South Normanton 1-2 The Mikes
By The Mikes
Another win for below par Mikes.
Boldmere made hard work of defeating the lowly Shiners, an excellent first half performance followed by a decidedly indifferent display after the break. The Mikes were without Owen Parry (working) and Craig Milligan (suspended). Youngster Luke McGinnell came in at right back; Jack Skinner started; and Jack Burgess and Kyle Byrne were included on the bench.
Winning the toss, the Mikes decided to play down the slope, and started strongly, Rikardo Reid almost scoring after home keeper Curtis Hall made a hash of a clearance after only two minutes. Four minutes later, Luke Shearer did well to keep the ball in play as it neared the goal line, his excellent centre headed powerfully home by Rikardo Reid. Martin Smythe was just over the bar from a Normanton corner two minutes later, but the early period belonged to the visitors. After another foray saw Reid push a shot across the goal mouth, our hosts came into the contest, Dylan Garnett steaming into the box, only to be denied by a well-judged Lewis Fenney block, perpetual danger man John King stopped by a fine interception from Reece Mitchell. The Mikes were continually feeding the ball out to Luke Shearer, and things were developing into a decent game when temperament took a hand. As the half hour approached, the lines lady’s flag went up: she’d seen something. After consultation with the referee, the red card was administered to the Shiners’ striker, Kevin Hemagou, for kicking out after a tackle. One hopes the referee will send in a full report on this gentleman: not only did he return to the pitch to make remonstrations, but also mouthed off at the officials at half time.
After this incident, Sensible Septuagenarians were shouting at the Mikes to settle down and concentrate on the game. Alas, it is of the essence of youth to ignore the elderly, and straight away Jack Skinner was in trouble for pushing an opponent after a rash challenge. Bated breath was held by Mikes supporters as our referee once again consulted an assistant. Relief was evident when only a yellow card was produced, and the words ‘lucky boy’ were to be heard. Ten minutes later, it should have been game over, as once again Shearer got a cross over from the left. This time Skinner, who’d combined cleverly with the winger, was there to finish things with some neat footwork and a second Boldmere goal. In the eight minutes remaining of the first period, the gap between the teams could easily have widened. The offside flag denied the Mikes twice whilst Ben Usher-Shipway poked wide from five yards; and Skinner belted one over the top from twenty yards. Skinner also had a goal chalked off after turning home an Usher-Shipway cross. A two-goal lead at the break reflected the half and with the home side reduced in numbers a decisive win looked on the cards. It was not to be! Throughout proceedings, a fitful wind came and went; a soft surface was cutting up, particularly in the bottom right hand corner; and a greasy ball didn’t help matters either. The homesters, perhaps more used to their park, had the better of the second half, despite being a man short. The Mikes were repeatedly on the back foot as the Shiners won more ball in the air, and Boldmere passes kept going astray. Steve Simpson came on for Jack Skinner with half an hour to go; but with sixty-five minutes on the clock, the nippy Dylan Garnett drove through the visitors’ back line to steer the ball past Fenney and halve the arrears. A minute later, Smythe nearly equalised, and Boldmere looked to be rocking. The bulky forms of Luke Crosby and Ross Haig were introduced, as Normanton pressed forward. As the minutes ticked away, yellow cards were awarded to Joe Lyng and Ryan Shaw. The offside trap came to Boldmere’s aid right on time, as the flag went up for the totally unmarked Haig. The Mikes had won 2-1 away for the second time in a week; but the performance wasn’t anywhere near as convincing as it had been five days earlier.
The Mikes: Lewis Fenney; Luke McGinnell; Reece Mitchell; Cameron Gayle; Harry Craven; Joe Lyng; Ben Usher-Shipway; Ryan Shaw; Rikardo Reid; Jack Skinner (Steve Simpson 60); Luke Skinner (Kyle Byrne 87). Subs. not used: Brandon Williams; J’Cee Abraham; Jack Burgess.