Mickleover Sports 2-1 Huddersfield Town XI
Wednesday 8th August 2018
Written by Sam Goldsworthy
Another game, another win as Mickleover Sports’ pre-season nears its conclusion to as John McGraths side came away 2-1 winners over a very young but talented Huddersfield academy side. The Terriers as expected three days before their Premier League opener, brought a youthful but very well organised academy side who gave Sports a defensive test with long spells of possession with the ball and look very comfortable doing so. But in the end Sports experience of how to see games out physical element came through as the goals all came in the first half. Aaron Rowe the talented young winger for the visitors scored either side of two Nathan Jarman goals which in the end proved to be enough in a typical pre-season affair with only two more games to play before the opener with Stalybridge in just over a weeks’ time.
John McGrath elected not to name himself in the squad and started with regular keeper Lewis King with Kevin Grocott, Pablo Mills, Tom Burgin and Ben Turner in defence. The midfield consisted of Jake Scott, Oliver Roberts, Jimmy Phillips and Curtis Burrows. Up front Niall Doran played just behind main striker Nathan Jarman.
Sports kick off proceedings and immediately got proceedings under way with a goal in the first minute. A corner from the far left hand side made its way into the area and found its way to Nathan Jarman who controlled the ball nicely and struck an effort low into the bottom left hand corner.
Within five minutes though Huddersfield got an equaliser and only Sports second goal conceded in pre-season. Aaron Rowe was the scorer as the left winger broke down the left after being played in and beat the Sports defence for pace as he hit a low effort past King and into net. But like the Burton game Sports didn’t let it knock their confidence and they were back on the front foot again. They were rewarded with their second and ultimately winning goal when Sports were awarded a penalty. It was very unclear which Sports player was bundled to the ground due to a packed penalty area but the referee saw something he didn’t like and pointed immediately to the Sport with little appeal from the Terriers players. Up stepped Nathan Jarman who bag his second of the game and fourth goal of pre-season with a neat low effort to the right hand side of the goal.
The rest of the first half was mainly dominated with possession in the middle third of the park and both sides settled into a rhythm after a frantic start. The next chance came ten minutes before half time as Ben Turner went close to lobbing the keeper with a free kick that went just over the bar. Then a good ball in from Niall Doran picked out Nathan Jarman who headed over the bar. The final chance came a minute before half time as Kevin Grocott drove in a great cross which again was aimed at Jarman but his touch on the ball was only a faint one with his head and it went out for a goal kick to bring the first half to a close.
The second half began with Huddersfield nearly having a gift to equalise. A mix up at the back between Lewis King and Ben Turner allowed Ben Jackson to nip in for the visitors for what seemed like a chance he couldn’t miss. But that was exactly what happened as the young full back put his effort wide of the left hand post. A real let off for Sports as they soon learnt quickly from it. Trialist then came on for Niall Doran in the first of many changes that happened in the second half. A fantastic free kick from Oliver Roberts was well saved by the keeper before a string of several substitutions then proceeded. Nathan Jarman, Curtis Burrows, Jimmy Phillips, Jake Scott, Oliver Roberts, Pablo Mills and Ben Turner made way for Evan Garnett, Will Norcross, Jack Walsh, Lewis Belgrave, Isia Marselia, Tyreece Robinson and Tom Eccleshall.
Huddersfield then had another chance as Oliver Dyson struck an effort over the bar from close range. Then from a Sports corner Tom Burgin leaped well to power a header towards goal that was saved by the Terriers keeper. Then some excellent pressure from the Sports front two forced the Huddersfield defenders into an error which put Marselia through 1v1 but his effort was only just wide of the left hand post. Huddersfield then made some changes of their own before Kevin Grocott picked up a slight ankle injury in the last minute. But instead of brining another player back on, Sports decided to play on with 10 men to carry out an exercise of how to close a game out when down to 10 men. An exercise that proved successful as Sports saw the game out to record more pre-season fitness under the belt and more successful preparations ahead of the new season.
Sports now have two final pre-season games before the season begins with visits to Kidsgrove Athletic on Friday 10th August (7:45pm) and Carlton Town on Saturday 11th August (3pm).