It’s A Point For Sports

by Peter Scherer

In the penultimate home league game of the season, Mickleover welcomed Stratford Town to the Don Amott Arena, in what could be repeated on May 1st on the play-off semi-finals.

Starting line-up: 1-Yusuf Mersin 2-Jake Bennett 3-Ryan Wilson 4-Dan Bradley 5-Will Tamen 6-Ethan Mann 7-Ethan Fitzhugh 8-WillTrueman 9- Tyrell Waite 10-Stuart Beavon 11-Oil Greaves. Subs: Rhys Dolan, Fin Ryder, Kyle Rowley, Sam Tomlinson, Pablo Mills.

Barely had the game kicked off before Trueman required treatment for an early knock. But Sports started with pace and determination, trying to get Greaves behind the defence.

But after 11 minutes Landell had a header on target, it failed to trouble Mersin in the Mickleover goal, before Fitzhugh shot just wide after a Mickleover break. 

It had become an end-to-end duel but Landell led the visitors charge, rounding Mersin before his attempt on goal was thwarted by Mann.

Stratford were close to opening the scoring when Storer hit the post 21 minutes in, after speculative distance effort.

Mickleover had their chances too, when a Wilson strike from a free kick was deflected, before being flagged offside.

Beavon headed just wide after 35 minutes, following a Bennett cross and a minute later, a moment of Greaves trickery won Sports a corner.

Waite rose positively to head the corner just over and with the half time whistle poised, Greaves had another shot comfortably held by Stratford keeper Smith.

There were appeals for a penalty from Mickleover early in the second half, when Fitzhugh went down in the box after 49 minutes.

The deadlock was finally broken though when Greaves latched onto a Mickleover break after 63 minutes and made no mistake as he placed it well out of Smith’s reach to give Sports the lead, 1-0.

Stratford worked hard to fightback and Hamilton hit the equaliser just eight minutes later with a header just wide of Mersin’s left, after a challenge from Bennett.

For much of the second half Mickleover had been ahead possession wise, but only six minutes after the equaliser, Hamilton put another shot into the side netting, before Mersin made another save from Lafferty.

With 11 minutes of normal time left Sports were on the attack again, and after a great technical build-up, Fitzhugh fired goalwards, but Smith did well to save at a very tight angle.

Mickleover made two late changes, with young strikers Ryder and Tomlinson coming on for Beavon and Fitzhugh, but the score remained the same.

The draw may have seen Sports slip to third in the table, but it was enough to make sure of a home advantage in the Play-off semi-final.

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