The Mikes 1-0 Coleshill Town
By The Mikes
The Mikes made it a weekend double with a gritty performance against Coleshill Town, defending superbly against the visitors second half onslaught.
Manager Stuart Grosvenor freshened up the starting line up by making seven changes, clearly aware of the nature of the hard fought win at Shepshed 48 hours earlier and the sweltering conditions at a sun-drenched Trevor Brown Memorial Ground. The healthy Bank Holiday crowd was treated to an absorbing contest that was full of endeavour but lacking in killer instinct in the final third.
There was no sign of that as the game sprang into life in the third minute when Lee Osborne fired The Mikes into the lead. The pacey striker spun away from his marker on the edge of the box before drilling home a clinical angled drive across Hathaway into the bottom corner.
Minutes later Archer should have equalised but his attempted lob drifted wide. The rest of the half was characterised by both sides looking threatening in their approach play, but too often being let down by poor decision making in the final third and some wayward long range shooting. This left defences on top, with the keepers enjoying a quiet half.
After the break, The Mikes threatened early again as Hathaway dived full length to turn away Bannister's goal bound effort. The game then settled into a pattern of Town pressing and The Mikes defence soaking up the pressure without the visitors seriously threatening James Beeson's goal.
They did come close midway through the half when Leek cut inside Ricky Baker and his shot cannoned back off the post before striking the diving Beeson and bouncing wide. From the resultant corner, Hulin spooned an awkward effort goalwards, but the woodwork again came to The Mikes rescue as the ball bounced off to face of the bar almost in slow motion and the danger was cleared.
Play became stretched as The Mikes threatened on the break but their final ball was lacking. Town became more direct in their play, but the home defence were standing firm with Adam Wood and Joe Lyng dominating the aerial ball. The Mikes should have killed the game as they outnumbered Town on the break, but Hathaway got down smartly to deny Bannister.
As the clock ticked into stoppage time, The Mikes were grateful to James Beeson for two superb stops. Firstly, he produced a stunning one handed reaction save to deny a point blank Allen header from a corner, before sliding out to produce a key block after a neat one two had sliced open the home defence. The loose ball was fired goalwards, but there was Lewis Gorle on the line to scramble the ball away for a corner.
The Mikes successfully defended the kick and were mightily relieved to hear the final whistle, signalling their first clean sheet of the campaign and an excellent six point haul from two difficult fixtures over the weekend. Town will feel they deserved something from he game, but The Mikes produced a superb defensive display in the second half.
The Mikes: James Beeson, Lewis Gorle, Ricky Baker, Chris Neilson, Adam Wood, Will Perkins, Ryan Edmunds, Simeon Maye, Craig Bannister, Jason Holmes, Lee Osborne.
Subs: Adam Swain, Ross Clarke, Joe Lyng (Edmunds HT), Stuart Capaldi (Holmes 60), Mark Rose (Osborne 75).