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AFC Telford Vs Mickleover

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AFC Telford

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Mickleover
Mickleover

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"Bucks face Mickleover in playoff semi final"

Match Date : May 1st, 2024 7:45 pm
Competition : Southern League Premier Central- Play Off Semi Final
Ground : New Bucks Head
Kick Off : 19:45


The Bucks face Mickleover in the playoff semi final on Wednesday night.

Having spent almost the entire season in the top three, Sports ultimately finished the campaign in 5th after they were dealt a 12-point penalty for fielding an ineligible player. Goalkeeper Lewis Ridd joined Sports on loan from Derby in January, but a clerical error when extending the loan meant that Ridd played seven times when not technically registered for Mickelover.

That points deduction saw the Derbyshire side plunged into a scrap for a playoff place on the final day of the season. But a convincing 3-0 win over fellow promotion hopefuls Stamford saw Sports do enough to hang on to 5th place.

Manager John McGrath would likely not have foreseen the final day scramble after his side opened the season with 11 league wins in a row. Without the points deduction, Sports would have finished one point behind the Bucks and a sizeable ten points in front of Leamington. Mickleover, then, are clearly one of the league’s best sides, and Wednesday’s semi final is effectively 2nd versus 3rd.

The stats also bear out that there isn’t much between the two teams. Mickleover had the league’s 3rd-best attack (77 for) and 4th-best defence (43 against), but the Bucks have the division’s joint 2nd-best defence (34 against) and ended up as the 5th-highest scorers. Both sides finished the season in good form too. Mickleover ended the campaign with 34 points from the last fifteen games, while the Bucks picked up 38 points in that time.

It’s perhaps of little surprise that the fixtures between the two teams this season were both tight affairs. Mickleover won 2-1 at the New Bucks Head in September, while Kevin Wilkin’s men ran out 1-0 winners in Derbyshire in January.

The Bucks will have to keep a close eye on Sports’ many dangerous attackers. Main goalgetter Oliver Greaves bagged 18 league goals, while Andy Dales, Stuart Beavon and Marcus Barnes have all made significant contributions throughout the season. Recent arrival Tyrell Waite has also made his mark up front, while further February signings in the shape of centre backs Kyle Rowley (Barwell) and Will Tamen (on loan from Derby) have bolstered Sports’ defence. Former Buck Ryan Wilson skippers the side.

If Sports weren’t already up for the game, they will likely be going all out for manager John McGrath who has announced that will be stepping down after the playoffs having spent eight years with the club.

But the Bucks head into the game on the back of six straight wins and will be buoyed by the fact that they lost the fewest games in during the regular season (6). What’s more, Mickleover tended to perform better at home than on the road (46 points at home, 35 points away). If Wilkin’s men can find another win on Wednesday, the Bucks will progress to Monday’s playoff final.


MATCHDAY INFORMATION

You can purchase tickets online in advance. Please see the most recent Bucks Bulletin for more details.

AFC Telford Vs Mickleover

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