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The Mikes - Match centre

The Mikes
Stourport Swifts
Sat 23 Mar 15:00 - League Full time Attendance 135

The Mikes 2-4 Stourport Swifts

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Chances spurned and points lost.

The Mikes returned to Church Road after three consecutive away wins looking to consolidate a high league placing. The Swifts may have had other ideas but having taken a pounding in the first twenty minutes they survived to take a single goal interval lead and later turned a deficit into an away victory courtesy of two late goals, there was just one change in the Boldmere line-up Brandon Williams being recalled to replace the suspended Cameron Gayle. This result was not on Boldmere’s agenda and neither should it have been.
Little was seen of the visitors as Boldmere pressed hard from both flanks but leading scorer Rikardo Reid was unable to convert two early chances that came his way. He did cut in from the left midway through the half but a fine curling effort went wide of the far upright with Dominic Richards well beaten. Owen Parry had hit the bar and Joe Lyng headed over from a free kick prior to that effort. As half time approached with a blank scoresheet looking likely Stourport were gifted the chance to take the lead. A poor clearance from the otherwise excellent Reece Mitchell led to a quick break into the box by Drew Canavan, Lyng lunged in unnecessarily to concede a penalty and Canavan himself sent Lewis Fenney the wrong way from the spot. A Ben Usher-Shipway cross eluded everybody as an immediate Mikes response sought an equaliser. Over the half time interval even the Stourport officials suggested they should have been at least 4-1 down at this stage.
Thoughts that an interval dressing down would spark a revival seemed remote as Stourport opened on the front foot and Fenney had to be at his best to keep out a Lewis Clarke effort and prevent a greater deficit. This seemed to shock the Mikes into action and within minutes of each other Reid and Luke Shearer had put Boldmere in front. Williams and Usher-Shipway combined down the right with the latter easing past Lewis Platt to set up Reid for a tap in at the far post whilst minutes later Shearer burst clear of the Swifts central defenders and beat Richards with a fierce left foot shot. This should have been the impetus to garner further points but Stourport had other ideas; Mark Danks brought the best out of Fenney whilst Harry Craven bundled a cross from the same player away for a corner as Nick McPherson threatened. It was merely a temporary saving moment as the corner by Martin Sleven was flicked home at the near post by McPherson catching the Mikes defenders on the back foot. The Mikes response was good but the finishing did not match; Jack Skinner, twice, Shearer and Craven all had efforts blocked but it still looked as though there was only one likely winner. It was not to be. A Mitchell free kick almost on the goal line after a half hearted penalty shout for a foul on Skinner saw Matt Fulloway head well clear, Platt picked up the ball with Mikes players trailing in his wake, three other players were involved before Elliott Lees tested Fenney, who did well to save but the rebound was tucked home by fellow substitute Joe Billingham to put his side in front. Worse was to follow Joe Hanson and McPherson combined to set up R’Mar Murray to net a fourth and celebrated by a sequence of acrobatics.
This result, whilst hard to believe, given the ninety minutes witnessed did not affect the Mikes sixth position in the league. What it did do was highlight collective defensive deficiencies that have probably been the reason for not competing in the higher echelons of the league table throughout the season. It was a major disappointment given the away successes of March and will surely have frustrated the management team. Ah well there’s always next week.
The Mikes: Lewis Fenney, Brandon Williams (Steve Simpson 87), Reece Mitchell, Owen Parry, Harry Craven, Joe Lyng, Ben Usher- Shipway, Ryan Shaw, Rikardo Reid, Jack Skinner, Luke Shearer. Subs not used: Luke McGinnell, J’Cee Abraham, Jack Burgess, Kyle Byrne.

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