Mickleover were slick and played impressively on the counter-attack, testing a Bucks side who showed one change from their previous game, with James McQuilkin replacing Steffan Jones.
The visitors arrived with a 100 per cent record from seven matches played, and with three former Bucks in their line-up. They took the lead after some poor defending in the ninth minute, when Andy Dales, who looked like the sort of player the Bucks are lacking, popped up in space on the left of the box to strike a powerful shot across Brandon Hall and into the far corner. The Bucks didn’t crumble, but had to be wary not to over-commit in their efforts to level, knowing how swiftly the visitors could punish them.
There were efforts blocked, crosses couldn’t quite find their targets, and Mickleover almost went in with a 2-0 lead, Hall blocking Oliver Greaves’ shot and turning it on to the angle of post and crossbar.
In the 51st minute, the Bucks found a memorable equaliser. A free-kick conceded when Montel Gibson was fouled was taken by Tre Mitford and he smashed the ball over the defensive wall, almost decapitating Oliver Bosworth in goal.
The lead wasn’t to last. Andre Wright, an underwhelming signing under Paul Carden’s Bucks regime, showed great strength to hold off a defender and glance a header goalwards that hit the inside of the post and went it. The Bucks had been level for just two minutes.
Wilkin’s side rolled up their sleeves and showed plenty of grit and desire to get some reward, but for all their effort, the quality they needed didn’t emerge.
Montel Gibson spurned a late opportunity to level, turning the ball over the Mickleover crossbar from inside the six-yard box when the ball landed almost perfectly for him, but Mickleover held on.