Mickleover FC and Nantwich Town played out a goalless draw at the Don Amott Arena on a very wet Tuesday evening, as both sides failed to bounce back from their weekend losses.
The soaking wet conditions certainly played its part in a game of very few chances.
Mickleover's recently installed artificial pitch was very much put to test following hours of rain prior to kick off, the game would almost certainly have been called off if it was on grass.
The opening 15 minutes failed to provide any sort of excitement as both teams played the ball about to get a feel for the slippery surface.
Stuart Beavon forced the first save of the match just before the 20-minute mark; Andy Dales dispossessed Joel Stair before sprinting into the box and squaring it to Beavon with a backheel, Beavon’s curling effort was well saved down to his bottom left by Nantwich keeper Terry Cameron. Skipper James Butler then flicked a volley onto the post from the resulting corner.
In the 26th minute Ben Lewin whipped in a dangerous cross from the left, but it was well defended by Ben Harrison.
Nantwich should have been ahead in the 33rd minute after they hit Mickleover on the counter from a free kick following a Caspar Hughes block, Hughes then had the resulting shot after he was put through one on one, but his effort was straight at the onrushing Callum Hawkins.
The 41st minute saw the final half chance of the half for Sports after a Dales cross fell to Bacon at the far post but he was smothered by a defender and the keeper before he could get a shot away.
Mickleover nearly gifted The Dabbers the opening goal in the 52nd minute after a short back pass from Jake Bennett was intercepted by James Lawrie but he was too close to the keeper and Hawkins spared Bennett’s blushes.
Butler had a chance from a corner following a deflected shot by Dales after 54 minutes, but his header was sent well wide.
With 17 minutes to go Nantwich Town had a free kick that was lofted on to the head of Joel Stair who sent it across goal to Lawrie, but he failed to react in time, and he sent his own header over the goal.
Mickleover very nearly snatched it at the death after substitute Andrew Wright drifted in unmarked at the far post from a corner in the 87th minute but unfortunately for Sports he could only direct his header wide.
The game finished 0-0 and to be honest, you could tell there was going to be a lack of goals straight away and the tough conditions certainly had a say in proceedings.
Mickleover’s next match is in the FA cup against Basford United on Saturday at 3pm back at the Don Amott Arena, a victory would see them match their best ever run in the competition.
Q: What are your thoughts on the team's performance against Nantwich Town yesterday?
A: It was OK. On the back of a disappointing performance on Saturday so it was nice to get some points on the board, but we should have been looking at all three. We created some good chances but having 5 or 6 first team players out injured at the minute is kind of affecting the flow of things. It will be good to get them back and get to full strength.
Q: What more do you feel needed to be done to secure all three points?
A: We were very very good defensively and very good in midfield, it was just that cutting edge in the final third – the final pass, the final cross wasn’t quite there. We kind of let them off the hook really. We should have come away with all three points.
Q: How do you feel about the team's start to the season?
A: I’d like more points on the board of course but we’ve travelled away to some difficult opposition, so we are doing okay. Once we start getting some bodies back, we’ll be alright.
Q: How are you feeling ahead of the FA Cup game on Saturday?
A: I am really looking forward to it, it is a nice break from the league. FA Cup action is always special, it is the oldest cup competition in the world and it’s good for sides at our level to be involved with it. We will look to go as far as we can, but Basford are a good side but then so are we and we will give it our all on Saturday.
Mickleover: Hawkins, Bennett, Lewin, Bateman, Butler, Morris, Dales, Augustien [Wright, 73], Bacon [Satchwell, 82], Beavon, Battisson
Nantwich Town: Cameron, J.Stair, Bourne, Harrison [Hatton, 56], T.Stair [Montefiori, 65], Langley, Lawrie, Hughes, Sy, Cooke, Mwasile