Goal-Fest As It’s Lucky 13 For Reserves!

by Peter Scherer

With a number of first teamers having a run out, it was a very experienced Mickleover Reserve side that welcomed Linby Colliery Welfareto the Don Amott Arena for their Central Midlands Alliance League match.

Starting line-up: 1-Yusif Mersin 2-Tony Smith 3-Brandon Ferron 4-Dan Bradley 5-Pablo Mills 6-Lewis Cunningham 7-Ethan Fitzhugh 8-Joe Bateman 9-Stuart Beavon 10-Chris Palmer 11-Sam Tomlinson. Subs: Josh Bull, Harry Atwal, Mason Tudgay, Josh Powell.

It was a lively but even start with Mills having the first crack at goal after five minutes. Seven minutes later Tomlinson went close with a header aimed at the top right -hand corner, but the visitors keeper just had it covered.

A fairly young Linby side held their own for the first 15 minutes, but the pressure then began to build. Ferron had a shot just over after a nice build up between Mills and Beavon after 17 minutes, but Mills opened the scoring a minute later. A lovely ball in from the right found Mills in space and with time, he was able to side foot in the open goal with keeper already committed, 1-0.

It took only two minutes for Linby to equalise though, when a cross from the Mickleover left was followed by a perfect first- time volley into the Mersin’s far corner, 1-1.

Beavon then had a 23rd minute curling shot tipped away by the keeper, before Tomlinson hit Sports second with a long-range shot going in off the underside of the bar 2-1.

One minute later it was 3-1 with Tomlinson’s second, with a chip from the left over the advancing keeper.

Linby were still sticking to their guns and after the keeper failed to hold another Mills shot on the half hour, a Palmer corner was headed off the line.

As Cunningham went to make a clearance, he appeared to slip and left a Linby striker clear, before his unchallenged run made it 3-2 after 34 minutes.

Palmer then lost possession in midfield, which left a striker clear again, and with 36 minutes on the clock it was back to 3-3.

But we only had to wait five minutes for another goal. Beavon sent Tomlinson clear, but the keeper was quick to respond and conceded a corner as he raced off his line. As the ball came in from the left, Mills headed home for 4-3.

Mersin had to make a point blank save from a header after 40 minutes, but a weak follow up shot failed to challenge Sports’ debutant keeper.

With a minute left on the clock the visitors keeper messed up his clearance and handed Fitzhugh a golden opportunity. The midfielder duly jinked to his left and placed the ball past the keeper to make it 5-3 at half-time.

Only two minutes into the second half Mills completed his hattrick to make it 6-3, as it started to become one-way traffic, with the home defence looking much tighter and keeping Linby in their own half.

Tomlinson struck the bar after 50 minutes after a perfect ball in from Fitzhugh, and three minutes Fitzhugh shot just over the bar.

55 minutes and it was 7-3 with Fitzhugh getting in on the end of a corner, before Atwal came on to replace returnee Cunningham.

Mills then had a shot saved by the keepers legs and Tomlinson put another attempt just wide from a Fitzhugh cross as the hour mark approached.

Both Smith and Ferron were pushing forward more on the wings to great effect, with Bradley and Bateman coping with defensive duties in the middle.

Beavon had a shot deflected for a corner after 62 minutes and then two minutes later Smith made it seven, cutting in from the right, he made space and fired into the far corner, 8-3.

Tomlinson was still pushing for his hattrick but had his next effort saved by the keepers legs. But a minute later Fitzhugh struck again for his third, with a shot deflected off a defender, 9-3.

Beavon made it 10-3 just a minute later and five minutes on performed a lovely turn in the box, to beat the keeper again and make it 11-3.

Tomlinson was unlucky when he hit the post after 73 minutes and shot wide again two minutes later after being set up by Beavon.

Into the final 10 minutes Fitzhugh tried his luck from distance, but it was just over, then Beavon sent Mills on a run, he tried to chip the keeper but it was tipped away, before Beavon’s rebound shot was blocked.

Ferron had a run down the left and after cutting inside his shot was saved, before Fitzhugh came off to make way for Powell as we went into the final five minutes.

Beavon once again set Tomlinson up, but the ball didn’t bounce kindly for the teenaged striker.

But with four minutes on the clock there was still time for three more goals. Linby pulled one back after 86 minutes, 11-4 and after 88 minutes Tomlinson put Mills through for his fourth, 12-4.

With the whistle poised Beavon made his final strike with a neat solo effort, completing his hattrick too as it finished 13-4!


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