel welcome and part of the team.

As a striker does he prefer playing as a holding target man or running at defenders?

I think it’s important to have an all round game, so I’m unpredictable to play against. I think I need to be able to hold the ball up so the team can build attacks off me, but also run the channels and stretch the pitch.

Is he hoping to progress in his career or is he happy playing at his current level?

I’m always striving to improve to try and get to the next level. I think if you don’t have the hunger to try and get to the best level you can, then your performances and attitude will drop, which will affect the team.

He’s been doing the zoom sessions with the rest of the players during Lockdown, so has it helped team spirit?

Even though they are really tough, they are really good for the team spirit and keeping us engaged with each other. It’s also allowed us as a team to come back as fit as possible and maintain the high standards we set before Lockdown.

But what does he do away from football?

Not a lot to be honest, if I am not playing I’m watching. I do like a bit of gaming and I try and make time to be with family and friends.

What would he normally do before a match?

The day before is when I really start to prepare for a game. I like to eat pasta the night before and I also do a little foam rolling and stretching. I’ll always make sure I’m in bed at a reasonable time too.

We know it was a short season, but was he surprised how well it went?

I wasn’t really surprised because training with the lads you see the quality of the team and standards that are set from the Gaffer and senior lads. Once the train started, I don’t think there was any stopping it as a team, we didn’t fear anyone.

So when you heard the season was declared null and void, what was your first reaction?

I was really gutted to be honest. Being top of the league, we were flying and it felt like the hard work we had put in had gone to waste. However with the group of players we have, I know we will go into next season with as much drive and determination as we had this season.

What is his personal aim for next season?

To keep on improving and hopefully become a regular starter for the team.

What has been his fondest footballing memory so far?

I have got many memories, but one of the fondest was scoring in a semi-final for Queen Ethelburgas, sending my team to the final at MK Dons.

Player Insight: Elliot Murray

by Peter Scherer

Elliot Murray is one of the younger members of the first team squad having graduated from the Academy.

Did he always hope to become a footballer though?

Yes my aspirations from a very early age were to be a footballer. My Mum always believed I would play at a higher level when I was older and here I am enjoying my football at Mickleover.

So where did his footballing start?

I played local grassroots matches from the age of five and was then scouted by Aston Villa for a short spell, until I was offered an opportunity with Derby County.

I was at Derby for five years and then at 16 I came to Mickleover in the NPL Academy.

Has he always played a defender?

No, at an early age I played right midfield and striker. It was during my time at Derby I played in defence and this is where I have grown and developed my defensive skills and experience.

Is he still hoping to progress up the footballing ladder career wise, or happy to play at his current level?

My passion for football will always be with me, whether playing or participating in some other form, like coaching, but I will always strive to do my best.

He had nasty injury after a few games, so did that make the seasons disruption even more frustrating?

Because we were in Lockdown I didn’t feel I missed out as much as I would if times had been normal. To some degree this helped me keep the correct state of mind.

Have you have been doing zoom sessions with the rest of the players during Lockdown. Does it help with team spirit?

I wasn’t able to join in the zoom sessions due to my injury, but I think it was a great way to keep the players motivated, and helped on a social level as well.

So what does he do away from football?

I enjoy socialising with my friends, gaming, spending time outdoors and at the golfing range.

What would he normally on the day before a match?

I’d attend the gym and work on strengthening and conditioning exercises. Then in the evening chill and relax in readiness for the match.

We know it’s been a short season again, but were you surprised how well it went?

Disappointing the season was cut short, but no I wasn’t surprised as the team had worked extra hard day in day out to put themselves in the fully deserved position they were in.

When you heard it confirmed that the season was null and void, what was your first reaction?

Personally as I was injured and the football being cancelled, I just focused on my recovery and rehabilitation in anticipation of returning to football.

What is his personal aim for next season?

To make a full recovery, which allows me to return to playing at full strength and back to a high standard.

What has been your fondest footballing memory?

Travelling abroad with Derby County Academy and winning the overseas tournament as captain.

Player Insight: Louis Pennington

by Peter Scherer

Another one of our home grown talents, midfielder Louis made his first team debut this season, after coming  through the Mickleover  Youth scheme.

Local lad Louis had always wanted to be a footballer, but how did he get spotted to sign up?

I entered a two day trial put on by the first team and a few weeks later I was involved in a pre season game against Borrowash Victoria with the first team, where I performed well. Then I signed with the first team and have been part of the squad all season.

He’s normally played as a midfielder, but is that his favourite position?

Yes I’m usually in midfield, whether attacking or defending. However I also enjoyed playing both full backs on occasions. But my favourite position would be central midfield.

Have you had any schoolboy favourites from football, who you either feel inspired by or wish to emulate?

I’ve always had an association with Paul Scholes wherever I’ve played, and have recently been influenced by him after watching many videos, but my favourite player is David Silva as I’m a city fan.

Away from football what does he like doing?

I usually play footie with my mates and recently I’ve been getting massive into the gym routine.

You have been doing zoom sessions with the rest of the players during Lockdown, does that help keep the team spirit going?

Yes I’ve had so much fun doing all the squats and burpees put on by Watty, but it’s been good keeping the squad together through lockdown.

What would you normally before a match?

Early wake up to eat a good meal, then stretch and listen to music mostly.

We know it’s been a short season again, but are you surprised how well it went?

Yeah the team played really well in the season and ended top of the league, so it was a good season to be part of.

What have you missed most during these Lockdown’s?

Mostly playing games every weekend and not being able to socialise with mates.

What was your first reaction when you heard the season had been declared null and void?

I was quite disappointed, as we had a good chance of being promoted this season, but I’m confident we’ll repeat ourselves next season.

What has been your fondest footballing memory?

I played in a very successful youth team at Mickleover winning the MJPL three years in a row along with many cups and competitions around the country, including the Barcelona Cup. One of my fondest memories in football would be representing Coerver UK in Madrid for an international tournament playing against other countries from all around the world.

Although my most fondest memory in football was making my debut for Mickleover at home in the FA Cup this year.