League: The Emirates FA Cup

Mickleover F.C. vs Alvechurch



Mickleover F.C. vs Basford United


Last Minute Goals End Sport FA Cup Run

Two goals in the last eight minutes for Basford ended Mickleover hopes of further progress in this seasons FA Cup.

Starting line-up: 1-Callum Hawkins 2-Jake Bennett 3-Ben Lewin 4-Joe Bateman 5-James Butler 6-Alex Morris 7-Andy Dales 15-Kemy Agustien 9-Dec Bacon 10-Stuart Beavon 11-Bobby Battisson. Subs: Josh Satchwell, Ethan Mann, Lee Holmes, Andrew Wright, George Atwal, Mason Warren, Roger Lee.

Agustien won a corner for Mickleover in the opening minute, from which Butler headed just wide.

But play quickly turned from defence to attack for Basford with two quick attempts from Kane Richards, forcing Hawkins into his first save of the match.

Declan Dunn then fouled Beavon, but Agustien’s free kick was wide.

Seven minutes in however and it was 1-0, when Lewin was in just the right place to slot home his first senior goal.

Four minutes later Dales had a shot straight at Collin in the Basford goal, before Aaron O’Connor forced Butler to clear defensive lines after a quick break from the visitors.

Dales tried his luck again with a long range shot from a Beavon pass, well wide, before Basford skipper Matt Thornhill fired over the Mickleover bar in another quick response.

Richards tried a shot from a narrow angle, but it was easily dealt with by Hawkins, but after 25 minutes Beavon had a shot saved after picking up a loose back pass from Thornhill.

The end to end action continued however as O’Connor shot wide, followed by a similar attempt from Richards and another shot over the bar from Thornhill.

Mickleover had to call on an early sub though when Bateman was injured on the half hour and was replaced by Warren.

It was Basford on the attack though, with Thornhill and O’Connor combining before shooting wide, followed by a second volley  just wide from Thornhill  a couple of minutes later.

Bennett then had to make a decisive block, before Basford made it 1-1 after 41 minutes. A long ball from Brad Gascoigne found Rev James, who’s first shot was saved by Hawkins, but the rebound left him with an easy finish.

Just before half time there was another blow for Mickleover when Bennett went off injured to be replaced by Lee. Morris then had to make a goal line clearance in the closing seconds to keep it 1-1 at half time.

As the teams came out for the second half there had been another change, with new signing Holmes on for Battisson.

There was an early free kick for Mickleover when Dunn fouled Beavon, but after 53 minutes a break on the right left Beavon clear for a shot just wide of the post.

But Basford continued to threaten as both sought to take the lead again. Ryan Wilson fed Hawkridge who beat Agustien before Hawkins saved his chip shot.

Beavon received a yellow card for a foul on Richards and on the hour Butler had to make another clearance from an attempt by Betts.

Both sides were lacking that final ball and were being caught in possession, so overall it was till wide open.

But with eight minutes on the clock James and Marshall combined to find Richards, who was left one on one with Hawkins to make it 1-2.

Butler was then in the book too for an unnecessary push, as time was running out for Mickleover.

Into injury time James was on the receiving end of a quick break from Basford as Mickleover tried to push forward. 1-3 and it was game over and the end of the FA Cup hopes for another year.


Leek Town vs Mickleover F.C.


St. Albans City vs Mickleover F.C.

St Albans City win 5 – 4 on penalties.


Mickleover FC vs Newark FC

Four Goal Strike Keeps FA Cup Run Going

by Peter Scherer

Mickleover marched into the third qualifying round of the FA Cup with a resounding 4-1 home win over Newark FC.

There were three changes from the team that beat Witton Albion in midweek, with Joe Slinn back in goal for loanee Callum Hawkins and Kemy Agustien was back in midfield for Ben Gowing, having re-signed this week.

Paddy Webb was back to lead the attack to in place of Jordan Walshaw, having come off the bench in the Witton victory.

1-Joe Slinn 2-Jake Bennett 3-Alex Morris 4-Kemy Agustien 5-James Butler 6-Phil Watt 7-Mason Warren 8-Andrew Wright 9-Paddy Webb 10-Stuart Beavon 11-George Milner. Subs: Declan Bacon, Louis Pennington, Ricky Ravenhill. Pablo Mills, Jordan Walshaw, Josh Satchwell.

Mickleover were straight into attack from the kick-off, with Webb having two chances in the first five minutes. The first didn’t trouble Newark keeper Jason White, with a weakfish header, before following up with a shot into the side netting.

But Butler found himself in the referee’s book after a late tackle, before Warren led the next Sports attack with a shot just wide after eight minutes.

Agustien was next to try his luck, but his long speculative attempt was both high and wide.

Newark nearly caught out the Mickleover defence 13 minutes in when Craig Westcarr got around the defence and had Slinn beaten, only to put his shot wide.

But Mickleover responded quickly with a telling ball from Beavon across the face of the Newark goal, but no one was on hand to put it home.

Newark had another chance of opening the scoring when Watt gave away a penalty in the 17th minute. But just to show that Hawkins isn’t the only Mickleover to save penalties, Slinn kept Ben Hutchinson’s kick out and it remained 0-0.

It was back into attack mode again for Sports when Wright fired a powerful shot straight at keeper White, but four minutes later Newark got another break when Kevin Baspos outpaced the Mickleover defence, before cutting inside and firing into the side netting again.

Just after the half hour the promise that Mickleover’s attacks had been showing finally came to fruition, with Beavon leading by example to make it 1-0.

There were few more free kicks for Newark before the half time whistle, but Slinn handled them with relative ease, so it remained 1-0.

The second half sparked into life almost on the hour, after Slinn made a spectacular diving save to his left as Newark pursued the equaliser.

Beavon and Webb then broke clear and after connecting with Beavon’s cross, Webb’s shot was just wide.

Bacon came on for Webb after 63 minutes, but the attacks became more intense, with Milner putting the ball in the area to keep the pressure on the Newark defence.

The reward came after 69 minutes when Wright hit the first time ball and sent it curling into the bottom right hand corner for 2-0.

There was a short delay when Slinn was treated after a knock to the head, then the  rainfall got heavier and Beavon had a header cleared off the line, before Warren sent a powerful shot goalwards, initially saved by White before a succession of corners.

79 minutes and Wright was on target again, 3-0 with a fizzing shot deep into the left hand corner, followed by Walshaw and Pennington coming on for Beavon and Warren.

But with three minutes of normal time left, Watt was penalised again, only for Newark to find their second effort saved once again by Slinn from the spot.

Newark were still looking for that elusive goal and on 90 minutes Slinn had to pull off a point blank save following a corner.

Mickleover were quick on the break again though, which gave Bacon the chance to make it 4-0, which he duly accepted.

Newark finally got their goal in injury time, to make it 4-1 to Mickleover and the thoughts of who next in the third qualifying round for Sports.


Leek Town vs Mickleover F.C.

by Peter Scherer

Last night’s visit to Leek Town in the first qualifying round of the FA Cup, saw Mickleover fight back from an early goal, to return home 2-1 winners.

There were a few changes from the side that visited South Shields last Saturday. But manager John McGrath went for:

1-Joe Slinn 2- Jake Bennett 3-Alex Morris 4-Mason Warren 5-James Butler 6-Phil Watt 7-Aman Verma 8-Andrew Wright 9-Paddy Webb 10-Stuart Beavon 11-Declan Bacon. Subs: Jordan Walshaw, Ben Gowing, Pablo Mills, George Milner, Josh Satchwell, Louis Pennington, Bobby Battison.

In the opening minute of the game Mickleover had a free kick after Bacon was fouled. Warren’s kick bounced back into Wright’s path, who sent a thundering shot over the bar.

Five minutes in and Leek’s Will Saxon  broke through Sports defence, but his shot was straight at keeper Slinn, followed by a Leek corner, again easily taken by Sports keeper.

Morris started to become a key player with his overlapping runs down the left and he was able to put a cross in from a Beavon pass on seven minutes, but too close to Danny Roberts in the Leek goal.

But the combination of Leek’s Matt Bell and Short picked up a midfield interception, leaving Bell with good chance to open the scoring, right in front of the Sports goal, but put it wide.

Five minutes later Webb had a half chance, but his shot didn’t have the power to trouble Roberts. It was soon followed by a flurry of activity, when Bacon put Beavon through on the left, his shot was put out for a corner, which was taken by Wright and headed out again.

Although Mickleover had looked the likeliest to open the scoring, it was Leek’s Short that did. James Kirby had a header, which Slinn seemed to have caught, until he lost balance, dropped the ball and Short was on hand to make it 1-0 to the home side.

Warren drove the midfield forward again, leading by example, and curled a ball just over the bar, before Morris put another cross into the box, with no one there to receive it.

Mickleover were doing most of the attacking, but Leek continued to look dangerous on the break.

After 25 minutes Morris connected with Beavon, but unable to get the power into his shot, it was easily taken by Roberts.

But the equaliser finally came in the 26th minute, when Webb’s corner found Verma, whose blocked shot fell into Beavon’s path, burying it in the bottom right hand corner 1-1.

Only a couple of minutes later Beavon put Bacon through, but his shot was just over the bar.

But Leek were still dangerous on the break after Warren was dispossessed and Short got a shot in on target, well saved by Slinn.  Two minutes later Short broke through again, with a shot just wide from outside the area.

Mickleover continued to favour the interpassing and slow build up, which resulted in another hard shot just wide from Wright.

Short had another shot saved for Leek, before Saxon connected with the rebound, with his effort palmed out for a corner by Slinn.

Mickleover had one more chance before the half time whistle, when Beavon turned in the area, pushed the ball back to Verma, whose shot was saved.

The second half had barely started when Webb went to collect a Morris cross and was brought down in the area, but the referee waved away any penalty appeals.

It was wasn’t long though before Mickleover found the back of the net, with what proved to be the decisive goal.

A piercing ball from midfield split the Leek defence wide open, and Bacon was on the receiving end to make it 2-1.

Leek’s immediate response was thwarted when Wright was fouled on the half way line. There was no free kick but Beavon went clear, with a following cross from Bennett into an empty area.

Webb had a couple of penalty area duels with the Leek defence, before Beavon linked up with Wright on 55 minutes, who’s pass found Verma. The resultant overhead kick, cleared the bar and the stand.

On the hour Walshaw came on for Webb, before another break from Morris found no one to receive it.

As Sports began to dominate, Slinn tried more long clearance’s, finding Beavon, who passed to Wright with the shot going for another corner.

Wright had another attempt blocked after giving Leek’s Olly Harrison a hard time, but shortly afterwards Walshaw became the second Mickleover sub for Beavon, soon followed by Gowing for Wright.

In the final 15 minutes Leek had a header just over the bar from a free kick, but Butler and Watt had looked solid all night and Watt almost added to the scoreline, with a header tipped over from a Warren corner.

A solid defence, with both Bennett and Morris effective on the overlap, added to a strong and motivational midfield, giving the strikers good service and a successful all round team victory.

Now we look forward to the draw for the next round.


Stafford Rangers vs Mickleover Sports


Mickleover Sports v Coventry Sphinx

Mickleover Sports 3 0 Coventry Sphinx

by Laurie Newman

A hat-trick from James Cadman was enough to put Mickleover Sports through to the next round of the FA Cup after defeating Coventry Sphinx.

The game was a slow burner, but Sports found their hero in Cadman who stepped up and supplied his team with all three goals to help them advance into the next round.

Sports also made FA Cup history as manager John McGrath and his son Jay became the first father and son duo to play together in the competition. 

It was a slow start for both teams in the game but it was evident that Mickleover were the more experienced and better drilled team as they kept control of the ball. 

Sports continued to control the game as they moved the ball well, but they just couldn’t find a way to penetrate Coventry apart from the odd long shot.

Eventually  Sports’ class shone through when Jack Storer played a delightful ball over Coventry’s back four with the outside of his foot, allowing James Cadman the time and space to pick his spot and hand his team the lead.

Mickleover who were on the hunt for a second would have to wait a good 20 minutes to add to their lead. Half of that time was due to a floodlight failure which stunned unfortunately Sports’ momentum.

The second was definitely worth the wait though, as it put Sports in a comfortable position for the rest of the game. Cadman fired the ball from just outside the box into the bottom right hand corner after controlling the ball following a poor clearance.

Sports nearly added a third just before half time when Storer’s effort from just outside the box went narrowly wide. 

Sports who had a comfortable lead at the break, showed why they were leagues above without really having to apply too much pressure on Coventry.

The start of the second half saw both teams make a change. Sports brought on Chib Chilaka for Nathan Modest, and the visitors replaced Max Howard with Ryan Palmer.

Just like the first half, nothing of note really happened in the opening minutes. The first moment of any note was the substitution of Jack Storer who made way for Tomas Junek.

Soon enough though, the game would light up once more. Mason Warren’s incredible solo run in Coventry’s box was nearly matched by his shot which smashed the part of the woodwork where the post and bar meet.

About five minutes later, Cadman completed his hat-trick when he tapped in Ben Turner’s cross from only a few yards out.

Although, Cadman was the star man, Chilaka was certainly making his presence felt. He was involved in a number of chances for Sports, the best being when he nearly scored a sublime solo goal from inside the box.

Chilaka dribbled the ball past four or five Coventry players before smashing the ball across goal which was almost certain to hit the back of the net. 

Unfortunately for Chilaka Jake Scott threw himself at the ball, connecting with his head and subsequently heading the ball over the bar from only a few yards out.

Chilaka continued to push for his first goal in red and black, but clearly luck was not on his side.

In the last five minutes he hit the post after taking the ball round the keeper as well as having a goal ruled out for off-side. 

It clearly wasn’t meant to be for Chilaka, but we’re sure he won’t mind as Sports progressed to the next round comfortably.

A win tonight was vital too, as it would have definitely raised the team’s morale, especially after losing to Witton Albion in their last game.

 In addition to that, it will have boosted the team’s confidence ahead of their clash with Stafford Rangers on Monday.


Mickleover Sports vs Alfreton Town

Mickleover Sports FA Cup dreams were left in tatters after bowing out of the competition two goals to one to National League North side Alfreton Town. After Lewis King made a terrific double save from one penalty kick, he could not prevent the second after an extremely ludicrous decision led to Jordan Sinnott giving the visitors the lead. Sports were clearly aggrieved and conceded a second before half time through Richard Peniket scrambling the ball home. Sports battled well in the second half and got a goal back through an Isai Marselia penalty after Pablo Mills was bundled down in the box. But despite wave after wave of pressure from Sports it just wasn’t to be as a mixture of bad decision making and bad luck saw the hosts FA Cup dreams shelved for another season.

As always Lewis King started in goal between the sticks. A back four or Jake Scott, Pablo Mills, Tom Burgin and Ben Turner started behind John McGrath and Jimmy Phillips in midfield. On the wings were Curtis Burrows and Ted Cribley with Evan Garnett and Nathan Jarman upfront. A youthful bench for Sports included Jack Walsh, Harley Kozluk, Mason Warren, Oliver Roberts and Isai Marselia.

Sports had the first effort of the game as Evan Garnett went close after being played in behind the Alfreton defense but his low shot was dragged wide of the right hand post. Alfreton came forward a few minutes later and despite some heavy pressure Sports held firm and it resulted in Bobby Johnson sending a strike wide of Kings left hand post. Two further efforts from Reds winger Jordan Sinnott then followed with both being well handled by King in the Sports goal. Next chance for the visitors came when a long ball forward was headed back into danger by Mills which fell kindly to James Clifton but his snap shot was hit well over the bar for a goal kick.

Next up came the first Alfreton penalty as Ben Turner clipped for Alfreton Town strike inside the box. However Lewis King saved well down to his right hand side before getting up and tipping the follow up with both hands over the bar for a corner. However the drama did not end there as the referee on the 34th minute gave another penalty which nobody in the ground claimed for. The referee adjudged John McGrath to have stamped on the Alfreton players foot but you can tell a lot about a decision when neither the player or the visiting fans don’t appeal for it whether it’s the correct call or not. This time Jordan Sinnott stepped up and sent King the wrong way to put the visitor’s one goal up. Sports players were evidently aggrieved with the referee’s decision and unfortunately after two missed chances from Garnett and McGrath, the players switched off for the second goal from the Reds right before half time. An Alfreton corner was floated in and after a scramble to clear in the box the ball fell kindly to Richard Peniket who stuck the ball in from close range to put the visitor’s two goals to the good at the half time break.

Sports started the second half well as Pablo Mills headed a McGrath corner wide. Alfreton then had the ball in the back of the net once more but this time the decision was in Sports favor as the linesman on the far side raised his flag for offside. Another Sports chance then came and went as a McGrath free kick was headed back into the danger area by Mills across the goal but the on rushing Tom Burgin couldn’t quite get to the ball as it went out for a goal kick. A bizarre moment occurred moments later as Evan Garnett burst through into the box with pace, cut inside and looked to have been brought down but the referee took the view he had dived and booked Garnett to his anger. Isai Marselia then came on for Curtis Burrows. With eight minutes of normal time left Sports got themselves back into the game through a penalty kick of their own. Pablo Mills was rugby tackled in the area and up stepped Isai Marselia with nerves of steel to score into the bottom right corner.
However as much as Sports piled the pressure on the visitors saw the game out well and had the only remaining concrete chance of the match as goal scorer Sinnott put an effort over the bar. All in all Sports will feel that their FA Cup adventure was brought to an end by a bad decision but they can still take a lot of pride away from a battling performance as they competed well against a side a league above them. It’s back to the league on Tuesday night as Sports travel to Witton Albion on Tuesday 9th October 2018, 7:45pm Kick Off.

Written by Sam Goldsworthy.