Champions Mickleover Sports miss record but celebrate success CHAMPIONS Mickleover Sports may have been unable to get the victory from their final Evo-Stik First Division South match that would have taken them to 100 points – a league record – but that did nothing to dampen the celebrations after the draw with Sheffield. With more than 100 league goals scored, five players in the division’s team of the year and Liam Walshe and Andy Dales the league’s player of the year and young player of the year respectively, it was hardly surprising that a season’s best crowd of 375 turned out to watch at the Raygar Stadium. Before kick-off, there was a splendidly observed minute silence in memory of the Bradford City fire victims and BBC Radio Derby presenter Colin Bloomfield. While Mickleover had already clinched the title, Sheffield had nothing to play for, resulting in a rather tame affair. Gary Ricketts and Anthony Griffiths-Junior combined after 12 minutes but Kyle Bryant’s shot was narrowly wide of the mark and failed to trouble the keeper. Dales had a shot blocked after 38 minutes and when Ricketts played Demidh through moments later, the result was the same. Dwayne Wiley had a great chance to give the home team the lead after 52 minutes but his header from a Dales cross bounced up and over the bar. Both Ricketts and Walshe fired over as Sports built up momentum. They finally got their breakthrough on the hour as a Dales cross from the left wing was turned home at close range by Ricketts. Ricketts quickly turned from hero to villain as he blocked a goalbound shot at the other end of the park. A penalty was awarded for handball and Zepphaniah Thomas converted after 62 minutes. Substitute Ben Fairclough carved out a couple of decent opportunities before injuring himself and having to be replaced. Griffiths-Junior took up good positions in the closing stages, without troubling the keeper. The last word was with Sports keeper Ross Atkins, whose one-handed save in added time prevented the promotion celebrations from turning flat.
MICKLEOVER SPORTS: Atkins, Bryant, Palmer, Walshe, Wiley, Degirolamo, Dales, Lloyd (Foster, 72), Ricketts, Demidh (Fairclough, 45 (Hazel, 82)), Griffiths Junior. Other subs: Oshoboke, Bennett. SHEFFIELD FC: Eastwood, Walker, Whittaker, Knowles, Hadfield, Ross, Algar (Barnsley, 90+1), McGrath, Thomas, Purkiss (Fereday, 66), Gregory (Roney, 81). Other sub: Pemberton. REFEREE: D Middleton. ATTENDANCE: 375.