Atletico finally broke the 'Pelsall Curse' and won their first home league game since
August, thanks to a fine hatrick from new signing Matt Gardner.
It may have been Garner that scored the goals, but it was a complete all round team
performance that earned the win, especially the four young lads in defence whom had
an average age of just 19, with Jordan Rushton making his debut. They were ably joined
by other new signings in midfield, Rob Millington and Simon Johnson.
The game was very open, similar to when the two sides met earlier in the season, and it
was a lovely passing move that led to Hinckley's opening goal in the 11th minute.
Millington chased a ball down the right wing played a neat one-two with Justin Nisbett,
'back heeling' the ball into the path of Millington, who placed an inch perfect cross
onto the head of Matt Gardner, beating Ken Sanders with his header. Cadbury replied
with Stuart Butcher getting in good position, but blazed over, and then Nisbett also
wasted a good chance for Hinckley when Millington fired across the face of goal and
Nisbett just failed to connect at the far post. AFC doubled their lead fortuitously 5
minutes before half time after a superb solo run from Luke Richards from the edge of
his own box into the Cadbury penalty area, evading four tackles on the way only to see
his shot blocked, but as he tackled to win the ball back, he went to ground and the ref
awarded a penalty. All presents gratefully received. Matt Gardner stepped up and scored
from the spot giving Atletico a 2-0 half time lead for the second match running.
Considering what happened to AFC in the last match losing a 2-0 lead, it looked pretty
ominous when in the 52nd minute a short corner for Cadbury was played to the back post
and Hinckley's young defence did not deal with the ball at all, it being headed back
across goal for Ryan Gittings to tap into the empty net. For a spell Cadbury then piled
on the pressure, AFC having to defend in numbers, but just after the hour Gardner calmed
the nerves and completed his hatrick. Mitchell Tomlinson overlapped on the right wing
and crossed central for Gardner to loop a header over Sanders. With AFC back in the driving
seat Gardner had a chance to make it four, but his chip had not enough height to beat
Sanders, then Richards was through one on one on two occassions but both times was flagged
marginally offside. Dean Lea did get in behind Hinckley's defence, but Sam Arnold was
equal to his effort and Atletico held on to get the points that their performance deserved.
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Cadbury Athletic match details