by Peter Scherer
Mickleover Reserves visited Pinxton for a friendly match and came away as 1-0 victors, after a second half goal from Pablo Mills.
There was an early chance for Mickleover when a good build up with Mills and Ben Lewin, led to Elijah Fatubarin shooting just wide.
Overall the first 10 minutes were fairly even, before Mils put a great ball through to Matt Feurtado, who couldn’t collect, before Ricky Ravenhill picked it up and Lewin shot wide.
As the attacks started to grow, Mills was through again before Fatubarin earned a corner, then Feurtado crossed before Fatubarin’s shot was saved.
Pinxton started to fight back and got a 14th minute break, which Pat Pugh dealt with comfortably.
15 mins in and Mickleover had a shot cleared off the line, when Feurtado’s shot had beaten the keeper.
With wing backs Lewin and Tom Eccleshall both working hard on the overlaps and John McGrath, Ravenhill and Lopes Massampo running midfield, Lewin’s 17th minute cross was met by Ravenhill, who attempted a half overhead kick.
Three minutes later Eccleshall’s cross found Feurtado, but his twist to turn and shoot didn’t work out.
Pinxton had another chance after 23 minutes, but the shot failed to trouble Mickleover keeper Ollie Staines.
Mickleover had done all but score in the first half hour, but Pinxton continued with random shots when the opportunity occurred.
McGrath was sent airborne after a heavy tackle, but Pinxton started to threaten a little more, creating more chances with a shot just over the bar.
Feurtado had a good chance with half time approaching, but wanted too much time on the ball and failed to get his shot in.
Pinxton had another shot high and wide and a nice ball through the middle from Pugh, just failed to find Mills.
Another weak effort from a Pinxton striker brought the half to an end, 0-0.
Mickleover had to replace Fatubarin with Keenan Barrett as the second half kicked off, but it was Pinxton with the first shot of the half, saved by Staines.
But sustained attacking from Mickleover soon followed, as Feurtado was through and Mills shot was blocked, then on 56 minutes Massampo and Keenan combined and were nearly through on goal.
McGrath put a tight cross right into the Pinxton area, which the keeper had to tip over and then on the hour Feurtado came off and Ash Elliott took over.
Keenan’s pace had started to cause problems and when he was fouled on the edge of the box, McGrath took the free kick, before a quick one two with Mills saw the shot well over.
Four minutes later Pinxton went close with a shot across the Mickleover goal, out for a corner, then Keenan was on the move again but his long ball was just too long for Massampo.
Staines had to earn his stripes with a point blank save after 68 minutes, as it was still a fairly even game, with Pugh and Jacob Ferdinand looking solid in the Mickleover defence.
But the dead lock was finally broken after 74 minutes. A big scramble in the Pinxton box resulted in the keeper chasing Elliott out of the area, almost wrestling for the ball. But it was still turned in with the keeper stranded. Mills fired it goal wards but it hit the underside of the bar, just crossing the line 1-0.
Mills then earned a break and was replaced by Kyran Ward, who was straight into the action, after a cross from Eccleshall was well met, earning a corner.
Pinxton continued to fight and when Ravenhill lost the ball, they broke for another shot, saved by Staines.
In the final 10 minutes McGrath had another good run down the right before being fouled, while goal scorer Mills returned to replace Ravenhill.
It could have been a second for Mickleover when a McGrath free kick, was met with an excellent header from Elliott, saved point blank by the Pinxton keeper.
Pinxton were down to 10 men however after one of their players received a second yellow card for renaming the referee!
In the closing minutes Ward went close with two attempts and Keenan tried his luck in the final minute.
A good all round challenging game, with an interesting mix of youth and experience in the Mickleover side.