by Peter Scherer
Although Mickleover spent the last day of the season at the already relegated Bedford Town, many eyes were focused on Rushall Olympic’s game at Alvechurch who had edged us out of the final play-off place.
With no goals scored in the last 10 games, Bedford weren’t expected to cause Sports defence a lot of problems and an Elliott Reeves double helped Mickleover finish 3-0 winners.
Starting line-up: 1-Oliver Bosworth 2-Jake Bennett 3-Ryan Wilson 4-Ethan Mann 5-James Butler 6-Phil Watt 7-Andy Dales 8-Mitch Rose 9-Elliott Reeves 10-Mason Warren 11-Will Trueman. Subs: Stuart Beavon, Rhys Dolan, Marcus Marshall, Oli Greaves, Callum Chettle.
With Mickleover on top from the start, Reeves controlled a long ball over the defence, and fired just over after seven minutes.
But Bedford responded a couple of minutes later, with an effort just wide, from the edge of the box. But Sports had control with Warren, Rose, Mann and Trueman looking strong in the middle and Bennett, Butler, Watt and Wilson soild at the back.
Dales was next to try his luck for Sports, with a shot just wide of the left-hand post, before Trueman twisted to outfox his marker, but his attempt was just over the bar too.
Home keeper Duffy saved another Sports effort after 25 minutes, but the home side managed to respond with Lyon latching onto a break, but again the shot was just over the bar.
Just after the half hour Trueman was down injured and had to be replaced by Greaves. He had only been on the pitch for two minutes, when Reeves jinked past a defender and crossed to find him unmarked in the centre. Greaves responded with an easy tap in and it was 1-0 with 33 minutes gone.
Bedford did get the ball in the net three minutes later, but were ruled offside and then Duffy had to make another diving save from Dales.
But Bedford hadn’t given up and Furlong earned a corner after a good run had ended with save for Bosworth from his final shot.
So it was 1-0 at half time and could have been more, but there was another 45 minutes, which started with Dolan coming on for Rose.
Duffy made another save for our hosts after 51 minutes, when Butler had latched onto a corner at the far post, but a few minutes later there was more success for Sports with another corner.
Butler headed into the centre, where Reeves connected and put cleanly past the beaten keeper, 2-0 and 54 minutes down.
Lyon found Tomlinson for Bedford, but his angled shot was over the bar and then a free kick ended with a weak shot from Butterworth.
With nine minutes left Chettle replaced Greaves, but into injury time Reeves got Mickleover’s third and his second, after a telling run down the left to fire home in the bottom corner, 3-0.
It finished on a high for Mickleover, but with Rushall losing at Alvechurch we had secured sixth in the table, but missed a play-off place by just one point.
We will hopefully see you all in August and start all over again.