Boldmere U21s were looking to get a result yesterday morning at the Trevor Brown Memorial Ground to continue their excellent recent run of form in the league. The Mikes were coming off four consecutive wins to sit second in the table going into this one. Their involved in a title race with Kidderminster Harriers U21s this season.
Their home form had been a key strength coming into yesterday with five wins from seven matches and only seven goals conceded. It’s been a brilliant season so far for the Mikes with only two losses in the league from 14 matches going into this one.
Stafford Rangers had been ok in the U21s division and competed admirably against a range of tough opponents throughout the season. Their main strength had been their home record with three wins from six matches. Their form on the road had been a struggle with one win from five matches. They were 12th in the table with 12 points from 11 matches.
The visitors were coming off two consecutive wins against Leicester Football Academy and Stafford Town going into yesterday.
Starting Line ups
The starting line up for the Mikes featured Owen Burton starting in goal and Callum North captaining the team up front. The formation looked like a 5-3-2 with a front two of Kamil Solecki and Callum North being supported by Ollie Poole in the attacking midfield role.
There were three changes from the team that started against Coalville Town last weekend with Kadeem Wisdom coming into the team and playing in midfield.
Stafford Rangers’ starting line up included Tom Lowe starting in goal and Max Barlow captaining the team from central defence. The formation appeared to be a 4-3-3 with Luke Draysey playing as the central striker and being supported by Flecther Rushbury and Dylan Adcock on the wings.
There were three changes from the team that started against Stafford Town a few weeks back with Fletcher Rushbury coming into the team and playing on the wing.
Boldmere got off to a brilliant start and took the lead early on to settle into the match. Callum North got into a good position on the edge of the box and produced a quality finish into the top left corner to give the Mikes the lead. This was a big moment in the match as it allowed the Mikes to get into a rhythm, link up the play and build some confidence on the ball.
The Mikes were in control of the match throughout the first half, and it took Stafford Rangers a bit of time to get into it. Red Simmons had a chance to make it 2-0 at around the twenty-minute mark. Nathan Allison also had a good chance to increase the lead and had an effort hit the bar.
Stafford had a few half chances to equalise throughout the first half and were gradually growing into the match with the score at 1-0. The best chance fell to Fletcher Rushbury on the edge of the box that was saved by Owen Burton.
Just as Stafford were getting into the match, Boldmere managed to make it 2-0 on the half hour mark. Kamil Solecki headed the ball over the defence which found Ollie Pope in the box one on one with Tom Lowe. He calmly took the chance and made it 2-0 to the Mikes.
The Mikes managed to see the first half out and defended well to make it 2-0 going into the half time break.
Boldmere started the second half strongly and were passing the ball around the pitch with confidence. They managed to make it 3-0 and scored through an excellent team goal. Kamil Solecki picked out Red Simmons on the left who accelerated with the ball and squared it to Jack White in the box who finished well into the bottom right corner.
Stafford Rangers responded well from the setback and showed character to have a 15-minute spell where they were taking the game to the Mikes. Liam Wilson conceded a penalty to Stafford Rangers on the edge of the box which was well taken by Luke Draysey from the spot to make it 3-1.
The visitors started to build some momentum and put a bit of pressure on the Boldmere goal throughout the rest of the second half. Fletcher Rushbury had a good chance in front of goal to make it 3-2. Henry Brereton produced a good header for Stafford that was well saved by Owen Burton in the middle of the second half.
A bit of the momentum was stopped by the sending off of Stafford substitute Will Holt which made the end of the match more comfortable for Boldmere. None the less, full credit to the Mikes who managed to see the match out and were well organised off the ball to limit the Stafford chances and take home the three points.
Boldmere were brilliant in this match and showed why they are competing at the top of the table. The Mikes have that bit of quality on the ball to open up defences and look organised off the ball and at the back. Their defensive record in the division is excellent with only 16 goals conceded over 15 matches with only Kidderminster having a better defensive record.
The win takes the Mikes to the top of the division with 35 points from 15 matches. Kidderminster lost to Droitwich Spa yesterday which means Boldmere are top with Kidderminster having a game in hand.
There’s a lot of quality in this Boldmere team and a key strength is at the back. Pierre Phillips was excellent in this match from central defence. He was reading situations well and made some big clearances to get the ball away from danger. Nathan Allison had an underrated game at the back and was constantly winning the ball back.
The holding midfield of Jack White and Kadeem Wisdom played well in this match and linked up the play well. Callum North and Kamil Solecki offer the team that bit of quality on the ball to unlock defences and have a lot of potential.
Overall, it was an encouraging performance from Boldmere U21s which showcased their quality yesterday morning.
Despite the defeat, Stafford Rangers showed character to make a match of it in the second half. They worked hard throughout the 90 minutes and showed moments of quality on the ball.
Max Barlow looked good at the back and was reading the game well from central defence. He was making some key tackles and headers to win the ball back for the visitors. Jake Edge-Owen had an underrated game from holding midfield and gave the team a bit of composure to start attacks.
Luke Draysey played well as the central striker and was building up the play effectively up front. He played as a target man and made an impact in the final third and caused the Boldmere defence some problems throughout.
There’s a lot of potential in this Stafford Rangers team and hopefully they can pick up some results throughout the rest of the season to build some confidence. The most pleasing thing from yesterday was the attitude and effort shown from 3-0 down. They were building some momentum in the second half which reflected the character of the team.
Overall, it was an enjoyable match to watch at the Trevor Brown Memorial Ground yesterday morning. It was also a brilliant advert for U21s football with both teams showing quality throughout.
FT Score: Boldmere St Michaels U21s 3-1 Stafford Rangers U21s
Man of the match: Pierre Phillips (Boldmere St Michaels U21s)
Match report written by Rhys Beardmore for the Midland Football League
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