There is plenty of reason for optimism in the East Midlands, particularly in Derbyshire where one club have made a remarkable start to their campaign.
It’s roughly a quarter of the way through the season for most teams. By now, we are able to gauge what teams will fancy their chances of promotion and what teams will be happy to survive. Mickleover certainly adheres to the former statement, winning all 11 games as they search for a historic promotion to the National League North for the first time.
Located in Mickleover, Derby, the Sports currently play in the Southern League Premier Division. After a sixth-place finish this year, John McGrath is looking to go one step further and guide Mickleover into the National League North.
Four impressive wins to end last season wasn’t enough to sneak into the playoffs, as Rushall edged the Sports by one point in an extremely competitive division. They’ve started this season as they ended the last, with 11 games won, making it 15 straight league wins in a row.
The season started with a 2-0 away win at St. Ives, and it has been plain sailing from here. 4-0, 4-2, 0-1, 2-1, and 0-5 wins against Berkhamstead, Alvechurch, Leamington, Hitchin, and Long Eaton, respectively, followed. Their hectic league schedule was broken up when they hosted Ilkeston in FA Cup qualification, comfortably beating their visitors 3-0.
Their league form resumed shortly after, beating Leiston 5-0 and AFC Telford 1-2. These victories were a major sign of intent, with Leiston missing out on the title by four points last season and AFC Telford being relegated from the league above.
Another FA Cup win followed, beating Spalding United 3-1 before beating Sudbury 5-0 and Barwell 1-2 to make it ten wins from 10. The Sports lost their first game of the season to Stourbridge in FA Cup qualifying, but followed this up by defeating Barwell in FA Trophy qualification before making it 11 league wins by beating Royston 2-0.
Mickleover’s astounding start has seen them 11 points clear already, having scored 34 goals and conceded just five. Marcus Barnes (8), Oliver Greaves (8), and Andre Wright (6) have provided the goals for John McGrath’s side, while Oliver Bosworth has kept seven clean sheets.
It seems inevitable that Mickleover will be promoted. The Don Amot Arena is a lovely, friendly ground in a picturesque, quaint area. You also get the bonus of watching a team that cannot stop winning. If you are in the Derbyshire area and want your fix of non-league football, look no further than Mickleover FC.
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