The Mikes 0-6 Westfields
Lacklustre Mikes given a thrashing
Boldmere were brought down to earth following good results against Ilkeston Town and Walsall, suffering a humiliating home defeat against a Herefordshire side who more than exacted revenge for a 1-2 home defeat just weeks previously. Looking at the Team Sheet beforehand, the visitors were fielding a stronger team than they had when the Mikes visited them shortly before Christmas: The Mikes, meanwhile, seemed to be almost at strength, the only absentee being Reece Mitchell. Was Reece’s absence going to make a difference? Time would tell.
The Fields started on the front foot, doing most of the attacking, and the game’s early pattern made one wonder whether our recent contest against Ilkeston would repeat itself - Boldmere doing more of the defending, but creating just as good scoring chances. As it was, Lewis Fenney palmed away a twenty yarder on three minutes, and smothered an effort from Jamie Molyneux a minute later. Next, Joe Lyng picked up his ‘usual ‘booking after clobbering Keanu Cooper: the omens weren’t good. Boldmere came into the game, a Lyng header being headed off the line from a corner, a similar fate befalling two shots following a Ben Usher-Shipway run. Ryan Shaw was the next man in the book, with 23 minutes gone. Westfields were still looking the better team, and with 24 minutes on the clock opened the scoring, Aidan Thomas hammering home a cross from the left. A further yellow card followed immediately, this time for Westfield’s Ben Miller, for a foul on Ben Usher-Shipway. Both keepers were in action throughout the rest of the half, Fenney pushing a John Mills header over his right-hand top corner. Mills had to go off with resultant nose bleed, and a moment of comedy followed as the visiting contingent howled at our referee, Richard Watson, to allow him back on the pitch. Richard works for our County F.A., and knows what’s what: the game continued for some time, whereafter Mills’ nose (and shirt) were checked for excess blood. At 0-1 down, the Mikes were still in the match, and the turning point came when we were all awaiting the half time whistle. Ben Miller took a lob from outside the box, and everyone’s body language told you “That’s sailing over the top.” It didn’t, and our guests went in two ahead.
Things got no better after the restart. Passing crisply and accurately, Westfields looked a well-rehearsed outfit, continually spelling danger when coming down their right. Were we missing Reece Mitchell? Repeated saves by Fenney kept Boldmere within distance, but the dam eventually broke eleven minutes into the second period, Jamie Molyneux converting after the visitors had virtually walked through the home defence. The Mikes were suffering a crisis of confidence now, Luke Shearer replacing Steve Simpson as they tried to make progress down the left against the solid Sam Gwynne. Boldmere’s mid field were finding it hard to stamp any authority on proceedings, and passes increasingly went astray (comment from the Stand- “they couldn’t pass wind today “) as the opposition’s rearguard continually telegraphed their intentions. Fenney continued to defy and deflect what was thrown at him; but from another misdirected ball Westfields worked the ball efficiently forward, and John Mills was one of a number of forwards in a position to put number four away, on 70 minutes. Four minutes later, defender Sam Rawlings weighed in with number five. Ironically, this heralded the Mikes’ best period of play, as they gamely struggled to retrieve something from the game. Joe Lyng was just over with a header; another Lyng fizzer hit the post; a great effort from Craig Milligan, who’d come on for Ryan Shaw, thumped the bar: the thing just wouldn’t go in! Late pressure left the hosts vulnerable at the back, and Boldmere’s misery was compounded right on time, when a slick move capitalised on yet another poor pass, and John Mills notched Westfields’ sixth.
Can anyone remember seeing Boldmere beaten by such a margin? One can only hope they’ll pick themselves up and learn from this: a stranger to Church Road, chatting in the bar afterwards, reckoned they’re “only one player short of being a really good team “. If that’s so, let’s hope they’ll stick together, improve together, and move on to better things.
Team: Lewis Fenney; Brandon Williams; Alister Brauns; Rico Taylor; Harry Craven; Joe Lyng; Ben Usher-Shipway (Craig Milligan 78); Ryan Shaw (Owen Parry 76); Rikardo Reid; Jack Skinner; Steve Simpson (Luke Shearer 55). Subs. not used: Cameron Day; Cameron Gayle.