Worcester City 1 The Mikes 2
By The Mikes
Mikes grind out another away day victory
Boldmere made it three away wins on the bounce recording a fine win against Worcester City and completing a double over the former big boys. If the winning goal was somewhat fortuitous it kept alive hopes of a top six finish in a match where high winds made it difficult for controlled football throughout. There was just one change to the Mikes line up from the victorious trip to Derbyshire a week previously; Owen Parry returned in midfield with Cameron Gayle dropping to right back in place of youngster Luke McGinnell. McGinnell took his place on the bench which was probably the youngest ever in the club’s history, Harry Buttery, Kyle Byrne, Steven Simpson and Jack Burgess making up the quintet.
Boldmere were defending against the strong wind in the first half and were soon put under pressure as the lively home side raided strongly prompted well from midfielders Chris Withington and Kaoui Attoumani. Despite having the lion’s share of the play Lewis Fenney was not seriously troubled as the conditions often led to the final ball going astray whilst the Mikes back four of Gayle, Harry Craven, Joe Lyng and Reece Mitchell were resolute when they needed to be. The Mikes gradually eased their way into the contest with both wingers Ben Usher-Shipway and Luke Shearer posing problems for the home rearguard with penetrative running. Both were involved in penalty area incidents within minutes of each other; Usher-Shipway was cleaned out by Liam Lockett for a stonewall penalty that was not given followed by Shearer tricking Levi Andoh into a mistimed tackle that looked far more innocuous but was rewarded with a spot kick as referee Lewis Mountain possibly rescinded his earlier mistake. After a few minutes delay Rikardo Reid, not for the first time this season, coolly despatched the penalty into the bottom right hand corner with Sam Gilder diving the other way. It was possibly against the run of play but City should have been level moments later, Craven kicked thin air in attempting to clear a right wing cross and the lurking Nyeko Sinclair fired against the crossbar much to the defender’s relief. It was just a temporary respite as two minutes later Withington seeing his first effort blocked by the effervescent Owen Parry hit the rebound past an unsighted Fenney to restore parity. Worcester then pressed hard and both Mitchell and Craven were booked for fouls as the visitors fought to stave off both the conditions and their revitalised opponents. These bookings led to two of several free-kicks just outside the box but not one threatened the goal. However, Fenney made one outstanding save tipping an Ethan Moran effort wide after the winger had timed his run superbly to get on the end of a fine through ball to leave the scores level at the break.
With the wind at their backs in the second half the hardy few Boldmere supporters were looking forward to extensive pressure at the expense of their hosts but this was not to be. City probed hard and Lyng joined his colleagues in referee Lewis Mountain’s notebook. In fairness Worcester also had several players admonished in a similar way either side of half time. The swirling wind continued to make it difficult for both sides but proved useful as the game entered the final quarter. A free kick awarded just inside the Boldmere half was taken by Parry and his kick sailed beyond the strangely advanced move of keeper Gilder and nestled in the back of the net to put the Mikes ahead. Minutes later Gayle was given a straight red card having clashed heavily with Withington although the decision looked harsh there was little protest from his colleagues. The free kick similar to many other previous home efforts proved harmless and was followed by a tactical substitution by manager Stuart Grosvenor. McGinnell came on at right back with Reid sacrificed as the Mikes looked to hold their slight advantage. Ryan Shaw and Jack Skinner came into their own during this period putting some dogged work in midfield whilst Simpson who replaced Shearer was tasked with hard running as the lone forward in the final ten minutes. Byrne replaced Usher-Shipway as the final minutes ticked away as the Mikes closed down another fine away victory.
This was no classic but given the conditions a classic was not expected. The win was founded on hard work throughout the ninety minutes and with five games at home in the last six provides a great opportunity to finish the season in the top six.
The Mikes: Lewis Fenney, Cameron Gayle, Reece Mitchell, Owen Parry, Harry Craven, Joe Lyng, Ben Usher- Shipway (Kyle Byrne 88), Ryan Shaw, Rikardo Reid (Luke McGinnell 75), Jack Skinner, Luke Shearer (Steve Simpson 82). Subs not used: Harry Buttery, Jack Burgess