Pilkington hold out for draw as Atletico pile on the pressure in 'Alamo' stylee,
but AFC unbeaten run still stretches to fourteen games in all competitions.
With Dominic Smith unavailable and Matt Gardner having left the club, AFC
started with recalling local lad Jordan Rushton into central defence and started with
Rob Millington up front. After a scrappy first half hour Reece Francis in the Pilks
goal thwarted Marco Adaggio stopping his shot with his legs, and not for the last time
in the match, before another local lad opened the scoring for Hinckley as Luke Richards
headed JJ Melligans cross back across goal and in off the far post. Parity was restored
almost immediately when Odane Barnes headed past Arnold when Hinckley failed to clear
their lines. Millington was then bundled over in the area when clear on goal, but the
ref deemed it to be a fair tackle, however then did give a penalty against Kieran McCalla
for hand ball when the Pilkington defender used his hands to protect his face from a
close shot in the area. Swings and roundabouts... Melligan stepped up to score the spot
kick and give Hinckley a half time lead.
Atletico enjoyed large spells of possession during the second half, but found keeper Francis
in inspired form. He saved early on from Adaggio, then held a long range effort from
Nathan Walker, before AFC were hit on the break. Jacob Snape broke down the right and
crossed low into the area, that no defender dealt with until the ball arrived to Anthony
Fletcher, unmarked at the far post, to tap into the net levelling the scores for a second time.
The Pilkington goal still led a charmed life in the last half hour, Adaggio again saw Francis
save his effort, Melligan hit the bar, Tyrone Clarke-O’Connell curled an effort just over
from the right side of the area, Michael Healy had an effort tipped wide and Francis
smothered the ball at the feet of Walker. When Adaggio did finally beat Francis, flicking
the ball past the out-rushing keeper, McCalla was on hand to clear off the line. Pilkington's
Sam Hawker was then somewhat unlucky to receive a second yellow card and be sent off right
at the end of the match, but there was still time for Francis to make one more excellent reflex
save, again at the expense of Adaggio, who won't believe he didn't score in this game.
The match finished a draw, however it did extend Atletico's unbeaten run to fourteen games.
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Pilkington XXX match details