Dales stunner not enough as Whitby come from behind against Mickleover

Andy Dales after a challenge from Whitby #5 (Picture credit: Gregg Harrison, Captured Moments Photography)

An early wonder goal from Andy Dales was not enough for Mickleover as Whitby Town came from behind to win 2-1 at the Don Amott Arena on Saturday.

The match could not have started off any better for Mickleover as, with barely 30 seconds on the clock, Jake Bennett went on a skilful run down the right side of the pitch before clipping the ball into Andy Dales who took an excellent first touch in the air and from just inside the box volleyed the ball perfectly over the keeper and into the top left corner.

Home fans and players alike went absolutely crazy at a goal Manchester United’s own number seven would be proud of.

Mickleover manager John McGrath said: “That is probably one of the best goals that I have ever seen live, to take the ball over his shoulder and control it how he did and then to volley it into the top corner in the way he did, it was a phenomenal finish.”

Nine minutes later and the home side were almost gifted a second when Whitby midfielder Priestley Griffiths messed up his clearance and the ball fell to Declan Bacon, but the Whitby man was able to recover in time.

One minute later Jameel Ible went close for Whitby with a long-range curling effort, but it floated just wide of the far corner.

The opening 20 minutes was relatively quiet for both sides with Mickleover’s centre-back pairing of Phil Watt and James Butler dominating in the air against Whitby’s long balls.

However, Phill Watt went down off the ball after 23 minutes and was forced off with injury. This led to Roger Lee being brought on in midfield and Joe Bateman dropping into centre-half.

John Mcgrath said: “The game changed when we had to take Phil Watts off and we had to push Joe Bateman back into centre-half. We missed Phil’s dominance at the back, but his injury also had the knock-on effect of losing Joe’s power in midfield. I think he’s shone in that role for us this season so was a big loss in there.”

Just before the half hour mark, Mickleover had a half chance after Alex Morris swung a cross in from the left but it was a difficult chance and Stuart Beavon could only manage to head wide.

Tempers then boiled over in the 33rd minute. After a couple of tasty challenges from Whitby Town right back Jameel Ible, Dales reacted angrily causing a melee involving nearly all 22 players right in front of the main stand. There was lots of pushing and shoving but nothing too serious and the referee dealt with it well. Whitby’s Ible and Lewis Ritson were both booked, as was James Butler of Mickleover. Dales was lucky to escape without punishment for his involvement in the incident.

Mickleover had two shots from distance go just over the crossbar right after the break from Bacon and Battisson respectively, before Callum Hawkins saved brilliantly from a header that was going straight into his top left corner leaving Whitby players with their heads in their hands.

The Seasiders equalised in the 68th minute after some good hold up play from former Mickleover striker Jacob Hazel, he flicked the ball over his head through to Marcus Giles whose powerful low effort squeezed through Hawkins’ hands.

Four minutes later, Hazel had a goal of his own after the ball fell to him in the box and he finished from close range.

Hazel should have made it 3-1 with 15 minutes to go after a cross from the right found him unmarked on the edge of the six-yard box but his header went over.

Whitby then did well seeing out the game for the next 15 minutes with Mickleover finding it hard to break them down, until the 90th minute when the ball fell to Andrew Wright on the edge of the box and his first time shot crashed against the crossbar.

That was the last chance in the match that finished 2-1 to the Seasiders. It was a very evenly contested game, and a draw would probably have been the fair result. It was very scrappy at times with the ball in the air for large parts of the game. Mickleover played well for the first 45 minutes and deserved to be in front but failed to see out the game in the second half and allowed Whitby back into it.

John McGrath said: “In the first 45 minutes we created enough chances to score three or four but like in any game of football, if you don’t take your chances you will always rue it as teams always get a couple of chances against you.”

He went on to say: “We can put things right on Tuesday. I’ve said to the boys to draw a line under the Whitby Town game, we look forward to Nantwich now and look to climb up the table. Nantwich will be a tough game; they are a good side. I’ve got full confidence in my boys to bounce back again.”

Mickleover host Nantwich town at the Don Amott arena at 7:45pm on Tuesday 14th September.

Attendance: 403

Mickleover: Hawkins, Bennett, Morris, Bateman, Butler, Watt [Lee, 24], Dales, Augustien [Wright, 83], Bacon, Beavon, Battisson [Satchwell, 73]

Whitby Town: Bland, Ible, Sukar, Griffiths, Ritson, Burn, McDonald [Dyer, 77], Hawkins, Hazel, Giles [Fewster, 81], Cook [Hackett, 70]

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