Palmer Free Kick Seals the Deal

By Peter Scherer

Mickleover Reserves made it three successive wins, when they sealed a 1-0 victory against Mayfield, at the Ashbourne Recreation Ground.

Starting line-up: 1-Josh Maher 2-Mason Hoult 3-Zak Sandhu 4-Jared Cholerton 5-Pablo Mills 6-Joe Bateman 7-Bobby Battisson 8-Harry Atwal 9-Marcus Tudgay 10-Chris Palmer 11-Josh Powell. Subs: none.

With no subs on the bench Mickleover were down the bare 11 starters, tackling a muddy, bumpy pitch and strong gusting winds.

The first real attack came after three minutes, when Sports won a corner. But that was soon followed by a great run down the right from Hoult, who’s cross was met by Mills, who shot just inches over the bar.

Mayfield put a header over the bar too, following a corner10 minutes in. Although Mickleover had more skill, their opponents kept them under pressure, giving little roomand causing a number of passes to go astray.

Atwal was fouled but the 15th minute free kick came to nought and then two minutes later there was a half chance for the hosts, when a good cross from their left, was missed a by a striker on the edge of the box.

Mayfield had couple of corners which failed to create anything and then Mickleover earned one after 23 minutes, but Palmers follow up shot was blocked.

Before the half hour was reached, Tudgay had to go offwith his hamstring tightening again. Two games in a week is too much for me, he admitted. So, with no subs we were down to10 men for the rest of the game.

Powell tried a shot with the keeper already committed, but he still managed to block it and then Hoult had another cross from the right blocked to earn a corner.

With the kick headed clear for another corner, Bateman tried his luck, but that was blocked too.

Mayfield had a defender booked for sending a tackle straight through Atwal, who continued after treatment and then after 42 minutes Battisson had the first shot on target from either side, saved by the keeper.

Sandhu started to overlap more on the left too, with Cholerton and Bateman coping comfortably in defence. He earned a corner, but that was cleared too.

There were tentative appeals for a penalty when Palmer was pulled back in the box, but the half time whistle soon followed and it remained 0-0.

Mickleover started the stronger in the second half and after 49 minutes a lovely cross field ball from Atwal found Hoult on the right. He got his cross in, the keeper fumbled it, but Battisson was stuck in the mud and unable to connect.

But Mayfield went close too when a corner on the Mickleover right bounced off the bar after a rebound.

A second Mayfield defender was yellow carded for flattening Atwal again after 55 minutes and only a few minutes later he was hacked down yet again. With Atwalseeming to be the focus for all the Mayfield aggression, Mills exchanged words with the referee, who had failed to speak to the offender or give a free kick on this occasion.

The referee then decided to show some authority and sin binned Mills, rather than speaking to the guilty party.

So now it was a nineman team for Mickleover and Battisson was next to be fouled, Palmers free kick went straight to the keeper though.

But just after the hour mark Palmer was almost on the end of a nice chip from Battisson, but the keeper just got their first.

There were 20 minutes left on the clock when Mills returned, but soon after Atwal was fouled for the umpteenth time. This time Palmers free kick had the keeper beaten and just in case he was needed, Bateman was on the line to put it in too, 1-0.

There was new energy suddenly in the Mickleover legs and five minutes later Powell held the ball nicely, to lay it off for Mills, who shot just wide.

Mills went close again when casual defending let the ballloose to Atwal. The skipper made a break for goal, setting up Mills, but the keeper had it covered this time.

Six minutes to go and Mills had another shot just wide of the post, but the points were secure, as despite the odds it remained a 1-0 victory.

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