Category: Reserves

Introducing Larell King

by Peter Scherer

For those of you who haven’t got along to any of the Central Midlands League South matches with Mickleover Reserves, the name Larrel King might not be familiar?

The Derby born defender is one of the success stories of manager John McGrath’s summer trials and is now a regular member of the successful reserve team.

After five years at Burton Albion’s Academy, he had spent the last two years as part of Mansfield Town’s under 18 side.

Mansfield then disbanded the team following the first Lockdown,

I can’t say that was the main decision why I left them, but it didn’t help.

said Larell.

So at 19 years of age he was left with his football aspirations on hold.

I had spoken to someone I knew from Mansfield, who was now at Long Eaton Utd, but apart from that I hadn’t made any moves to stay in football until I saw the Mickleover trials advert.

Larell didn’t know that John and his colleagues Stuart Beavon and Pablo Mills weren’t aware of his background.

I was nervous before I arrived, but convinced myself that I was going there to prove my ability. I stayed positively minded and it worked me as I was selected.

he added.

His strong overlapping runs from right back has been one of the highlights of the reserves season so far.

I think I have been playing well, but my aim is the first team, as I wanted to try and go higher and set myself targets.

Seeing himself in the same style of play as England’s Kyle Walker, his main aim at present is keeping fit during the further Lockdown.

I am going for runs, doing solo skills training and have some gym equipment at home too.

So let’s hope we can all watch Larell’s career progress in the red and black of Mickleover, in the not too distant future.

Reserves Take Victory After Early Red Card + Mack’s Mutterings

by Peter Scherer

Mickleover Reserves fought back from an early red card, to take a hard earned three points away from their Central Midlands League South Division visit to Hilton Harriers.

Starting line-up: 1-Tom Smith 2-Larrel King 3-Tom Eccleshall 4-Marcus Calderone 5-Gus Williamson 6-Lopes Massampo 7-Louis Pennington 8-Surf Tefera 9-Jude Ayetine 10-Will Monteiro 11-Bobby Battisson.

It was a soft by playable pitch at the Mease and it was the home side that started the stronger, with Mickleover keeper Smith forced to save from a powerful early shot inside the opening minute.

Battisson then earned a free kick just outside the box, which was easily cleared by the Hilton defence, but the attacking prowess of Monteiro, Ayetine, Tefera and Battisson came to the fore.

Hilton however continued to look dangerous on the breaks, but Monteiro was almost on the end of a good move between Ayetine, Battisson and Tefera, just losing out in a one on one with Hilton keeper Wood.

But an attack from Hilton after nine minutes was to cost Mickleover dearly, when Calderone fouled a home striker just outside the box and was straight red carded.

Mickleover continued to push forward, despite being down to 10 men with a through ball from Battisson reaching Monteiro, who was inches offside.

It was to be Monteiro’s last active part in the game, as he was forced to make way for Matt Fuertado who slotted into the centre of the defence alongside skipper Williamson.

While Mickleover started to get used to their new shape, Hilton piled on the pressure, with a 16th minute shot following up from a corner, just wide for another corner, before a foul on Williamson broke up their attack.

Two minutes later a Hilton header was just wide, but the Mickleover defence was looking strong and wing backs King and Eccleshall were both able to start threatening runs.

The deadlock was broken however in the 24th minute when a good build up saw the ball switched from right to wide left, before Battisson was picked up in the centre for a decisive and clear shot into the Hilton net 1-0.

It was still end to end however and only a minute later Smith was beaten at full stretch from a cross, but there was no one on the receiving end and the danger was soon cleared.

Tefera managed to find Battisson again after 28 minutes, but the tricky teenager couldn’t find the space for a shot, as the Mickleover pressure continued.

As the half time whistle edged closer, it was Ayetine’s chance to go close, after he was clear facing the Hilton keeper, who easily collected the shot straight at him.

So despite being down to 10 men, Mickleover reached half time with both optimism and a one nil lead.

There were no changes for the second half but it started badly, with a poor clearance from Williamson putting Eccleshall under pressure, losing out to Hilton who shot just wide.

But 49 minutes in and a strong shot by the hosts hit the post before the rebound had Smith beaten 1-1.

The equaliser seemed to wake the Mickleover side up as almost from the kick off, Battisson was charging forward again, only to be tripped just outside the box.

Mickleover had earned another corner in the 50th minute, and the kick was well centred into the goal mouth, where Williamson climbed dominantly to head home for 2-1.

The attacks seemed to have more purpose as Sports began to look to secure the three points, and only a minute after the second goal Massampo had held the ball well only to be fouled on the edge of the box, but no free kick this time.

Both Massampo and Battisson had shots from outside the box saved, but keeping Hilton keeper Wood on his toes.

But it was so nearly a third when King’s run helped him get a cracking shot in from outside the box again, but with the keeper beaten it hit his left hand post.

Fin Barker replaced Ayetine after 76 minutes, but both sides continued to press, with Hilton missing out in a one on one when the shot was pulled wide.

But the third goal did come with three minutes of normal time remaining. Eccleshall came from the half way line and just kept running and running down the left flank, before cutting in solo to fire a perfect shot into the roof of the Hilton net, 3-1.

A good all round performance with three well taken goals, which now moves Mickleover to up fourth in the table, with games in hand against all of the teams above.





by Dave Mackenzie, Reserves Manager

On a cold winter’s afternoon we took the short trip along the A416 to Hilton, unless you were coming from the Alvaston area and then it would have been the A50. Due to the Covid the dressing room areas were out of bounds and the players had to get changed in their cars. Large Gus obviously isn’t used to these primitive surroundings and forgot he had been wearing his best friends tights last night and was still wearing them when he went out to warm up. 

This was the return fixture from 2 weeks ago when we ran out 2- 0 victors in a close fought encounter.

There were a couple of changes in the line-up with Louis Pennington and Stanley Matthews lookalike Bobby Battisson coming into to the starting 11. But the starting 11 would soon become the starting 10.

The game started well with the team putting together some crisp passing moves with Bobby B looking sharp and lively. 

The game changer happened on the 10 minute mark when Marcus Calderone was turned by the experienced James Rushby (ex Sports 1st team). Marcus did put an arm on James but he went down rather easily.

The following should be taken into consideration by the referee when making a decision as to the severity of the crime.

The following must be considered:

  • distance between the offence and the goal
  • general direction of the play
  • likelihood of keeping or gaining control of the ball
  • location and number of defenders

When I asked the referee at half time why Marcus was sent off he said and I quote “It was an easy decision because it matched the four criteria (above) The last two are the questionable ones – the ball was at least two yards away from the player so unlikely that he would gain control and Gus was behind and to the side so could have intervened.

Anyway he was sent off and we needed to make a change. Unfortunately for Will Monteiro who had started the game well, I decided that we should take him off as it would keep the team as a group more compact. Will’s pace is great at stretching teams and getting behind but given the length of time that we would have a man less I felt Jude would be the better option.

Despite the reduction in playing staff we took the lead with a well-constructed goal, finished with aplomb by Bobster Battisson( I call him Bobster as he is just like my daughters wee dug – never stops running and always wanting the ball) after shifting the ball to the side of a defender his crisply struck shot dipped like a Ronaldo free kick into the pokey!

At half time the message was to keep our shape and not leave gaps between the defence and midfield and allow them to play the ball out from their back four.

It worked really well for about six minutes when they got a foothold back in the game. A couple of sloppy passes let them get in what was a bit of a tame cross and after a stramash in the goalmouth it was all square.

Like any team with the man disadvantage, we were put under a lot of pressure but the back 8 dealt well with the pressure. At one point Gus Williamson even had the time to have a long distance chat with me!

We were still seemingly getting on the wrong end of refereeing decisions – apparently it’s okay to stamp on a players foot twice without getting a warning and then in the second half the same happened with the same player with the same result – he haw!

Sorry to use the F.A. Laws but the ref started it. There is misconception that if you get the ball it’s okay. 

“Any player who lunges at an opponent in challenging for the ball from the front, from the side or from behind using one or both legs, with excessive force or endangers the safety of an opponent is guilty of serious foul play.”

No mention of getting the ball!

At the edge of the box we had a player who just had one player to beat and he was for want of a better description, ‘wiped out’ by a tackle from the side. It is beyond my understanding how the referee allowed the play to carry on. 

However the best was still to come.

One of the things we try and install in the players is that at set pieces, if we have a plan and the opposition don’t know it, it is a great advantage. Of course it depends on great delivery and the ball put in by Louis, at pace between the penalty spot and six yard box was sublime. What made it, was the leap and the perfect connection by Gus Williamson to rocket a header into the net. If it wasn’t for the net the ball would have walloped one off Don Amott’s caravans!

Then in another attack Larell King beat a couple of players and whacked a great shot off the keepers right hand upright, the ball rebounded back to Jude who was central and with speed of thought – rather than put the ball in the net where they can get it back quickly I’ll blooter it as far as possible over the bar and far away!

Not since Long Eaton away last year have I seen a more sweetly stuck shot that came off the left boot of one Tom Eccleshall – having marauded down the left assisted by Loopy and Surf he strode into the box and from 16.34 yards unleashed “the beast” There is not a goalkeeper on this planet that would have saved it.

After that we had a couple of scares as Hilton continued to press but we held on t the 3-1 scoreline.

And now here’s the rub – I thought Gus equalised and Tom scored the winner!

Good to see Don Amott the head of Mickleover in attendance and to be fair there was a decent crowd, which included Archie Gemmill who would have loved the sticky surface although a bit like the Baseball Ground on the first day of the season.

Also good to see quite a few players with Hilton who I enjoyed working with previously. I would like to thank Hilton for their hospitality and playing the games in a sporting way – they don’t make the decisions :-).

Reserves Post-Christmas Visit To Hilton

by Peter Scherer

Mickleover FC Reserves will hopefully be back in Central Midlands League South Division action on Bank Holiday Monday 28th, with the return match at Hilton Harriers.

Sports team haven’t had a match since beating Hilton 2-0 on the 12th at the Don Amott Arena, with goals from Surf Tefera and Will Monteiro, but now lie sixth in the table with four wins, a draw and two defeats from their seven games.

Hilton currently lie ninth, with three wins and a draw from their nine games. They have played once since losing on their visit to Mickleover, losing 2-1 at home to front runners Pinxton.

Kick-off is due at 2pm and at present there is a full programme of matches due on the same day.

Reserves Back To Winning Ways

by Peter Scherer

Mickleover Reserves came out on top of a local Derby with a home victory against  Hilton Harriers, after two first half goals gave them three more points in their Central Midlands League South Division campaign.

Mickleover’s starting line was 1-Tom Smith 2-Larrel King 3-Ben Lewin 4-Marcus Calderone 5-Gus Williamson 6-Tom Eccleshall 7-Lopes Massampo 18-Will Monteiro 9-Jude Ayetine 10-Surafel Tefera 11-Mathew Feurtado. Subs: Clinton Morrison, Cameron Anthony, Aaron Hayer.

The opening 10 minutes were end to end with neither side having any clear cut chances. But on 11 minutes Tefera was tripped just inside the box and after receiving treatment, took the penalty himself which was well saved by Hilton keeper Harry Wood.

Jim Rushby then weighed in for Hilton with a long shot just over the bar, before Eccleshall scored for Mickleover in the 18th minute, only for the referee to change his mind and give a free kick, after a very delayed offside decision, when the players had already lined up for the restart.

Ayetine had a good shot from outside the area four minutes later earning a corner, before a Rushby header for Hilton was just over after connecting with a cross from the left.

Wing backs King and Lewin were both working well on the overlaps and providing plenty of service into the area for Mickleover, but goalkeeper Wood had most of it covered.

Karl Chadwick tried his luck for Hilton and wasn’t far off target, followed a few minutes later by another good effort from Rushby, as Hilton continued to favour the long shot from outside the area.

After 37 minutes Monteiro found himself one on one with keeper Wood, successfully rounding him to open the scoring 1-0.

Hilton came straight back with a wide shot from Chris Smith, before King had a shot blocked for Mickleover from Feurtado’s cross.

Massampo found himself in the referee’s book after halting a 40th minute break for Hilton, but a minute later Mickleover were awarded a second penalty, when Chris Martin tripped Monteiro from behind as he headed for goal. This time Tefera made no mistake, 2-0.

Mickleover earned another corner before half time when a King run found Monteiro again, but his shot was blocked. Then Fuertado put a dangerous ball into the Hilton box, with Calderone’s header going out for a corner.

So it was 2-0 officially, but could have been four, although Hilton had continued to show some danger on the breaks too, making sure that Williamson and Calderone were kept busy in central defence.

Mickleover started to push hard again as soon as the second half kicked off, with Monteiro holding a long ball well from King after five minutes, but his attempts to shoot were blocked.

But Smith quickly responded for Hilton again and after jinking his way through the early defence, his shot was just over.

As in the first half it continued end to end and after 54 minutes, Monteiro’s charge was halted by Wood advancing from his line to snatch the ball from the Mickleover striker’s foot.

The ball then bounced around the area for a while before Ayetine was blocked and lost possession.

55 minutes gone and Morrison was on for Calderone, just before Fuertado managed to get a good shot in through a crowded area.

Hilton had their own penalty claims waved away after a challenge from Sports keeper Smith, but it was so nearly a third goal when Tefera’s shot hit Jake Atkinson very hard at point blank range as he stood on the line, after another strong run down the left from Fuertado.

Rushby again threatened for Hilton, with a 66th minute shot after a free kick.

Anthony then came on for Fuertado, before another King run down the right provided a telling cross, which Monteiro put against the right hand post.

Goals could still come from either side, despite changes in tactics from both sides. Ayetine was hauled back by his shirt after chasing a long ball from Williamson and then King had a wild shot himself.

Then Hilton’s Tom Rushby managed to find some space to fire in as hot, just wide of Smith’s left hand post.


Assistant coach Hayer was the next sub as he came on for Lewin, but shortly afterwards skipper Williamson found himself yellow carded.

Hayer had a shot which landed on the roof of the net after 84 minutes and a later Hilton header went straight into Smith’s arms.

As the full time whistle beckoned, Ayetine had a shot deflected out for a corner, but Hayer’s ball into the area had no one on the receiving end.

So it remained a hard fought 2-0 victory, against a tough Hilton side, who despite going behind, continued to push forward right to the end of the game.

Sports Reserves Take On Hilton Harriers

by Peter Scherer

Hopefully if the weather is kind to us over the next couple of days, Mickleover Reserves will be action again at home to Hilton Harriers this Saturday in the Central Midlands League South Division.

At present Hilton are level on points with Mickleover, but lie ninth in the table, having played one game more and behind on goal difference.

Max Bulmer has managed to score in three of their matches, having started the season on the subs bench, he has now become a regular.

Ever present Aaron Millinchip also found the net against Pinxton in 1 -1 draw, Mickleover’s conquerors last weekend, when Hilton went down 4-1 away to Rowsley.

Mickleover’s Surafel Tefera and Jude Ayetaine will also be looking to return to their early season goalscoring form too and get the team back into winning ways,

Kick- off is 2pm at the Don Amott Arena and spectators are allowed at £4 per adult within the current covid restrictions and catering will available.

Reserves Falter Against League Leaders

by Dave Mackenzie, Reserves Manager

An extremely youthful reserve team with an average age of 17 and three quarters took the trip up the A38 to face an established and well-seasoned Pinxton eleven. 

The trip was a bit too far for one car with Larrel King’s deciding that the hill over Little Eaton was a gradient too far. Unfortunately, this meant a bit of a shuffle with Lopes Massampo moving to right-back and Matt Feurtado coming off the bench. 

The starting eleven were Tom Smith, Lopes Massampo, Marcus Calderone, Patrick Pugh, Tom Eccleshall. Louis Pennington, Matt Feurtado, Surafel Tefera, Bobby Battisson, Will Monteiro and Jude Ayetine. Set up with a back four, diamond and front two.

With such a youthful side fitness or lack of caused by the Lockdown wasn’t an issue, however not being in a match situation for a while certainly played a part in our demise. 

Having sustained a couple of corners and a free-kick that looked as though it crossed the line, from a central position.  We then allowed another short corner played to the full-back, whose cross resulted in the first goal. 

The second goal came from another rash challenge, central again and again about 20 yards out. 

Unfortunately our wall was set up the wrong way round, which would explain why the taker was able to get it over the wall and into Tm Smith’s right-hand corner. The tallest player should be on the outside!

Both goals would have probably been prevented if we had had more match play.

Despite the disappointment, the team deserve great credit by playing their way back into the game and creating several chances the best of which resulted in an excellent goal line clearance by the centre half when the goalkeeper was beaten. 

The game now had a really good flow to it although the man with the whistle was able to conjure up some unfathomable decisions. The worst being when Monteiro was tackled from the side, turned and fell backwards over the defender who had made the challenge. The free-kick went against us.

At the start of the second have we were forced into further changes with Calderone struggling having been out for some time. This allowed Larrel King to be brought in at right-back, which immediately gave us results with his speed down the right and some quality delivery. 

On another day Monteiro would have bagged a hat trick, and the time when he did get the ball in the net he was pulled up correctly for offside. 

Chances continued to be made and Fin Barker’s first involvement was dinking the ball past the full-back and sprinting down the wing, but unfortunately again we failed to finish off the quality of the delivery.

Just as we were really turning the screw a long ball wasn’t dealt with and their #7 coolly beat Pat Pugh before finishing well.

Even at 3-0 the team still fought to get an elusive goal which didn’t come despite the good build-up. This was due to a mix of very good defending from Pinxton, taking one or two extra touches or not quite getting a good enough connection on the shot.

Overall the disappointment was the naivety in allowing them the chances and not converting any of the chances from excellent linking play.

Reserves Back In Action!

by Peter Scherer

Mickleover FC Reserves resume their Central Midlands League South Division campaign on Thursday evening with a home game against Holbrook Sports.

Mickleover’s last match was on October 17th when they beat Nottingham 3-1 at home.

Thursday’s visitors have played under their current name since 2010, having been formerly Holbrook Miners Welfare.

Holbrook have only played three league game so far this season and currently lie 10th in the table. Their one win came at Teversal 2-1, having suffered home defeats to both Rowsley 86 and Mansfield Hosiery.

Mickleover are currently sixth in the table with three wins and a draw, plus the away defeat at Blidworth. But they have been prolific scorers with both Jude Ayetaine and Surf Tefera netting hattricks.

The game kicks off at 7.45, but unfortunately no spectators are allowed. We will endeavour to bring a half time and full time summary on the Mickleover FC Facebook page, plus a full report with pictures on Friday.

Dave Mackenzie’s Son Scott Making A Name For Himself In The US

Mickleover FC reserves team manager Dave Mackenzie has obviously passed on his skills and enthusiasm to his son Scott, now making a name for himself in the US…

Courtesy of Park City Red Wolves



New Park City Red Wolves SC Head Coach Scott Mackenzie will look to lead the team to the League Two playoffs for the first time in 2021 / Photo courtesy Park City Red Wolves SC

The Park City Red Wolves SC are proud to announce Scott Mackenzie as the club’s new head coach ahead of the 2021 USL League Two season. 

Mackenzie will take the reins of the Park City Red Wolves U23 team in just their second season of existence. Playing in the USL League Two, the top professional league in the US, the Park City Red Wolves had a strong 2019 season, producing players who signed professionally with their parent USL League One Team in Chattanooga.

Mackenzie will not only look to elevate players from Park City to the higher professional level but also dominate the mountain division of the USL League 2 and receive a place in the US Open Cup.

Born in Dunfermline, Scotland and raised in Derby, England, Mackenzie brings a wealth of coaching experience from multiple countries to Park City. He worked with Chesterfield FC Academy and also possesses specific knowledge of the youth soccer landscape in Utah, from his current role as the Boys Director of Coaching at Utah Avalanche, a trailblazing club in both boys and girls football and only one of two clubs in Utah to gain admission to the Boys ECNL, one of the top national league in the US.

He also has USSF A license and UEFA B qualifications, bringing him into an elite group of coaches.

The Red Wolves organization includes a professional first team (Chattanooga Red Wolves SC of USL League One) and another League Two side (Dalton Red Wolves SC, based in Georgia). Mackenzie’s hiring completes the club’s technical committee, which consists of First Team Head Coach Jimmy Obleda, General Manager and President Sean McDaniel, First Team Assistant Coach Kevin Sawchak and Dalton Red Wolves Head Coach Saif Alsafeer.

“This has been the vision for our organisation since day one. Having a coalition of talented soccer minds helping build and grow our player pool is going to pay dividends. It’s always been important to us to have a true path to pro for young soccer players.

Now that we have our technical committee complete and all searching for the same style of player and same quality of person, the process will be be streamlined even further,” said McDaniel.

South Normantion Athletic v Sports Reserves: Match Preview

by Peter Scherer

With Tuesday nights match at Arnold postponed it’s been two weeks since Mickleover Reserves were last in action.

This weekend’s visit is to South Normanton, where the home side lie fifth in Central Midlands South Division, one place about Mickleover.

South Normanton have four wins from seven games, but lost their last match 3-0 at home to Bildworth, with their last league win being on October 3rd 5-1 at Nottingham.

Mickleover are two points behind but have two games in hand, plus a superior goal difference of +8 compared to +1.

Kick off is 3pm.

Raising funds for the Reserves

by Dave Mackenzie, Reserves Manager

2020 is presenting us with a raft of problems, not least the current situation with Covid 19 and the way that is affecting us all, but from a footballing side the success the reserves had last year, resulted in a need to find more funding to support the team.

Having a reserve side means that there is a pathway into senior football for any players from one of the Junior sides or the Academy teams and also can provide game time for a first team player either coming back from injury or having not had a lot of minutes recently.

The down side to the success is the resultant extra costs with us having to pay more for the officials, provide hospitality although not yet due to Covid and printing programmes. The extraoutgoings this year will be in the region of £1K taking the costs to around £3K

It is important I feel in these times to make known the fact that the First Team players are contributing £2 per player per week. This is a great gesture and thanks are to the players and also to the gaffer John McGrath for instigating.

Whilst the contributions from the First Team Squad is great we need to do more and we have had a couple of fund raising exercises (Exercise in one case being the operative word).

During August I aimed to ride the distance from Derby to Lands End – 362 miles. I completed the distance on the Bank Holiday having done several rides to away games to the likes of Nottingham which racked up 40+ miles each time.

The money raised from the bike rides will be split between us and also Prostate Cancer a charity the club has supported and last year I did the 3 longer rides purely for them raising circa £600.

Currently we have had 18 donations and sit at £385. The website is still open until November 7th.

The other method is that we (Aaron, Fran and myself) are selling raffle tickets at £2 and the winner will be in receipt of a new Derby County Strip signed by all the players including Wayne Rooney. This was kindly donated to us by ex Derby County and England stalwart Roy McFarland.

We have raised about £150 so far and when we reach £300 (150 tickets) I will get Roy Mc to make the draw.

As things stand at the moment, we are, I am happy to report in a positive situation however we have only had 2 home games so a lot more outgoings will be due.

If anyone else would like to join in by carrying out a task – getting their hair chopped or going without alcohol for a period of time please do :-). It was suggested that I do a sponsored strip for the ladies, but the fact that the person was laughing at the time would suggest that I would earn more to keep my clothes on!