Three Goal Finale Seals Play-Off Place

by Peter Scherer (Images: Steve Ingers)

Saturday’s final league game of the season at home to Stamford made sure of fifth place in the final league table and with it a play-off place too.

Starting line-up: 1-Yusuf Mersin 2-Ethan Mann 3-Ryan Wilson 4-Will Atkinson 5-Kyle Rowley 6-Will Tamen 7-Marcus Barnes 8-Dan Bradley 9-Tyrell Waite 10-Ben Sault 11-Will Trueman. Subs: Stuart Beavon, Andy Dales, Oli Greaves, Ethan Fitzhugh, Rhys Dolan.

Mickleover keeper Mersin was soon in action as play got underway, making a diving save to his left  after Duffy fired goalwards following a run in the second minute.

Only five minutes later the ball was firmly back in Sports court, as Bradley set up Barnes on the edge of the box, he turned his defender to make space and fired home a cracking 15 yarder to make it 1-0.

Barnes tested the defence again after 15 minutes, his telling charge almost put Waite in the clear, but keeper Duggan came racing off his line and just managed to intercept.

Duggan and Waite went head-to-head again in the 24th minute. The Mickleover striker had rounded the Stamford keeper, but was fouled on the edge of the box. Duggan was yellow carded, but lucky not to see red.

With Rowley and Tamen solid in the middle of the Sports defence, Mann had extra freedom to attack from right back. His 33rd minute cross from the right, was met, before the final strike went over the bar.

With Bradley and Atkinson on more defensive midfield duties. The pace of Sault and Trueman continued to test the visitors defence.

41 minutes in and Sault battled through to find Waite in the box, but his shot was just wide gain, but Stamford went close too with two minutes of the second half left, after a low cross was deflected onto the post, before earning a corner.

Stamford started the second half on the attack and a Duffy flick allowed Chitiza to send in a volley, well saved  by Mersin after a scramble in the Mickleover box.

Mersin was on form again with a great save after 53 minutes, before play went straight to the other end, as Mann tested Duggan too.

As the hour mark approached, Dolan replaced Bradley, but barely had play restarted when a Sault cross was flicked on by Waite, to find Trueman unmarked to make it 2-0.

The attacks continued to flow and it was only nine minutes before Sports added a third. With Dolan out wide on wing, he played the ball into the path of another Sault charge, to leave little chance for Duggan, making it 3-0.

Fitzhugh and Beavon came on for Trueman and Barnes in the last 15 minutes and with seven minutes left, Fitzhugh shot just wide and so it remained a fairly comfortable 3-0 victory.


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