Frickley Athletic 0 – 4 Mickleover Sports
Tuesday 24th July 2018
Written by Sam Goldsworthy
Mickleover Sports continued their 100% pre-season record with their fourth win in as many games as they came way from South Yorkshire with a 4-0 win over their Step Four opponents Frickley Athletic. A first half strike from manager John McGrath gave Sports the lead at half time in a competitive and even first period where both sides created good chances. But as the second half progressed Sports were able to find more space and proved more clinical in front of goal as two fantastic goals from new striker Nathan Jarman and a second in two games for the Trialist from The Netherlands meant a comfortable victory in the end for Sports but they were certainly tested by Frickley Athletic in a good pre-season game ahead of the new season.
Sports had the first two good chances of the game. First Will Norcross had an effort blocked before he picked out Nathan Jarman a few minutes later from a cross, but the former Gainsborough Trinity forward’s header went over the bar as he was flagged offside anyway. The next two chances went to Frickley as Connor Smith hit the side netting then former Sports player Jacob Hazel then going close but his effort was well saved by Sports keeper Lewis King. Next neat play by Jarman as he turned his defender after receiving the ball inside the box but the strike was not powerful enough to test the Athletic keeper who saved comfortably. Sports Boss John McGrath then went close as he rattled the bar with a ferocious strike from outside the box which rebounded away from danger.
A couple of set pieces the threatened the give the hosts the lead but it was in fact Sports who drew first blood a couple of minutes before half time. After receiving the ball from the right hand side outside the box John McGrath cut inside on his left foot and curled a lovely effort past the keeper and into the bottom left corner to give Mickleover the lead at the break. But not before Jarman had a chance to make it 2-0 as his curling effort into the corner was blocked and saved by the keeper.
One change for Sports at half time as Will Norcross was replaced by Evan Garnett and straight away the former Burton Albion academy striker had an immediate impact. Garnett was played through but as the keeper came out to try and clear the ball, it fell to Jarman who wasted no time in lobbing the ball over the Frickley back line and keeper and straight into the net down the middle to rack up his first Sports goal and double the away sides lad. Two efforts from Jarman and Garnett came and went before Frickley got a foothold back in the game and started creating problems for the Sports defence again. Lovely work by Connor Smith set up Athletic midfielder Jack Burton but his shot was deflected wide for a corner.
Clinton Morrison made way for Trialist later on around the hour mark to add some extra pace up front and it helped as Sports bagged another goal. A beautiful first time effort from Jarman as he dinked the ball over the keeper and clipped off the left hand post found the net and just showed the quality that he can bring to Sports’ attacking line this season.
A lot of changes then happed for both sides. Sports took off Pablo Mills, Jake Scott and Niall Doran to be replaced by Trialist, Tyreece Robinson and Lewis Belgrave. Sports had the lion share of possession towards the end of the game and after two efforts from two Trialists threatened to add a fourth goal that moment eventually arrived on 82 minutes. The Trialist from the Netherlands was played in behind the Frickley defence and produced a delightful chip over the diving keeper and into the bottom left hand corner. That was his second goal in two games for the club on trial so must be catching the eye of McGrath as the season draws ever closer.
This turned out to be the last major action of the game as the referee blew time on the 90 minute mark to end a fantastic night for the club on and off the field. With the news that former Stalybridge Celtic midfielder Oliver Roberts has now joined up with the squad ahead of the new campaign after playing in America for New Orleans Jesters, the build up to the season is looking great ahead of the next friendly as we travel back to Worksop to take on Handsworth Paramore’s tenets and former Evo Stik side Worksop Town on Friday 27th July with a 7:30pm Kick Off.