Sports Soundly Beaten

by Peter Scherer (Images: Steve Ingers)

Mickleovers hopes of retaining second place in the Southern Premier League Central table took a huge blow, when they went down 1-3 at Stourbridge last Saturday.

Starting line-up: 1-Yusuf Mersin 2-Jake Bennett 3-Ryan Wilson 4-Dan Bradley 5-Kyle Rowley 6-Ethan Mann 7-Ethan Fitzhugh 8-Will Trueman 9-Tyrell Waite 10-Ben Sault 11-Olie Greaves. Subs: Stuart Beavon, Marcus Barnes, Will Tamen, Joe Bateman, Sam Tomlinson.

Stourbridge were off to a flying start and earned two early free kicks. The first after two minutes was headed over by Portman and five minutes later Daniels effort was well off target.

But the first real blow came only nine minutes in, when a cross from Bood found Daniels head, and the former Sports loanee placed it past Mersin to give the hosts an early lead 0-1.

There was an early substitution when Beavon replaced Bradley, Mickleover tried to fightback and saw a 13th minute effort over the bar after a one on one with the keeper. But the long ball out of defence was being affected by the strong winds and failed to trouble the home defence.

As the half hour approached Forde and Daniels had a neat on two as they took on the Mickleover defence and Forde managed to chip Mersin and made it 0-2 after 28 minutes.

Bateman had come on for the injured Sault, but Price made a great save to deny Mickleover 10 minutes later. After the follow up corner, Fitzhugh was on hand to pull one back 1-2.

There was a chance of an equaliser too with the half timewhistle poised, Greaves managed to latch on but his effort was over the bar and it remained 1-2.

There was another change in the line-up for the second half with Tamen on for Bateman, but although Mickleover tried to break into attack mode, Stourbridge continued to be in control.

Price held a 47th free kick, but then Mersin was in action at the other end, punching clear a Prosser effort following Fordes free kick.

Greaves and Fitzhugh continued to busy themselves, but Bavananga managed to block a tentative 52 minute break, before the hosts made a break for fired over the bar again.

Mersin pulled off another save from Fletcher after 64 minutes, but then Daniels and Ryley combined to set up Shambrook, who made it 1-3 for Stourbridge.

Daniels had another shot over the bar after 76 minutes, before Rowley needed attention after a collision with a Stourbridge striker,

Mersin was kept busy with further saves in the final minutes, but there was to be no fight back on this occasion.

The defeat leaves Mickleover just one point clear of Telford in second place, so its time to dig deep with two tough games over the next two weeks against fellow promotional hopefuls Stratford Town at home and Champions Needham Market away.


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