Shepshed Dynamo 4-0 The Mikes
Bad day at the office.
Boldmere, despite being at strength, (apart from Ben Usher-Shipway, still struggling with an injury) were as comprehensively beaten as the score would suggest, managing only two shots in the whole game. Six of their last eight games had been played on 3G pitches, and one wondered how they would fare on Shepshed’s notoriously heavy surface.
Dynamo’s long passing game was more suited to the conditions than the Mikes’ short passing style, and from word go the homesters put their guests under consistent pressure. Right winger Pearson Mwanyongo, who gave Reece Mitchell an interesting first half, left three defenders for dead with only four minutes gone, and fed the ball in to Matt Melbourne, who scored from close range.
The Mikes’ off side trap was working as efficiently as it has been of late, but offered little relief from Shepshed’s probing, Melbourne hitting the post from distance with thirteen minutes gone, a desperate tackle foiling Sam Moore as he followed up. Within a minute, two fine Lewis Fenney saves from corners kept Boldmere in touch. The turning point of the game as a whole, however, came two minutes later. Luke Shearer looked to be heavily fouled, his tackler ending up in a heap on the floor. No whistle went...no foul was awarded... but referee Ben Watkiss had no option but to send Shearer off when he kicked his opponent in retaliation. Revenge was now in the air, and Steve Simpson soon followed Shearer into the book - mercifully, only for a yellow card. Amid the flying studs, Boldmere were working hard to get a foothold in the game, Alister Brauns running tirelessly and covering acres of ground. More fouls were being given to them than against them; but time and again, their moves were being predicted, and intercepted, by their opponents. On the half hour, three corners conceded in a minute were followed by Fenney pushing a Moore effort round the post. It came as no surprise when Dynamo doubled their lead, Joe Lyng slicing into his own net as a mass of bodies scrimmaged around a corner kick. In these days of moulded footwear, the old adage “It’ll take a long stud” doubtless means nothing to our toreadors; but they would have been helped by such footwear as they stumbled across the greasy turf. Harry Craven was the third man into the book, on 38 minutes, after tripping Melbourne, who’d latched on to a sloppy pass across the back. Eight minutes before the break, the woodwork came to Boldmere’s rescue, as a twenty-five-yarder hit the post: almost immediately, a fine stop by Fenney denied Liam Hurst after an excellent run. Shepshed’s third goal came just before the break, Mwanyondo feeding Hurst to score from close in. The three goal deficit at the interval could easily have been doubled if it wasn’t for the efforts of Fenney and the second half could only be a pride salvaging operation if there wasn’t a drastic change to the exchanges.
Any flicker of hope was scuttled on the restart, the hill Boldmere had to climb becoming a mountain on 49 minutes, a Moore fizzer into the net from outside the box topping off more home attacking. The referee did his best to keep things flowing despite some physical stuff from both teams; but the red card was out again on 64 minutes, Cameron Day seeing a second yellow inside five minutes after showing obvious displeasure at a foul being given against him. The Shepshed Muppet Chorus was in full cry by now; but, unlike last year, the Mikes had more sense than to react to it. Both teams brought on a full complement of substitutes from the hour onwards. For Boldmere, Jack Skinner replaced Simpson, Cameron Gayle taking over from Rikardo Reid and Ryan Andrews coming on for Owen Parry four minutes later. From now on, all the Mikes could do was run and run and run, and to be fair to them, they did. Shepshed continued to make chances, three of them coming in as many minutes as the game entered its closing stages. Ironically, the nearest to a goal came from Boldmere in the final minute. It was a fine effort from Skinner whose shot on the run left Shepshed keeper Ganley stranded but just skimmed the bar. Apart from a couple of tame efforts this was the only time the home goal was threatened.
In all, a bad day at the office for the Mikes; but at least, with half an hour left, nine men denied their conquerors any further scoring.
The Mikes: Lewis Fenney; Cameron Day; Reece Mitchell; Alister Brauns; Harry Craven; Joe Lyng; Steve Simpson (Jack Skinner 67); Owen Parry (Ryan Andrews 72); Rikardo Reid (Cameron Gayle 69); Rico Taylor; Luke Shearer. Subs. not used: Brandon Williams; Harry Buttery.