by Dave Mackenzie
This game was brought forward from Easter Monday so it gave us the chance to keep on playing, rather than another free Saturday.
Over the years Holbrook St Michael’s have provided stiff opposition and in the last encounter we exited the cup with a 2-1 defeat.
There was the desire to gain revenge from that setback but more important was the three points that would allow us to step over Pinxton and Blidworth who were both idle.
The starting line-up showed a couple of changes with a welcome back to Emilio De Abreu, Lopes Massampo and George Atwal, who has been performing well with the first team.
Line-up: Fin Bowen, Ben Lewin, Will Robinson and Sam Groves were the back line of defence. In midfield Lopes Massampo, George Atwal and Ben Horleston with Emilio De Abreu, Jude Ayetine and Fin Barker, whilst Tom Brear, Freddie Murphy and Devon Smith were on the sidelines itching to get involved.
It became evident from the first whistle that lessons had been learnt, with a high tempo press and calculated playing out from the back maintaining possession in good areas.
After a period of good pressure a corner was won on the right. A good quality delivery was partially cleared towards the back of the box where Emilio was lurking for such eventuality. He came on to the ball and struck a sweet right-footed volley into the corner of the net. The keeper never sniffed it!
It wasn’t long until a second was scored this time Fin Barker’s shot wasn’t the fiercest, but it still nestled in the corner of the net. 2-0 and Mickleover continued to press and create good chances.
The next goal came from a disputed corner that was cleared to the edge of the box where it was controlled and the Holbrook player got away a decent shot, which Fin Bowen had covered. But the ball bounced wickedly in front of him and ended up in the net. 2-1 at half time was good but on the balance of play it could have been better.
Holbrook came out in the second half raising their game and started to put the defence under pressure. But they were well marshalled by Will Robinson who was imperious in aerial duels along with Cam Anthony, whose tackling was spot on.
After overcoming the offensive Mickleover scored the important next goal. Jude Ayetine won a tackle in the Holbrook box and then finished with aplomb.
The fourth goal was an individual effort from Ben Horleston. He broke through the Holbrook high line just inside the Holbrook half and sprinted clear two touches and he was at the edge of the box with the keeper to beat. The third touch was a calculated pass into the corner giving the young keeper no chance. A goal greatly deserved by a young man whose hard work is paying off.
At 4-1 and with five minutes left Mickleover should have been on easy street, however they found themselves in error alley!
A corner was given away needlessly resulting in a free header 4-2. But that wasn’t all, a goal reminiscent of our late goal at Arnold in that a free-kick from about 33 yards evaded everyone and finished in the net! 4-3!
The watching Pinxton people would have been ecstatic, but good game management saw out the remaining couple of minutes. A good win but we could and should have done without the squeaky bum time!
NEXT GAME THIS TUESDAY, WHEN LINBY VISIT THE DON AMOTT ARENA AT 7.35.