Mickleover Sports 2 – 2 Buxton
Sports:- King, Grocott, Turner, McGrath, Mills, Williams, Dales, Briscoe, Phillips, Garnett, Norcross (Hickman 77).
Subs:- Belgrave, Morris, Barnes-Homer, Burgin.
Buxton:- Budtz, Meade, Baker (Doran), Maguire, Young, Degiralamo, Hinsley (Broadhead 73), Grayson, Wilson, Hardy, Taylor (Chippendale 45).
Subs:- McWilliams, Biggs.
Referee S Brown
This game, between local rivals proved to be a feisty affair, not helped by a referee who was quick to administer verbal warnings but slow to issue cards, which seemed to give the message that players could get away with more than perhaps they should.
There was a lengthy delay after only four minutes when visiting keeper Jan Budtz had to be treated for a head injury after an early Mickleover attack had been cleared. Ironically the blow that lead to the wound was caused by his own full back.
The opening goal came after 14 minutes and was a great solo effort from leading scorer Andy Dales who twisted, turned and dribbled past opponents before picking his spot and firing home from the edge of the area.
The physios were both called into action too many times during the first period to let the game flow, and there was not too much football played as a result. Sports went in at half time a goal up, with Buxton having failed to make the most of the few scoring opportunities that they had.
The visitors drew level immediately after the break, and it came from a source well known to Mickleover supporters as Nico Degiralamo headed home his first goal for the club from a corner.
Nico, who had been a fans favourite and Player of the Year while at the club had a deserved reputation for scoring vital goals from set pieces – a fact that seemed to elude the home defence on this occasion.
The hosts were back in front on 56 minutes with a set play of their own. Dales was fouled outside the area and player manager John McGrath restored the lead with a superbly take free-kick that beat both the wall and the Buxton keeper.
It was all square again on 81 minutes as Ant Wilson bundled the ball over the line after home keeper Lewis King failed to make a clean catch. King claimed that he had been fouled but the referee adjudged that the ball was not fully under the keeper’s control at the time.
Evan Garnett had a great opportunity to take all the points in the closing minutes but from close range only managed to fire the ball over the bar with the goal seemingly at his mercy.
Freelance Sports Broadcaster and Writer