Red Card Seals Reserves Fate

by Peter Scherer

A good strong first half and half time lead came to nought as Mickleover Reserves visited Mansfield Hosiery Mills, aided by an appalling red card decision against striker Sam Tomlinson. 

Starting line-up: 1-Josh Maher 2-Mason Hoult 3-Brandon Ferron 4-Luis Mas-Hall 5-Jared Cholerton 6-Toby Smith 7-Josh Carter 8-Harry Atwal 9-Sam Tomlinson 10-Josh Powell 11-Mason Tudgay. Subs: Sam Johnson, Ellis King, Hayden Simpson.

The hosts were first to try a shot, firing just over the bar after three minutes. But five minutes later Mickleover were close to opening the scoring, when a good build up on the left between Ferron and Tudgay, found Tomlinson, whose shot hit the underside of the bar and bounced clear.

But Mansfield soon struck back with Maher having to save with his feet, after Hoult had been out muscled by a bulky striker.

The hosts tried another shot 16 minutes in, but Maher saved, before a follow up effort went wide.

Sports hit the bar again after 18 minutes, with an Atwal free kick after Tomlinson was fouled.

The pressure was beginning to build on the hosts goal and a lovely ball through the middle found Carter, but as he cut inside his path was blocked, but earned a corner.

Sports were outplaying Mansfield for skill, but the size and maturity of the hosts started to play a part too, with Mas-Hall hacked down on a run down the right.

On the half hour Mas-Hall had another cut in from the right, but just missed connecting with Tomlinson in the middle.

Five minutes later a poor clearance by the Mansfield keeper went straight to Tudgay. He found Tomlinson, whose strike was just over the bar again.

Sports quickly followed up with charge down the left from Ferron, before Tudgay shot over too.

The goal finally came after 39 minutes, with a lovely build up down the left. Tomlinson found the overlapping Ferron, who duelled with a defender on the by line. His cross came over to find Mas-Hall in space, and with time on his side he slotted into the far corner 1-0.

Ferron then had a long shot after 41 minutes, but the keeper held it, but Mansfield were still trying to break out, and couldn’t break down Smith and Cholerton in defence.

In time added on Mansfield had another shot wide of the left hand post, and Sports youngsters went in at half time with the upperhand.

Barely had the second half kicked off and the Mickleover defence disintegrated, as a cross from the right was met by an unchallenged striker, and it was 1-1 after 48 minutes.

Just seven minutes later and it was 1-2 to Mansfield with another striker virtually unchallenged in the centre.

Mickleover fought back with Carter sending a shot over the bar on the hour, before the referee turned the game in the hosts favour.

Tomlinson was battling to regain the ball against some robust defending. He made a challenge, which created a melee with two defenders, probably twice his age and size. The referee jumped in as the Mickleover teen was being physically threatened and unbelievably showed him a straight card.

Neither of the Mansfield perpetrator’s were even warned, never mind yellow carded, yet Tomlinson was dismissed for what at worst was a yellow card, but questionable to whether he had fouled at all.

Johnson then replaced Carter, but without the fire power at the front any comeback was virtually over, as the referee then brandished some random yellow cards to both sides, but the damage was already done by his earlier decision.

Mansfield had a wild shot after 69 minutes, miles off target and Mickleover earned a corner a minute later which came to nought. king came on for Powell for the final 15 minutes and Simpson for the final 10, but apart from a late diving header from Mansfield following another free kick, the game fizzled out to a scrappy finale.


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