Hednesford Town make their first visit to Mickleover in four years on Saturday afternoon for their first away game of the Southern League Premier Central season.
Our last two visits to Mickleover in September 2017 and 2018 have seen the Pitmen come away with 0-1 and 0-5 defeats in the Northern Premier League. The Pitmen were then moved laterally to the Southern League Central at the beginning of the 2019/20 season and Mickleover were switched during the summer of this year.
The club were named Mickleover Sports when we last played them but in 2020 it was decided that the club would drop the “Sports” and club secretary Tony Shaw said: “The football club has changed its name to Mickleover FC, as it was felt that many locals associated the club as a general sports club or even a private club. But by changing the name we are hoping to widen our audience to the whole of the local area, appealing specifically to football enthusiasts”. The club’s attendances have increased by 73% and they have also laid a new 3G pitch since we last played there.
Mickleover’s new signings over the summer have been striker Elliott Reeves from Alfreton Town, midfielders Marcus Marshall from AFC Telford United and Callum Chettle from Basford United, as well as trialist Jordan Mbakop Fankwe.
Mickleover’s pre-season campaign includes wins over Clipstone (8-0), a Burton Albion XI (3-0), Derby County Academy (4-0) and Gresley Rovers (2-0) as well as a 1-1 draw with Hanley Town and a 5-2 defeat against Long Eaton United.
Mickleover played their first ever game in the Southern League Premier Central last Saturday with a 2-2 draw against King’s Langley with goals from Elliott Reeves and James Butler. The club is managed by John McGrath, a former midfielder who spent most of his career at Burton Albion and was a key figure during their rise through the leagues. He was a player at Mickleover before taking over as player-manager in April 2016 making him one of the longest serving managers in Non-League football.
This should be an interesting game as the two clubs play each other again after such a long gap and with both teams looking for their first win of the season it really should be an exciting encounter.
Mickleover Football Club
Don Amott Arena