by Peter Scherer
There was another disappointing one goal defeat for Mickleover as they travelled to Stratford Town.
Manager John McGrath made a number of changes to the side that lost to Alvechurch last Tuesday.
Starting line-up: 1- Jonathan Hedge 2-Ethan Mann 3-Rhys Dolan 5-James Butler 6-Phil Watt 7-Will Trueman 8-George Atwal 9-Marcus Marshall 10-Stuart Beavon 11-Oli Greaves 15-Ryan Wilson. Subs: Pablo Mills, Oliver Bosworth, Andy Dales, Mason Warren, Fin Ryder.
Stratford were straight into attack mode as the game kicked off, with both Callum Ebanks and Jamie Molyneux testing the Mickleover defence.
The pressure final told after 13 minutes when Dan Lafferty found Molyneux on the Mickleover left. He rounded the defence to find Kyle Bennett in the middle, who fired home the opening goal at his second attempt 0-1.
Sports were forced to make an early change when Dales came on for Dolan after 28 minutes. But Mickleover’s game of trying to play out from the back was frustrated by the home strike force, keeping most of the play in the Mickleover half.
Mickleover’s one real chance came after 36 minutes when Trueman fired over, while both Lafferty and Molyneux put shots over the bar for our hosts too.
The second half continued in a similar vain, but apart from a Charlie Williams shot wide for the hosts, neither keeper were troubled.
56 minutes in and Mickleover finally tested keeper Liam O’Brien, but it was slack defending four minutes later that allowed Greaves to break clear and hit the equaliser, 1-1.
Warren had replaced Beavon after 70 minutes, but the hosts continued to push forward, with Bennett having a shot cleared off the line.
Lafferty went close too with a header, which he followed up with another shot, before Ebanks connected with him again and this time it was the winning goal after 80 minutes. 1-2.