League: Friendly

Coalville Town vs Mickleover F.C.

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Mickleover F.C. vs Burton Albion

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Peterborough Sports vs Mickleover F.C.

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Belper United vs Mickleover F.C.

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Sheffield FC vs Mickleover F.C.

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Clipstone vs Mickleover F.C.

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Mickleover F.C. vs Peterborough Sports

STALEMATE FOR MICKLEOVER IN LAST PRE-SEASON FRIENDLY

by Peter Scherer

Peterborough Sports were the visitors at the Don Amott Arena, for the final pre-season friendly of the year.

There was a welcome back from injury for both Phil Watt and Paddy Webb, as manager John McGrath starts to show a hint of his line-up for the first Northern Premier league match at South Shields next week.

1-Joe Slinn 2-Jake Bennett 3-Alex Morris 4-Mason Warren 5- James Butler 6-Phil Watt 7-Ben Gowing 8-Andrew Wright 9- Declan Bacon 10-Stuart Bevan 11-George Milner.
Subs- Jacob Edge-Lucas, Paddy Webb, Pablo Mills, Darius Smith, Josh Satchwell, Ricky Ravenhill. Jackson Smith.

Goalkeeper Slinn was soon in action when he had to push out Peterborough’s first attempt for a corner only two minutes in, before the tables were turned and Beavon had a shot over the bar from Sports first corner five minutes later. 

It was the home side having more of the attacking and after Gowing had a shot blocked, an attempt from Butler was punched over the bar after 15 minutes.

The interplay and short passing was again Sports strong point, but as in other games the final ball just failed to get through.

Mickleover skipper Warren was yellow carded and as they went in for half time it was still 0-0.

10 minutes into the second half Beavon tried a shot from just outside the area and went close, but as the hour approached there was a change around in the Mickleover line-up. Ravenhill was on for Warren, Webb for Milner and Jackson Smith for Slinn.

But assistant manager Ravenhill had only been on the pitch nine minutes when he followed Warren into the ref’s book with a yellow card too.

Edge-Lucas then came on for Gowing, before Webb got a break and put a ball into the visitors area, but there was no one on the receiving end,

Satchwell replaced Wright for the last 13 minutes, but with less chances developing, an 82nd minute free kick was Sports last oportunity, but Beavon’s shot hit the wall and it ended 0-0.

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Mickleover F.C. vs Guiseley AFC

LAST MINUTE FREE-KICK ALMOST A WINNER!

by Peter Scherer

In the penultimate pre-season friendly, Mickleover FC put up another strong performance against National League North opponents Guiseley.

There were a few changes from last Saturday’s line-up at Frickley, with debuts for Jordan Walshaw and Declan Bacon.

1-Callum Hawkins 2-Jake Bennett 3-Alex Morris 4-Mason Warren 5 James Butler 6-Marcus Calderone 7-Ben Gowing 8-Andrew Wright 9-Jordan Walshaw 10-Stuart Beavon 11-Declan Bacon. Subs: Ricky Ravenhill, Josh Satchwell, Darius Smith, Will Monteiro, Louis Pennington.

Originally Aman Verma was due to start, but after failing a late fitness test, he was replaced by Mason Warren.

Sports were on the attack from the first whistle, with Gowing, putting a good ball through to Beavon, which sent Walshaw goalwards, forcing the keeper to dive at his feet.

Guiseley came back with an immediate response, which was easily foiled, before another Sports attack ended with Beavon being flagged offside.

But still in the opening minutes there was a long hold-up when Calderone was injured making a clearance. He was stretchered off and replaced by Satchwell, who went to left back, with Morris moving into the centre of the defence.

Satchwell was straight into the action from the restart, with a strong attack down the left earning a throw in.

A minute later Walshaw had a shot just wide, as Sports gained the upperhand.

Although Morris was caught in possession on the edge of the box after 16 minutes, the Guiseley attack failed to take any advantage.

Bacon was then fouled as he broke clear with Wright’s following free-kick put out for a corner. It was initially cleared, before Satchwell picked it up and went close with a powerful shot.

The attacks were coming thick and fast after some good play from Wright on the 20 minute mark, Bacon had a shot just over the bar.

Six minutes later Beavon’s shot was followed up by Walshaw, as it rebounded off the Guiseley keeper.

With Butler and Morris marshalling the centre of the defence, Hawkins in the Mickleover goal was having a quiet time, but had to punch clear for a corner after a retaliatory break.

Warren then split the defence with a good through ball, which proved just out of reach for Beavon’s run.

The tide suddenly changed in Guiseley’s favour however, when a strong five minute spell threatened Sports goal.

The visitors had a random shot bounce off the bar on 35 minutes, while two minutes later another shot was well saved by Hawkins and went for a corner.

Just before half time Butler’s clearance sent Wright on a run, with his final ball just failing to connect with the strikers. But Walshaw recovered the ball, only to shoot straight at the keeper.

There were no immediate changes for the second half, but Guiseley started much stronger than they had in the first half.

Hawkins had to stave off three shots in the first couple of minutes, but wasn’t really troubled by any.

The attacks continued to come from the visitors, before some good interplay between Bacon and Satchwell.

After 57 mins there was a scare for the visitors defence when a Wright corner was almost headed into their own goal, before Wright picked it up again with Walshaw just failing to connect to the through ball.

Guiseley’s shoot on sight policy wasn’t posing any real threat, whereas Mickleover were favouring the more controlled build up, highlighted by a long pass from Butler, sending Bennett on an overlap until he was tackled just outside the box.

The visitors put a header wide just after 65 minutes, but manager McGrath decided to make some changes. Smith came on for Bennett and Monteiro from Walshaw.

A mistake in the Guiseley defence fell to Beavon, his pass found Bacon who then shot over, before on 71minutes the deadlock was finally broken.

Warren had held off a strong tackle to put Wright through, who put a powerful right foot shot to the keepers left, 1-0.

It was barely a couple of minutes later though that a cross from the right left the defence flat footed, and a Guiseley striker finished with a clear header into the left hand corner of Hawkins net 1-1.

There was another change when Pennington came on for Warren, but Sports should have had a free kick after 79 mins, when Monteiro was held back by a Guiseley defender, with a clear run on goal beckoning.

In the closing minutes Sports came out stronger in attack again, there were a couple of wasted shooting, before Beavon had the ball, but couldn’t find space to get his shot it.

But it was so nearly a Mickleover victory, after Monteiro was tripped with minutes left. Beavon’s free-kick smashed against the Guiseley post and was pushed out for a corner, but it was game over with a well-deserved 1-1.

Next match is at home on Saturday against Peterborough Sports, before the NPL League matches start the following week. 

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Frickley Athletic vs Mickleover F.C.

10 MEN SPORTS BATTLE TO HARD FOUGHT FRIENDLY DRAW

by Peter Scherer

It was already a weakened side as Mickleover FC visited Frickley Athletic, with Stuart Beavon and Paddy Webb both out action and Phil Watt joining them pre-match too.

Joe Slinn 2-Jake Bennett 3-Alex Morris 4-John McGrath 5-Pablo Mills 6 James Butler 7-Mason Warren 8-Andrew Wright 9-Tyrell Shannon-Lewis 10 Ben Gowing 11-George Milner Subs: Callum Hawkins, Will Monteiro, Ricky Ravenhill, Joss Satchwell, Marcus Calderone, Darius Smith.

There was an almost instant shock for Mickleover as the game kicked off, when after only two minutes Frickley picked up the ball just over the halfway line and split a napping Sports defence, before burying the ball into the left hand corner for a 1-0 lead.

The shell shocked defence then faced an early corner, with a shot well wide.

Although the Sports midfield started to make progress, there were no clear breaks and each attack was thwarted, before Frickley came back to earn another corner which went straight out of play.

The first real break for Sports came after about 12 minutes, when Wright put a good ball through, only for Shannon-Lewis to be flagged offside.

A few minutes later McGrath sent a long pass in Bennett’s direction, but his attempt to cross was blocked and earned Sports first corner.

Shannon-Lewis pressed hard at the front but became somewhat isolated, as a succession of good build-ups failed to provide a positive final ball.

With Warren starting to take control in midfield, he sent Shannon-Lewis on a run after 20 minutes, but the strikers shot was blocked.

The attacks started to gain intensity as Sports sought an equaliser and Butler headed just over from a Wright cross.

On 25 minutes Wright tried his luck and shot just wide of the post, before Milner found Morris in space and the defender put his attempt just wide too.

But after a counter attack by Frickley was foiled, Shannon-Lewis broke away again and yet another shot was just wide. But as he started to cause more grief to the home sides defence, he was held by one of the defenders, but the following free kick came to nought.

Sports looked to be getting closer and closer to an equaliser, but Frickley were quick on the beak. 

Gowing got a shot in from a Warren pass, and McGrath’s corner was blocked before he was fouled and another free-kick went to waste.

But after 36 minutes Bennett went on a run and was tripped in the area, so it was 1-1 as Warren made no mistake from the penalty spot.

Frickley reacted positively to the equaliser, but a couple of random shots were well wide.

After 40 minutes though Butler made a hard tackle which was adjudged too hard by the referee and he was on the receiving end of a rather harsh red card.

A quick reshuffle pushed Gowing back into the defence alongside Mills, but Mickleover continued to press forward with Warren just wide from a good pass from Bennett.

So 1-1 at half-time but manager McGrath made, three substitutions, taking himself off along with Slinn and Gowing and bringing on Ravenhill. Hawkins and Calderone.

There were further problems in the Sports defence when Mills was hurt after pulling off an overhead clearance. He continued after treatment, but was later substituted.

Despite being down to 10 men, Mills, Morris and Calderone combined at the back to repel the Frickley attacks. But the home side still managed a couple of shots from outside the area, both well wide.

Milner was penalised for challenge on the Frickley keeper, just before he went off to be replaced by Bobby Pattison.

Pattison’s pace soon got him clear for a shot in the 18th minute, but his attempt was well wide. Three minutes later Frickley made a quick break with Calderone the last man back, saving the day.

Frickley had started to come back into the game and after Warren and Ravenhill both lost possession in the middle, the following shots were straight at sub goalkeeper Hawkins though.

Once Mills had been replaced by Smith, plus the absence of Butler, the Mickleover defence began to look fragile, but Frickley’s following goal attempts were equally weak.

Monteiro came on for Shannon-Lewis and Satchwell for Wright for the last 20 minutes, but it was Frickley who went close with an overhead kick just wide of Hawkins post after 34 minutes.

Strength of character came through for the Mickleover squad, but Frickley had a few more near misses before the final whistle. Morris headed clear on 38 minutes and in the final seconds the home side put an attempt just around the post.

In the light of the knocks and the red card, it was a strong and positive performance, looking forward to the next friendly match at home to Guiseley on Tuesday evening.

Final score: Frickley Athletic 1 – 1 Sports

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Mickleover F.C. vs Alfreton Town

STRONG SHOWING ON FIRST HOME FRIENDLY

by Peter Scherer

For a change it was dry, sunny and a pleasant evening as Mickleover Sports welcomed Alfreton Town to the Don Amott Arena, for their first pre-season home match for 20/21.

Manager John McGrath went for a strong starting line-up 

1 Joe Slinn 2- Jake Bennett 3-Alex Morris 4- Mason Warren 5- James Butler 6 Phil Watt 7- Aman Verma 8- Ben Gowing 9 -Patrick Webb 10- Stuart Beavon 11- George Milner

Alfreton were straight on the attack and had a shot blocked within two minutes.

But Sports settled quite quickly and responded with a good build up with a shot from Milner just wide of the post.

When Webb found Bennett in space, a telling return pass allowed Webb to put Milner through, but his blocked attempt went out for a throw-in.

Webb had taken a knock and after about 15 minutes he went off and was replaced by Josh Satchwell.

Webb wasn’t the only one in the wars as Morris had to leave the field to have his head bandaged and on his return, seemed to be on the receiving end of some hard challenges.

It had been fairly even, but most of the play was just into the Mickleover half. But after 34 minutes Bennett had a shot from the right, which bounced off the Alfreton bar.

Only a minute later it was Alfreton’s turn to go close, when space to the left provided an opening for a shot just wide of the post.

There were probably more chances for Alfreton during the first half, but with the final ball letting them down, they went in 0-0 for half time.

Manager McGrath made one change for the second half initially with Elliot Murray on for Watt, whereas Alfreton manager Billy Heath opted for a whole side change, as he had done last weekend at Basford.

Sports started the second half strongly, with Milner shooting high over the bar, before his pass to Gowing, allowed Warren to shoot just wide.

The attacks continued when Verma put a good ball through to Milner, but he couldn’t find enough space to get a shot in.

Satchwell was the next to try his luck but after 51 mins Alfreton broke down the left after Verma lost possession, and the ball was into the area met with a powerful header from an Alfreton striker to give them a 1-0 lead.

Only a minute later Stuart Beavon was left in the clear and his shot was initially saved but the Alfreton keeper couldn’t hold it and it was 1-1.

Alfreton began to settle down again after Sports had dominated the first 10 minutes, but just after they had a shot straight at Slinn, Beavon almost found his way around the back of the defence.

Morris eventually came off just before the hour, with Beavon soon following, just after he had latched on to a cross from the right.

But Alfreton then went 2-1 up after a defensive mix up, where Slinn was unable to get to the ball in a crowded area.

It could have been another goal for Alfreton after they had outpaced the Sports defence, only to put the ball across the face of the goal.

But Mickleover still kept pressing forward, with a good build up just failing to connect with Milner, before Alfreton made another break with a shot straight at Slinn.

Alfreton did put the ball in the net after 79 mins, but it was ruled offside, before Gowing put Satchwell through only to have his shot blocked.

There had been a number of further substitutions for Mickleover, but they kept pressing forward, Gowing had wild shot over the bar, but Alfreton were almost through again before a saving tackle from Murray in the 86th minute.

But with a minute left on the clock Murray was dispossessed and the Alfreton striker piled in a powerful shot, tipped over the bar by Slinn.

So it finished 1-2 but there were some promising performances, returnee Bennett looked strong throughout especially on the overlap and the tenacity of Milner was a continuous threat for the Alfreton defence.

Next game is away at Frickley Athletic on Saturday, before returning to the Don Amott Arena next Tuesday when Guiseley are the visitors.

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