...and we're feeling good. Nina Simone was an AFC fan, FACT! and she would've been so
proud to see what has been accomplished by volunteers, hard work and dedication as a
new football club for Hinckley was brought to life, playing their first match today at
Maracana del St John.
Our hosts for the season at Heather St John welcomed us back to life as Hinckley AFC
played their first game in a friendly, winning 2-4, though the score really was unimportant
when compared to the occasion.
To say the acting chairman Gary Hancox had a bit of a smile today would be a touch understated
as he walked around the ground talking to fans, some whos faces had not been seen at a
Hinckley match for some time. When you think AFC has brought back those who had given up on
United, having been dragged down with the constant political battling and despair at the
level of debt that had been allowed to accrue, it really does show what a new dawn it is.
Not forgetting in the midst of the occasion, a football match was taking place. Over
200 people were entertained by a flowing game played in the right spirit by both teams,
and were rewarded with an opening goal by club captain JJ Melligan, scoring Hinckley
AFC's first ever goal. Luke Richards used his strength to keep the ball on the right
of the area, squaring to Craig Bannister who unselfishly played in Melligan to his right
who blasted in from 10 yards. Melligan doubled his goal tally when Hinckley were
awarded a penalty for a clear hand ball, then AFC were three up before half time after
Bannister forced the ball over the line when Woodward had done really well to save
his initial close range header. Jimmy Slack netted right on half time for Heather before
the line up completely changed for the second half.
The match result, if anyone thought it was that important, was settled shortly into the
second half when Chris Sockett scored an absolute 'screamer' right in the 'postage stamp'
giving keeper Woodward no chance. Heather put some respectability into the score line scoring
a second late on, with Shaun Pearson getting the goal, but it was too late for a comeback.
Hinckley's comeback was complete though. Football has returned, the touch paper has been
lit, and no one is going to sneak around the hedge to douse the flame. Welcome back to the
swings and roundabouts and the cliched roller coaster that is non league life.