Academy Reds, National Champions!
by Peter Scherer
With 16 goals scored and only one conceded during the ESPFA National Academy play-offs, Mickleover Reds Academy can rightfully be proud to call themselves NATIONAL CHAMPIONS.
Having beaten Runcorn Linnets 8-0 at Rushall two weeks ago, only a point was needed against Chesham Utd to add the National title to their Midlands crown.
The kick off was delayed as Chesham were stuck on the motorway, but once the game kicked off there was more one-way traffic.
Jake Edge-Lucas had a shot in the second minute, saved by the Chesham keeper Hosier, but earned the first corner.
A few minutes later Josh Satchwell found Brodie Carter in the box, but his path was blocked.
Chesham still hadn’t made it into the Mickleover half when the first goal came. Bobby Battisson had found Carter on the left, who calmly fired the ball into the top left hand corner after eight minutes, 1-0.
Only two minutes later Battisson tried his luck, firing over the bar from outside the box as the Mickleover pressure continued,
It was 12 minutes in before Chesham had an attack, but their hopes were soon foiled as Tom Smith came off his line to kick clear.
Chesham had a free kick after Will Robinson pulled striker Wilkins shirt to hold him back. The free kick was wasted however, bouncing off the wall.
Mickleover were straight back into attack mode and a charge down the right wing from Edge-Lucas, fired in a low cross to find Fin Barker, 2-0 after 16 minutes.
Chesham started to push forward, but their attacks came to nought, with Cameron Anthony and Robinson solid in the middle of the defence, ably supported by wing backs Edge-Lucas and Ben Lewin.
Barker was through again after 20 minutes, but was blocked just before he was able to shoot. Then Carter was blocked similarly after a good build up with Barker and Ted Stevenson again.
Five minutes later and it was 3-0, when Carter picked the ball up on the edge of the area, saw Hosier only slightly off his line, but chipped a curling ball into his far right hand top corner.
They had barely kicked off again when the menacing Battisson’s trickery once again left the Chesham defence flat footed. He got his shot in but over the bar again.
Shots were reigning in on the Chesham goal from all angles and Battisson had another shot cleared off the line in the 27th minute.
Both wing backs were on the attacks regularly, and Edge-Lucas was able to do his own bit of showboating, with a double spin to baffle the Chesham defence, before firing a shot as he cut in from the right.
Goal number four began to look imminent, but Battisson’s 34th minute effort lacked any power to challenge Hosier.
Robinson then charged half of the length of the field to get a telling cross in from the left, but after a rebound found Carter, his shot was just over.
Hosier had to charge off his line again in the 43rd minute, narrowing the angle as Satchwell attacked, finding Barker whose shot was just over.
But Barker concluded the first half in fine style, with a great jinking solo run. Hosier again came out to try and intercept, but Barker put his shot wide, glancing the post initially, before turning back into the net, 4-0.
The second half had barely kicked off and it was goal number five, with Carter on the end of a great build up between Satchwell, Battisson and Barker, for his hattrick, 5-0.
Three minutes later it was 6-0 after Barker was tripped in the box. He stepped up to fire it home for his hattrick too, after Hosier managed to get a hand to it.
Two more minutes and another good build-up saw Satchwell’s shot just over, before Wilkins was on the attack for Chesham, forcing Smith to make his first save of the game after 54 minutes.
George Atwal had a quiet first half, but was finding more space for himself in the second. He had two shots within a couple of minutes, the second forcing Hosier to tip it over for a corner.
As the corner came in Satchwell collected and his header was cleared off the line, before Edge-Lucas followed up with a fierce effort just over.
Chesham had never lowered their heads despite the mauling they were receiving, but after 58 minutes they had their chance, after Robinson pushed the striker from behind, Wilkins hit the penalty home for 6-1.
Shortly afterwards Barker put a cross into the box, just behind Battisson, Edge-Lucas picked it up and his shot was blocked, before Barker put the rebound over the bar.
In the 68th minute Battisson cut in from the left after a ball from Stevenson, before Barker’s shot was palmed away by Hosier.
From the resulting corner Carter’s attempt was cleared off the line.
Three minutes later it was finally Battisson’s turn to have the ball in the net, only to have it disallowed for allegedly being offside.
They only had to wait another minute though and it was 7-1. Barker jinked his way through the Chesham defence with perfection and picked his spot for his fourth of the match.
Chesham then had an attack and called Smith into action.
But it was back on attack and Mickleover had another free kick when Battisson was tripped just outside the box. Atwal and Lewin deliberated over the free kick which was fired over the bar.
With 10 minutes left Carter was unlucky not to connect after a cross from Lewin on the left, just before Barker was left in the clear and shot just wide of the post.
Kai Moore was the first sub for Carter and shortly after it was goal number eight. Edge-Lucas and Battisson worked together to create the gap and Atwal made no mistake to make it 8-1.
Barker and Edge-Lucas then made way for Kyran Ward and Jovis Tsoumou, but their was little respite for the Chesham defence.
Reluctantly Hosier was replaced in the Chesham goal after his saves had kept the score down, but Chesham were still pushing hard and earned an 84th minute corner.
The clearance however found Moore, who had his shot cleared off the line, before Chesham had a late chance which was wasted by poor finishing.
With two minutes to go Ward was within inches of making it nine, when he slotted the ball past the advancing keeper, only to be six inches wide of the far post.
Ward combined again with Moore as the whistle was poised, firing just over, before the celebrations started and Mickleover were crowned NATIONAL CHAMPIONS.
It was tremendous, they have been a fantastic group to work with, hardworking and humble, they listened and learned. This was the final product and I am proud of them.
concluded coach Pablo Mills.
Academy Reds Thrash Northern Champions
by Peter Scherer
Runcorn Linnets had already won the first of their ESPFA Play-off games, but it was all one-way traffic as they faced Mickleover Reds at Rushall.
Only 30 seconds into game and Bobby Battisson picked up on some slack defending, finding Fin Barker who slotted home 1-0.
Five minutes later Ben Lewin and Barker worked well on the overlap, but just ran out of pitch before a shot was taken.
We didn’t have to wait long for goal number two though, with George Atwal firing into the roof of the net, after a classy build-up between Brodie Carter and Josh Satchwell. 2-0.
Mickleover had a free kick 10 minutes in, when Ted Stevenson was tripped on the edge of the box, but Jacob Edge-Lucas’ kick was just wide.
With Runcorn barely getting out of their own half, they hit the post on their first real break.
Lewin then had a good try blocked after 15 minutes, before Battisson found Barker, whose close range shot was blocked by the keeper.
Lewin’s defensive duties were called upon after a Runcorn free kick was cut out, before Will Robinson burst from the defence to find Battisson in space, shooting wide of the post.
With both wing backs pushing forward, Cameron Anthony and Robinson were the only Mickleover players to stay back. There was a free kick after Battisson was fouled again, and a combined effort from the majority of the team set Barker free, earning another corner after 27 minutes.
Tom Smith had a rare touch of the ball when he raced from his line to kick well clear as the half hour mark approached, quickly followed by a charge down the wing from Edge-Lucas after he intercepted, almost putting Carter in the clear.
Carter was close to adding to the goal tally in the 33rd minute when Anthony sent Lewin on a run, before his precise cross was inches from the strikers head.
Battisson had a try high and wide, then Atwal, Barker and Carter combined. As Barker had no space, Atwal collected and fired over the bar.
It was soon 3-0 though when Carter was on target after 41 minutes. Another Lewin cross had found Barker, whose pinpoint pass set Carter up.
From 3-0 at half time, Mickleover were straight back on the attack as the second half got underway. Barker put a shot across the face of the goal after 48 minutes and a minute later Barker’s attack left Atwal shooting over.
Battisson and Barker then combined with yet another chance, only to be denied by the keeper’s legs. It was another Barker and Battisson run than earned goal number four. After being tripped in the box, Barker made no mistake from the penalty spot. 4-0.
Runcorn had a random shot well over after 58 minutes, but there was only one team in the game.
Edge-Lucas hit the post after 68 minutes and four minutes later Stevenson had a fantastic run to set up Barker, who took it around the keeper and fired into the roof of the net for 5-0.
Only two minutes later Barker put Carter through but the keeper intercepted, then Stevenson came off to make way for Kai Moore.
It was soon 6-0 when Battisson was tripped in the box and recovered to take the penalty himself after 76 minutes. Lewin then fired just over from another free kick.
10 more minutes and it was goal number seven, after the Runcorn keeper lost the ball, Battisson picked it up and slotted home 7-0.
There was still more to come, with Niall Cole on for Carter, it was 8-0 with two minutes left. Edge-Lucas had burst down the wing and was also on the end of it, with a top corner shot 8-0!
Kyran Ward and Joris Yates were both late subs for Lewin and Edge-Lucas, leaving Mickleover to play possession football for the last few minutes.
Moore had a half chance late on and Smith in the Mickleover goal had one brief threat to his clean sheet, but Moore played it back for him to clear confidently.
So the Midlands Division was sewn up last week, and victory in the first play-off, leaves the Reds in good stead for the final game against Chesham Utd in two weeks.
“Job done, now one to go,” said Coach Pablo Mills, who was also celebrating his 37th birthday.
Academy Reds, Regional Champions!
by Peter Scherer
Following last week’s victory over Stafford Rangers, all Mickleover had to do was take a point from their final league game at home to Rushall, to clinch the title.
Just as the game kicked off down came the rain. Mickleover had their first real attack after three minutes, earning a corner. A couple of minutes later Bobby Battisson went on a run, but couldn’t keep his feet in the tricky conditions, but earned another corner.
The pressure quickly began to build on the Rushall defence and it was almost the opening goal six minutes in. Jacob Edge-Lucas put a good cross in to Josh Satchwell. His shot wasn’t cleared and his second attempt was cleared off the line with the keeper well beaten.
After a free kick header went for another corner, Rushall had their first attack after 10 minutes, but the dependability of Cameron Anthony and Will Robinson in the centre of the Mickleover defence, soon saw off any threat.
It wasn’t long before the scoring spree began, with Ted Stevenson’s strike coming from a right wing break after 12 minutes 1-0.
With Edge-Lucas and Ben Lewin both allowed to push forward at will, joining Battisson, George Atwal and Louis Pennington, they controlled midfield and the chances continued to flow.
After a good build up a cross from the left saw Battisson’s shot blocked after 14 minutes, before Rushall had a good chance two minutes later, clear in front of goal before Edge-Lucas and Anthony combined to clear the threat again.
Fin Barker’s bustling runs had already caused problems and in the 20th minute he made it 2-0, with a shot to the keepers left.
Stevenson then went close again, from an Edge-Lucas cross.
Rushall weren’t surrendering, but the skilful Mickleover build up gave them little time on the ball.
Edge-Lucas swung the ball from the right to find Lewin in space down the left wing, he put a through ball to Pennington, whose shot was saved, before Barker burst from a deep position to fire another shot just wide of the right hand post.
Rushall’s first corner came after 24 minutes, but it was Barker with the next clear shot again, saved by the keeper’s feet after 26 minutes.
As they passed the half hour mark Battisson had another shot blocked and Barker almost set Edge-Lucas on a clear run.
But 40 minutes in Satchwell hit the post, and Barker was on hand to smash home the rebound, 3-0.
Only minutes left in the first half and Robinson followed in from a free kick to make it 4-0, before Stevenson brought a successful first half to an end with a glancing header just past the post.
The Reds made one change at half time, with Brodie Carter on for Satchwell.
Within the first couple the Rushall goal was bombarded again, with Battisson’s shot just wide, before Barker had his attempt blocked.
Rushall had to clear off the line again after 54 minutes, from a Carter attempt, as more shots reigned in close succession.
Barker was then fouled on the edge of the box, the free kick was blocked and then a handball gave another, from which Stevenson’s shot was blocked.
Atwal had his first long range shot wide just before the hour mark, but soon after there was another goal, with Edge-Lucas’ pace proving positive at the end of minutes of consistent pressure, 5-0.
Edge-Lucas was only just wide a few minutes later, after Barker had sent in an initial cross from Lewin.
Barker made way for Kai Moore after 68 minutes, but it was Carter next to go close, after creating his own space.
Kyran Ward was next to come on for Atwal, but Rushall were still trying random shots, usually wide from well out, leaving Tom Smith untroubled.
Just after Moore had a shot saved in the 74th minute, he made it 6-0 after collecting a cross from Ward on the right.
Battisson was tripped a couple of times in the remaining minutes but the free kick’s came to nought and Carter went close with a couple of half chances.
As the referee was poised to call time, Stevenson went on a long run, weaving and jinking through the defence, only to have his final shot blocked.
A comfortable win to clinch the Midlands Division ESPFA title and they now look forward to playing Runcorn Linnets and Chesham Utd as they aim for the National crown.
10 Men Reds Hit Four Against Title Rivals
by Peter Scherer
Top of the table Stafford Rangers had only dropped one point and had already beaten the Mickleover Reds when they visited Stafford, but no one could anticipate how the return match would unfold in this Championship decider.
It was end to end action from the start, with Bobby Battisson having a shot blocked three minutes in, after a Jacob Edge-Lucas cross, before Josh Satchwell headed just wide after a corner.
Fin Barker was leading some powerful attacks on the Stafford goal, and when he was tripped on the edge of the box, George Atwal put his free kick wide.
Only a minute later Stafford had a similar shot from a free kick off target too, before Mickleover Tom Smith had to come charging off his line, to quash another Stafford attack.
Atwal and Barker shared a couple of good exchanges, but the end result was disappointing, but in the 24th minute the deadlock was broken. Sam Pipes was fouled on the edge of the box, and Atwal’s free kick was met superbly by Edge-Lucas, heading into the far corner of the Stafford net 1-0.
Only minutes later Battisson was scythed down on the left. As a couple of Stafford defenders started to protest their innocence, Pipes was given a harsh straight red car, for a slight push.
Despite being down to 10 men, Mickleover more than held their own, as the Stafford team started arguing among themselves.
After a follow up from a 30th minute free kick had beaten the Stafford keeper before gong just wide, Satchwell had a strong run down the right, before Battisson crossed the ball landing just behind Barker.
Stafford had started to push forward, but another Satchwell run after 39 minutes, fed Barker, who outran the defence and shot just over.
The visitors continued to show some defensive disarray which saw Barker through on goal, before the keeper intercepted his 42nd minute attempt. After Louis Pennington was brought down with minutes left in the first half, Atwal had another free kick attempt saved, but Stafford were ruing their missed chances from a busy first half.
The second half started similarly to the first, with Battisson’s early attempt blocked. 54 minutes had gone though when Barker had a shot which rebounded off the keeper, out into Satchwell’s path, firing it hard to the keeper’s right 2-0.
Only five minutes later it could so easily have been three, after Battisson dispossessed a Stafford defender, went on a run and saw his shot bounce back off the right hand post.
Mickleover then opted to make their first substitution with Brodie Carter on for the hard working Barker. No sooner had Carter come on, he was in with a chance, after Stafford began to commit a string of minor fouls, he just missed getting on the end of an Atwal free kick.
Stafford started to push forward again to try and open their score sheet, their leading scorer Jayden Hunter was almost through after 17 minutes, and five minutes later he had the ball in the net, but used his hand to take it past the advancing Smith in the Mickleover goal.
As attack turned to defence though, Stafford were in trouble again, after a mix up between keeper and defence. Carter was able to take the ball past the keeper as he rushed from his line to make it 3-0 after 69 minutes.
Pennington was having a much better second half and began to spray the ball about, with help from the running Battisson and continuous overlaps from Edge-Lucas and Lewin.
The keeper had to run out again to stop Carter, before Edge-Lucas’ charge in the 73rd minute found Atwal who shot over. Battisson then had a good shot saved, before it was played out wide to Satchwell, whose effort was wide o the right and post.
Cameron Anthony and Will Robinson had both been solid as a rock in the centre of the Mickleover defence, but it was Stafford under continuing pressure, with Battisson through again.
Ted Stevenson was on for Atwal, and had a cracking shot from just outside the area, after Battisson earned another free kick.
Kai Moore came on for Carter but there was still another goal to come, when a great build up from Battisson, saw Edge-Lucas collect, before sending a powerful shot past the keeper, 4-0!!
Kyran Ward was the final sub on for Battisson, but time was up and despite having been down to 10 men barely halfway through the first half, it was convincing win, with a terrific all round team performance.
Now only Rushall Olympic stand between Mickleover Reds and the ESPFA League title, which will be settled at Borrowash next Thursday.
Reds Hit Five At Carlton
by Peter Scherer
Mickleover Academy Reds dominated their visit to Carlton Town and were on the attack from the first whistle.
Only two minutes in and Fin Barker was fouled on the edge of the box, before they went even closer when Barker donutted a Carlton defender, before a challenging ball got through for Sam Pipes to go close, then Josh Satchwell put his attempt just over the bar.
It was only three minutes later that the goal account was opened, after Bobby Battisson was tripped just inside the box. Battisson successfully took the penalty, 1-0.
Satchwell was then on the attack, his through shot was blocked, but earned a corner, leading to a cracking shot, well saved, from George Atwal.
Relishing his return to the frontline, Satchwell broke free for another shot after 10 minutes, with Battisson picking up the rebound, which was saved, before Barker earned another corner.
With wing backs Jacob Edge-Lucas and Ben Lewin free to overlap at will and Pennington, Battisson and Atwal continually feeding the strike force, Satchwell put a telling ball into the area on 12 minutes, but no one collected.
It was continuous pressure on the Carlton goal, and Barker burst through yet again two minutes later. He was on the back line, turning it back to Atwal, whose shot was blocked, before Edge-Lucas fired just over.
The Carlton goalkeeper was left extremely exposed and after 18 minutes he charged out to intercept Satchwell, the ball ran loose but no one tried a chip towards the empty net.
20 minutes gone Barker was clear once more, forcing an excellent save from the Carlton keeper. Then it was Battisson’s turn to press, sending Barker on another run. The keeper saved again, before Edge-Lucas headed over from the resulting corner.
It was inevitable there would be more goals and number two came after 26 minutes, when Satchwell’s progress allowed Lewin to float a perfectly timed cross to meet Barker’s head 2-0.
Barker and Satchwell combined again on the half hour after Pennington had taken control in midfield and then Will Robinson came charging from the back line, to set up Satchwell whose shot was saved.
With a minute left in the first half, the Carlton keeper came well out again, as the ball ran loose from a defensive mix up. He failed to connect and Barker not only collected it, but scored what should have been a third goal, until a late and dubious decision from the linesman gave it offside.
Right on time it finally was 3-0, when a quick and efficient build up took Battisson to the back line, which allowed Atwal to fire in a shot, but in the scramble to clear he collected the rebound and made no mistake at the second attempt.
There was no respite for the Carlton defence as Mickleover were straight onto the attack again in the second half.
Battisson found Barker, whose shot hit the bar, with Sam Pipes putting the rebound just over.
Carlton did have a weak attack after 49 minutes, but from interception it was straight to the other end as Atwal shot just wide.
For a brief moment the Mickleover had some work to do, but Cameron Anthony and Robinson were untroubled.
There was an appeal from Battisson for handball in the box in the 55th minute, but nine minutes later Carter made it 4-0, when a cross from the left appeared to go in off his back!
Ted Stevenson had joined Carter as second half subs, and was keen to push forward too. But it was a Pennington cross then gave Carter a chance, shooting just over.
Carter had another lob onto the top of the net, before Stevenson had an attempt saved and Satchwell tried his luck too.
72 minutes and it was 5-0 and Battisson’s second from the edge of the box, with the keeper well beaten.
Carlton still kept trying to break out and succeeded in the 74th minute when Tom Smith was forced into a diving save.
Kai Moore and Kyran Ward came on too, but Smith got a knock with 20 minutes left. A few minutes later Carlton pulled one back 5-1, but Stevenson, Carter and Battisson all went close again in the closing minutes, before the final whistle went and another fine win was sealed.
Mickleover Reds Do The Double Over Academy Team Mates
by Peter Scherer
For the second time in two weeks Mickleover FC two’s Academy teams played each other. Unlike last week, the younger Black squad had the measure of the Reds for much of the game, and only lost out to two second half goals, rather than the 9-0 defeat in their first meeting.
From the kick off it was fairly end to end play for the first 10 minutes, before Fin Bowen had to charge from his goal to intercept a Brodie Carter run.
The Reds continued to build on their attacks, but the Black defence of Rossy Mahynduz, Chipigo Mahanga, Ethan Mann and Lennon Higgins held firm, as well as looking for promising breakaways too.
It continued to be fairly even, with most of the play in midfield, before Bowen had to race off his line to cut off another Carter attack.
Reece Perry then found space as the Blacks pushed forward, he had a shot just over Tom Smith’s bar after 28 minutes. It was then Bowen’s turn to be under attack, as Kyran Ward shot just wide of the right hand post.
The strength of the Black defence continued to be tested and in some cases Bowen was left with little cover as they tried to push forward. He ran out to clear again after 34 minutes, before Ward put a good ball into the box, which was initially cleared, before Josh Satchwell fired it back in again only to be blocked.
Ted Stevenson then went on a run to earn a corner, as the half team whistle approached,
The Blacks earned a free kick, which was wasted when Mann lofted it straight into Smith’s waiting hands, then it was Reds turn after Hamanga fouled Sam Pipes on the edge of the box.
Ward and Pipes both had good attempts as the Reds tried to break the deadlock before half time and with a minute left Pipes placed the ball almost at Carter’s feet in front of goal, but the striker just missed connecting. Centre back Will Robinson then tried his luck, with a shot well wide of the mark.
So they went in 0-0 compared with the 6-0 only a week before.
The Reds made a number of changes for the second half, bringing on Bobby Battisson, Jacob Edge-Lucas, Fin Barker and George Atwal, as well as moving Satchwell from left wing back to striker.
Edge-Lucas had taken the right wing back position with Ben Lewin on the left, both looking to push forward, leaving Cameron Anthony and Robinson to look after the defence.
In the first minute of the restart Battisson had a shot tipped over and five minutes later Atwal went close too.
It was a much stronger looking Reds team with Louis Pennington beginning to look more effective in midfield than in the first half.
Pipes continued to work hard and put a lovely ball in close for Satchwell after 12 minutes, who quickly pivoted on one foot to crack a shot just wide. Two minutes later it was Satchwell returning the favour for Barker, with Bowen saving his attempt at point blank range.
Atwal then had a half chance and just after the hour Barker was almost through again, but somehow the first years continued to hold out.
Edge-Lucas had an effort lofted into Bowen’s hands after 21 minutes, then Hamanga showed commendable skills as he stopped Barker in his tracks.
It was 69 minutes when the breakthrough finally came. Battisson’s cross found Satchwell on the edge of the box, who then layed it into Atwal’s path and it was 1-0.
The Blacks came charging back however, and Devon Smith ran at the Red defence before being blocked and a minute later he was on another run with Robinson intercepting.
Battisson went close as the Reds looked to make it safe and 73 minutes in Lewin’s cross from the left was collected by Barker, whose first time shot was just wide.
Stevenson had come back on had a good try which Bowen put out for a corner, before Satchwell almost took advantage of an 80th minute defensive mix up, before Bowen came to the rescue.
Satchwell was relishing his move back into the strike force, heading just over from a Barker cross, before Barker then found Edge-Lucas, who found too many legs to get a clear shot.
With two minutes left Satchwell got his goal for 2-0, Battisson’s first attempt was blocked, but it was Satchwell that managed to pick it up in a busy goal mouth and seal the victory.
Both Battisson and Barker went close again before the final whistle, but despite finally going down to the two second half goals, the first year Black squad performed with great credit and determination.
Barker Hits Three For Second Time This Week!
by Peter Scherer
Mickleover Academy striker Fin Barker hit his second hattrick of the week, as the second year Red squad took all three points at Rushall Olympic.
From the first whistle Mickleover were on the attack, with Ben Lewin getting the first shot on goal after five minutes.
Only two minutes later the Rushall goal was threatened again when a Josh Satchwell cross, whistled just past the post from a Brodie Carter header.
Rushall managed to make a break and put a good ball across the face of the Mickleover goal, but with no one to collect it rolled out for goal kick.
The dominance from the Mickleover attacks meant that wing backs Satchwell and Lewin spent more time in attack than defence, creating chances from where Barker had another shot just wide.
In the first 20 minutes both Barker and Carter kept the pressure on, and an appeal for a penalty failed to succeed after Barker had gone down in the area.
George Atwal, Jacob Edge-Lucas, Bobby Battisson and Louis Pennington had control of midfield and after Battisson fired a shot at the keeper, the following corner was met by Cameron Anthony’s head and it was finally 1-0.
The attacks continued to flow and after Smith easily collected a Rushall free kick, Barker had a good shot after 25 minutes, before Satchwell hit the bar with a header.
But on the half hour Edge-Lucas was on another run, when he was tripped on the edge of the box. Lewin took the kick, picked his spot and fired into the left hand corner, 2-0.
Four minutes later Edge-Lucas had a shot pushed out for a corner, quickly followed by a saved shot from Battisson, before Barker hit the bar again!
There was another telling run from Battisson, which just failed to reach Carter and similarly as the half time whistle was readied, Carter’s diving header just missed a Satchwell cross.
As the second half kicked off, a Rushall free kick came to nought, before Carter sprinted after a long clearance, which proved to be just out of reach.
Lewin then had a shot over after 49 mins, as Carter and Barker continued pounding the Rushall backline.
Only a minute later though, Barker got another shot in to make it 3-0, although Battisson put it in again to make sure, onlookers confirmed it was Barker’s goal.
Suddenly the attacking stopped and Rushall began to threaten. After one shot had cleared the bar, on the 10 minute mark they pulled one back 3-1, with the Mickleover defence split wide open down the middle.
There was yet another strike against the bar in the 56th minute when Battisson created his own space, before he set up a shot for Atwal, who shot just wide.
Anthony and Will Robinson continued to look uncomfortable for a while, and after a mistake from Robinson, he had to fight back rapidly to rectify.
In the 62nd minute there were more defensive errors, a yawning gap down the middle offered Smith no protection in the Mickleover goal and suddenly it was 3-2.
The first substitution was Ted Stevenson on for Atwal, followed quickly by Mickleover’s fourth goal. Barker had his initial effort saved after 21 minutes, but was there for the rebound 4-2.
Seven minutes later Barker completed his hattrick with a fine, strong solo run for 5-2, before both he and Carter took a well earned rest as Kai Moore and Sam Pipes came on.
Moore had a good shot saved and after Battisson was put through he shot wide. With seven minutes on the clock Moore was inches away from collecting a Satchwell cross and in the final minute Moore went one on one with the Rushall keeper, but the final score remained 5-2.
Academy Showdown As Reds Hit Nine!!
by Peter Scherer
There were hat tricks for both Fin Barker and Brodie Carter as both Mickleover FC Academy sides faced each other at Borrowash.
Only three minutes into the game Carter was on the receiving of an early defensive error, to make it 1-0.
They had only just kicked off and it was close again, as Bobby Battisson picked his spot.
The pressure on the first years defence was relentless, and after eight minutes it was 2-0 when Barker was on the end of a positive build up.
But the first years kept plugging away themselves and after 12 minutes Devon Smith had a shot just over Tom Smith’s bar.
There was soon another goal though from the Seniors, when Barker outstripped Lewis Hughes and Ethan Mann in a sprint and made it 3-0.
Both Bernard Koecher and Lennon Higgins tried to push forward for the first years, and after 16 minutes Emilio D’Abreu had a good effort just over.
With Louis Pennington controlling midfield, he was able to pick out Jacob Edge-Lucas and George Atwal, as well as strikers Carter and Barker.
Barker had a shot straight at goalkeeper Bowen on the hour, before forcing him to intercept on the edge of his box only four minutes later.
D’Abreu and Smith worked well together when the ball got through to them, but Reece Perry, Dylan Sanghera and Joe Nzeyimana were all finding it tough.
After 40 minutes D’Abreu put Smith through, but Will Robinson easily intercepted.
The ball was soon back in Bowen’s goal mouth, and when the Seniors won a corner, Josh Satchwell, playing left wing back, rose high above the defence to head home for 4-0. To which coach Mills was heard to say, “we’ve only practiced that a 100 times.”
Barker managed to seal his hattrick before half time to make it 5-0.But the Juniors could have had one too, with Smith on a telling run, only to find the whole of the Senior defence laying in wait.
Both sides were starting to use their subs in the second half, but the Seniors were piling the pressure on again from the word go.
Nzeyimana had a half chance, but Smith shot out of his goal to end any hopes, but it was Bowen’s goal under more and more pressure.
Barker had a bustling run through on goal and earned a corner, but a mid-defence mix-up left Carter free for his second and it was 6-0 with 56 minutes gone.
D’Abreu and Smith both had cracks at goal when even a half chance occurred. But just after the hour the ball bobbed around various legs, before finding its way into Bowen’s net, 7-0. Edge-Lucas claimed it, “well I touched it at some point, so I will claim it,” he reckoned.
Apart from Cameron Anthony, most of the Seniors defence went on the attack, with Ben Lewin and Satchwell on the overlaps.
Carter had another chance after one of Lewin’s runs, before he hit his third and made it 8-0.
In the 75th minute came the 9th and final goal. Perry was chasing Sam Pipes towards the touchline and clipped the back of his heel. Pipes then made no mistake from the penalty spot to make it 9-0.
Kai Moore and Kyran Ward had come on and linked up with Satchwell, whose shot went over the bar, while with six minutes to Lewin had a try and forced Bowen into another diving save.
The strength and experience of the Senior players was the key factor, but the Juniors kept trying to the final whistle.
They play each other at Borrowash next Monday too, but before then the Seniors visit Rushall Olympic on Thursday.
Mickleover Reds Go Down In Table Topping Duel
by Peter Scherer
Mickleover Reds, the second year Academy team, arrived at Stafford Rangers, undefeated without having conceded a goal.
In this table topping encounter the opening 15 minutes gave an indication of the task ahead.
There had been no early attempts on goal from either side, but after 14 minutes Stafford won a free kick, which was fired well over the bar.
Only a minute later there was another attack from Stafford, after they collected a poor kick from Mickleover goalkeeper Tom Smith.
Mickleover’s first real attack soon followed, when Josh Satchwell, playing at the back, combined well with Brodie Carter to win a corner.
Stafford’s leading scorer Jayden Hunter had already been a tough opponent and kept Satchwell and Cameron Anthony on their toes in the centre of the Mickleover defence, earning a corner which went to waste, after 19 minutes.
Much of Mickleover’s play seemed to stem from Satchwell, but after Stafford made a break on goal, Smith came hurtling out and fouled the home striker, earning himself a yellow card.
Ben Lewin and Will Robinson both worked hard on the overlap, but the final ball continued to fall short of the Mickleover strikers, amidst a flurry of hard tackling from both sides.
Hunter had a shot across the face of the goal after 34 minutes, before Carter responded with a shot just wide, earning a corner, but the closest yet for Mickleover.
It could easily have been 1-0 for Mickleover three minutes later, when George Atwal crossed and Kai Moore just failed to connect.
Although Louis Pennington and Ted Stevenson continued to push forward, Stafford were threatening still too.
Hunter collected the ball off the back of Satchwell’s head, before Smith safely collected it.
In the closing minutes of the first half, Pennington was fouled , but Atwal’s shot cannoned into the wall and away. Stevenson then had a good clean shot, forcing the Stafford keeper into a diving save.
There had been few clear cut chances for either side in the first 45 minutes, but unusually there was a lack of precision and ideas from the Mickleover side, earning them a stern talking too from coach Pablo Mills.
The second half started with promise, when after 49 minutes Robinson shot down the wing, whipped passed the approaching Stafford keeper and put a challenging ball into the box at Moore’s feet. But unfortunately he failed to connect.
Jacob Edge-Lucas came into the game more and some of his creativity seemed to help Mickleover push forward. He led a break after a Stafford free kick, which gave Carter a half chance.
Five minutes later Mickleover rued their missed chances, when after holding off Pennington’s challenge, Hunter fired a missile of a shot into Smith’s top left hand corner 0-1.
Hunter was set on goal again on the hour, but his weak shot was easily blocked by Smith. There seemed far too many free kicks given by the Mickleover team, but after Kyran Ward had come on, he combined with Edge-Lucas with a sniff of an equaliser.
Any hopes of pulling the game back were dashed however, when in the 75th minute Hunter rounded Anthony to turn the ball into the area, before a fellow Stafford striker hit the ball home from close range, 0-2.
Fin Barker came on for Mickleover, just before Ward had a clash of heads with a home defender. Both players required treatment before the game continued.
Barker pushed hard to create space, but was fouled three times in one run. Edge-Lucas then had a shot blocked by the keepers feet and then in the closing minutes, Pennington layed the ball back just falling short of Brodie’s run.
With the whistle already being raised, Edge-Lucas was fouled on the edge of the box, but Pennington’s free kick sailed high and wide and it was game over.
Academy Reds Continue To Dominate
by Peter Scherer
The Mickleover FC Academy Red squad continued their dominant start to the season with another 4-0 win against Belper Town in the ESPFA Midlands Division.
Coach Pablo Mills’ starting line-up was 1-Tom Smith 2-Ben Lewin 3-Wiliam Robinson 4-Louis Pennington 5-Cameron Anthony 6-Pat Pugh 7-George Atwal 8-Jacob Edge-Lucas 9-Kai Moore 10-Bobby Battisson 11-Josh Satchwell. Subs: Kyran Ward, Ted Stevenson, Niall Cole, Brodie Carter, Fin Barker, Sam Pipes.
Having beaten Belper 9-0 way a few weeks back, another high scoring game was anticipated.
The Mickleover team soon started to take charge, with Battisson the first to threaten after Belper lost possession in the fourth minute, his shot earning the first corner.
A minute later he was through again, firing his shot just wide of the right hand post.
Once the team had begun to settle, wing backs Robinson and Lewin began to enjoy plenty of freedom for long runs, and in the eighth Robinson put a shot just wide too.
But Belper had an early chance too when a rare mistake in the Mickleover defence, left a visiting striker with a clear shot just over the bar.
Battisson continued to cause problems in the Belper area and almost latched onto a long ball from Satchwell 13 minutes in.
But only a minute later another good through ball pierced the visiting defence, with Moore collecting and burying it in the left hand corner of the Belper net, 1-0.
They could easily have followed with a second almost immediately, Battisson cut inside to find Edge-Lucas who shot just wide.
The attacks continued to come thick and fast, with Pugh and Anthony marshalling the build up from central defence.
Battisson won a free kick on the outside of the box after 17 minutes, Atwal delivered, but the follow up was in the net but declared offside.
Soon after a Lewin corner caused havoc in the box, and Belper had to clear off the line.
It only seemed like a matter of time before a second goal and after Battison had another 23rd minute run stopped by the keeper, Moore got his second to make it 2-0 in the 26th minute. Belper had lost the ball on the halfway line and Satchwell’s interception provided the telling pass, before being brought down himself, which left Moore clear.
As the half hour was completed Battisson was still trying to get on the scoresheet, but had his shot saved again three minutes later.
Robinson managed to put another cross in across the face of the goal, but neither Moore nor Battisson could connect. But they followed up again almost immediately with Battisson taking a long ball from Satchwell, before the Belper keeper dived at his feet.
Another Satchwell cross then saw Battisson fail with his overhead attempt and after Moore turned the Belper wing back, Lewin had a shot tipped out for a corner.
Mickleover had only made one change in the first half, when Stevenson came on after Pennington took a knock.
It was Carter leading the Mickleover attack for the second half, but after an early corner for the home side, Belper got another good shot in just over Smith’s bar.
The shots began to reign in on the Belper even more, with Stevenson going close in the 54th minute. Five minutes later Lewin continued a run from his own half, only to have his final shot well saved.
But goal number three soon arrived, with Satchwell pushed off the ball in the area, the referee awarded a penalty.
Carter’s initial save brought out another fine save from the keeper, but the rebound fell straight to the Mickleover striker, who made no mistake with his second attempt, 3-0 on the hour.
There could have been a second for Carter only three minutes later, but his shot was easily saved, before Satchwell then had a go, only for the Belper keeper to whisk it off his foot.
Carter had another chance in the 73rd minute, but failed to connect properly and fell over.
There was no respite for Belper however as Carter made it 4-0 in the closing minutes and subs Cole and Pipes both had good chances foiled by the Belper keeper.
So the team remain unbeaten after three games, with a +19 goal difference, having yet to concede a goal. Next Thursday they are in action again, with a visit to Carlton.
Academy Hit Carlton For Six
by Peter Scherer
It’s been a few weeks since the Mickleover FC Academy Reds had their one and only match this season, a 9-0 win at Belper Town.
But with the home pitch unavailable, they were forced to switch this weeks game against Carlton Town to the Derby racecourse.
Carlton had suffered defeat against Rushall Olympic in their only game so far, and were soon on the receiving end of the Mickleover fire power.
Josh Satchwell opened the scoring from a set piece,” that was particularly pleasing as we had worked on it in training,” said coach Pablo Mills.
Jacob Edge-Lucas and Brodie Carter added to the tally, to make it 3-0 at half-time, but there was soon more of the same in the second half.
Carter and Edge-Lucas each netted for a second time before Fin Barker concluded the 6-0 victory.
“All the goals were good team goals, we played some good football particularly with Bobby Battisson, Louis Pennington and Jacob Edge-Lucas,” Mills added.
It was a fairly lonely game for keeper Tom Smith, “I think he had two saves, but was the vocal point for many of our attacks, as they originated from him,”said Mills.
So the record now reads played two, won two, goals for 15 and against NIL. “They must have a good coach,” Mills concluded.
Their next game is due to be at home next Thursday with a return game against Belper Town, before they face Carlton away on December 17th.
REDS PUT NINE PAST BELPER TOWN
by Peter Scherer
Mickleover Academy’s second year students played their first match of the season last Thursday lunchtime, away to Belper Town.
Belper had lost to our First Year Black line-up last week, so victory was expected.
Bobby Battison scored three of the goals, and Brodie Carter was on the score twice too. Kai Moore, Ted Stevenson and Fin Barker also found the back of the net, with an own goal making it a resounding 9-0 victory!!