by Peter Scherer
Mickleover are up to ninth in the Southern Premier League Central Division, following their home win against Rushden & Diamonds.
Starting line-up: 1-Jonathan Hedge 2-Lucas Yeomans 3-Rhys Dolan 4-Ryan Wilson 5-Ethan Mann 6-Phil Watt 7-Andy Dales 8-Mason Warren 9-Stuart Beavon 10-Elliott Reeves 11-Oliver Greaves. Subs: Lekan Osideko, Pablo Mills, George Nunn, Mitchell Rose, James Butler.
Mickleover started the game strongly against a struggling Rushden side and had a free kick blocked after only three minutes, before a cross from the left was put just wide of the post.
It was almost the opening goal on eight minutes, when Dolan broke into the area, rounded visiting keeper Snedker, only for his shot to hit the post.
Beavon had an effort just wide after a good build up four minutes later and Snedker was in action again in the 23rd minute when Dales created his own space, fired in from just outside the box, with his shot tipped over by the keeper.
From the corner Hicks had to clear off the line for the visitors, from a Watt header, before Rushden had their first real break when Cooper tried a lob over Hedge, but it was just wide of the post.
The Rushden defence continued to be under almost constant pressure, with Reeves sending a header just wide after meeting a cross from the left on the half hour.
Greaves then hit the post after 36 minutes, the rebound shot was then wide, but deemed offside too.
Beavon had a header on target a few minutes later and with the half time whistle poised, a cross from the right just missed connecting with Reeves on the far post, with Snedker left flat footed, so it remained 0-0 as the whistle blew.
With the second half starting in a similar attacking vain for Mickleover, a shot off the post for a third time, was followed up with a power shot from Wilson just inside the near post to finally break the deadlock, 1-0 after 52 minutes.
Three minutes later Reeves almost got through from a Beavon flick into the box, before Hughes blocked twice for the visitors,and Snedker finally saved from Greaves shot, after an intense period of bombardment from the Sports attack.
Hughes was on hand to block again for the visitors, before Snedker parried away after 66 minutes, then six minutes later Dales cut in from the left to force another save from the busy Snedker.
Finally the second goal arrived in the 74th minute, when Dales attacked from the left, cut inside and clipped his shot past the keeper, with Greaves there to in case the ball needed a helping hand, 2-0.
Two subs had been made with Rose and Nunn on for Reeves and Warren, but with four minutes left it was third sub Osideko who got the ball into the box, but no one was on hand to receive it. It still could have been a third goal though when Snedker tipped a Dales free kick over the bar.
Rushden had a rare chance though in time added on, when Hedge parried a powerful shot from Agemoh-Davies, which was almost collected by Hicks.
So 2-0 was probably flattering as Mickleover could easily have had more, but three points were secured and we now look forward to the visit of Bromsgrove on Tuesday night.