It’s Now Five In A Row For Mickleover

by Peter Scherer (Images: Peter Else)

It was one of top of the table Mickleover’s toughest challenges so far this season, as they faced third in the table Hitchin Town. But first half goals from Andy Dales and Marcus Barnes sealed another three points.

Starting line-up: 1-Oliver Bosworth 2-Jake Bennett 3-Ryan Wilson 4-Will Atkinson 5-Fin Delap 6-Ethan Mann 7-Andy Dales 8-Ben Sault 9-Stuart Beavon 10-Marcus Barnes 11-Oli Greaves. Subs: George Nunn, Jim Pollard, Brandon Ferron, Andre Wright, Dan Bradley.

Mickleover went close after only two minutes, when Barnes received the ball in the box, to set up Beavon, but the following shot was deflected wide.

Although much of the early play was even, both defences were looking strong, with the Delap and Mann partnership in the middle continuing to grow in stature.

Mickleover had two free kicks in the first half hour, Wilson took both, but after the first was easily saved by Keeper Horlock, the second was deflected wide.

Idiakhoa then went close for the visitors too, having escaped his marker only to shoot wide.

But 38 minutes in and Dales had run and cut in from the wing, firing the ball into the top corner, with Horlock well beaten, 1-0.

There could have been a second for Dales only two minutes later, when he had the beating of the Hitchin defence again, but his shot was saved and earned a corner.

Half time was fast approaching but Sports played a long deep ball out defence, which beat the visitors back line. Barnes collected and rounded the advancing keeper, to slot home number two into the empty net, 2-0 after 43 minutes.

After a fairly even opening 10 minutes in the second half, Greaves got a break in the 55th minute but was flagged fractionally offside.

Hitchin were breaking out too, but Sports midfield of Atkinson, Sault and Greaves continued to dictate, with Bennett and Wilson still trying to push forward down the wings.

But Hitchin went close with a header just over after 53 minutes, and four minutes later Bosworth pulled off a great save to keep a clean sheet.

Our visitors did manage to pull a goal back after 66 minutes though, when there was a scramble in front of goal, Mann blocked the shot on the line, but Idiakhoa then fired home from a Bell pass to make it 2-1.

Mickleover refused to sit on the one goal lead and continued to play the ball out from midfield. Sault put a telling ball in Greaves’ path, but his fellow midfielder just failed to connect.

But Sault tried his luck himself with a cracking 77th minute shot, well saved by Horlock, before Saut and Dales combined a minute later, with the final shot just wide.

With five minutes of normal time left, Galliford shot just wide for Hitchin, but it remained 2-1 in Mickleover’s favour, keeping the three-point lead at the top of the table and more importantly the 100% record, as we now head to bottom of the table Long Eaton, for our Bank Holiday Monday game.

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