It was time for the summer tinkering, wheeling and dealing, bleep tests and all that gubbins to be put to the test as 2017/2018 kicked off with the Fa Cup Extra Preliminary Round and the numbered balls in the velvet bag threw up a home tie with Loughborough University which, on paper at least was a tough looking tie when you consider type of player that full time training and educational qualifications will attract.
Having retained most of his first team squad from the end of last season Staveley manager Brett Marshall fielded just two of his summer signings in his first starting line of the season with Michael Collins making his debut in midfield following his switch from Armthorpe Welfare and former Matlock Town and Gainsborough Trinty goalkeeper Matty Leese between the sticks.
The visitors got the game underway but the Trojans in their Traditional blue and white striped shirts which this season are “sponsored” by the Alzheimer’s society set about their highly rated opponents.. pressing from Mickey Collins and Adam Colton forced Alex Dinsmore to look backwards and an under hit pass, back to central defender Jacob Croud allowed Tyla Bell to nip in and take control of the ball. The Trojans worked some nice possession which eventually fell to Josh Madin who whipped in a teasing cross from deep which bounced just in front and over Tyla Bell allowing the Scholars to clear and then… settle… pass it around a bit and force a few corners but nothing to unduly worry staveley who got back in numbers to snuff out the danger.
The first real chance fell Staveleys way and came following a low cross from the left from Callum Mawbey which was passed into the path of Kurtis Morley by visiting defender Jacob Croud. Morley shifted the ball from his right foot to his left to take it clear of covering defender Joel Bonner and shot for goal but Jake King dived to his left and saved.
Play then settled down for fifteen minutes or so with neither side really threatening to make any headway until a harmless punt forward was sliced high into the air by Josh Madin as he tried to clear. The bounce didn’t fall kindly for Madin and instead allowed Loughbouroghs number nine Joe Boachie to advance into the penalty area and his cross / shot was blocked by the hands of a recovering Madin and a penalty was given…which may have been slightly harsh in that the handball wasn’t deliberate but it definitely stopped a decent goalscoring chance falling into the “I’ve seen them given” category… Alex Dinsmore converted.
Staveley MW 0 – 1 Loughborough University
The visitors continued to play an attractive style of football but five minutes before the break they hit the self-destruct button that would ultimately prove their undoing… as Liam Nelthorpe was ducking under the railings to retrieve the ball for a throw in Christian Eneremadu struck out at Staveley’s right back and was given his marching orders by the referee.
HT: Staveley MW 0 – 1 Loughborough University
Its not always easy playing against ten men but the Trojans made a good start to the second half with Mickey Collins chipping a pass toward Kurtis Morley who got the better of Kumbirai Mutamba before turning to find Callum Mawbey, whose shot was deflected for a corner which unfortunately didn’t result in an equaliser.
On fifty three minutes Loughbroughs ‘keeper Jake King was bizarrely allowed to leave the field and disappear down the tunnel to the dressing rooms reappearing five minutes later with a new pair of gloves, which clearly weren’t as good as the previous pair because as soon as he returned to the action he flapped at a corner allowing Josh Madin to head back across goal where Tyla Bell was millimetres away from directing it towards the open goal…
He wasn’t to be denied though as ten minutes later Kurtis Morley caught Ben Last in possession with Ash Rawson pouncing on the loose ball to burst into the box and cut the ball back to Bell who from just inside the area swept the ball under Jake King.
Staveley MW 1 – 1 Loughborough University
The Trojans now had the momentum and created chances but to Loughborough’s credit even with a numerical disadvantage they continued to try and play and pass the ball, but they hadn’t reckoned with a determined Ash Rawson who with fifteen minutes to go wrestled possession back with a meaty challenge inside his own half then pinged a pass to Callum Mawbey who with a clean run to goal was bundled unceremoniously to the ground by Jacob Croud who was sent from the field of play for denying a goalscoring opportunity and as a result the visitors were down to nine.
To say Loughborough then reverted to just defending would do them a disservice as they still looked to keep possession and pass but with so few players they couldn’t mount anything of note and Staveley went to three at the back and pushed forward to press home their advantage to try and grab that all important winner and avoid a replay…which duly came in the last minute when a Ricky Hanson throw was flicked on by Callum Mawbey and Kurtis Morley stuck out a leg to send it past Jake King just as he was about to claim it.
FT:Staveley MW 2 – 1 Loughborough University
Team:1.Matty Leese.2.Liam Nelthorpe.3.Josh Barker.4.Ash Rawson.5.Josh Madin.6.Ricky Hanson.7.Adam Colton.(17.Joe Bayne).8.Mickey Collins.9.Kurtis Morley.(14.Lewis Naylor).10.Tyla Bell.11.Callum Mawbey
Not used:12.Matt Robinson.16.Joe Knowles
Man of the Match:Ash Rawson