Felix Equaliser Secures Lions Draw

A Kaine Felix headed equaliser immediately after Mickleover had taken the lead saw our fourth pre-season friendly end in a 1-1 draw in Derbyshire, read more in our match report sponsored by BuildADrive.com.

The Lions travelled to Mickleover’s Don Amott Arena on a pleasant Tuesday evening to continue preparations for the 20/21 campaign and had to fight hard to secure a draw against the Pitching In Northern Premier League Premier Division side.

The early stages were interrupted by a nasty looking injury to home defender Marcus Calderone who had to be stretchered off the pitch after a long period of treatment, we wish him a speedy recovery.

Mickleover had the first real chance of the game when Jordan Walshaw shot but his effort was wide of the mark.

Declan Bacon was the next player to have a go for the home side from the edge of the 18 yard box but his effort went just over Hagie Damba’s crossbar.

The Lions came into the game a bit more after this but were struggling to break down the Mickleover defence until Hamza Bencherif’s header went across the face of goal and was cleared.

The last chance of the half fell to Trialist number 10 who cleverly volley back heeled the ball towards goal but Callum Hawkins saw it coming and made a good save for the home side.

Will Thornton was introduced at half time for Prince Ekpolo and The Lions came out with a sense of urgency and nearly scored in the opening three minutes, Matty Gillam saw his effort saved by Hawkins and the rebound fell to Dan Cowan but his header hit the post.

Another flowing move found Trialist number 2 but his effort cleared the Mickleover crossbar from a tight angle.

Seconds later the ball was up the other end and Bencherif made a goal saving headed clearance from underneath his own crossbar to prevent the home side getting the lead.

The end to end start to the second half continued when The Lions launched a counter attack, Mark Howarth found Gabriel Johnson but his powerful effort was no cause for concern for Hawkins.

With twenty minutes remaining Mickleover took the lead after Mason Warren found Andrew Wright and his shot was too powerful for Damba and it flew into the top corner.

This seemed to cause a reaction from the visitors, two minutes later the ball was up the other end of the pitch, Gillam found Felix with a good cross and his strong header nestled into the net for an immediate equaliser.

A raft of substitutions from Marcus Bignot and Russ O’Neill stopped the flowing nature of the game and chances were few and far between after that.

It was the hosts who came closest to scoring through Stuart Beavon’s free kick which Declan Lambton, on for Damba, tipped onto the post and he managed to save the rebound which proved to be the last kick of the game.

The Lions will look for their second win of pre-season on Saturday when Vanarama National League side FC Halifax Town come to Nethermoor for a 1pm kick-off in a game which is set to be played behind closed doors.


  1. Hagie Damba (74′ Lambton), 2. Trialist, 3. George Cantrill (61′ Trialist), 4. Mark Howarth (71′ Trialist), 5. Hamza Bencherif (C) (71′ Clayton), 6. Dan Cowan (71′ Trialist), 7. Kaine Felix (71′ Haw), 8. Prince Ekpolo (45′ Thornton), 9. Matty Gillam, 10. Trialist and 11. Gabriel Johnson (71′ Newall).


12. Trialist, 13. Declan Lambton (GK), 14. Trialist, 15. Trialist, 16. Will Thornton, 17. Nathan Newall, 18. Paul Clayton and 19. Adam Haw