The battle of the A5 was hard fought, played on a heavy wet pitch and won by two good
goals from Sean Williams and Nathan Walker, as Atherstone were beaten at the North Warwickshire
Borough Council ground.
Having asked for a 'battle' on their official twitter account earlier in the day, Atherstone
strangely went missing on the pitch when it was time to do so. Hinckley had had a switch
around, due to unavailable players, with on loan Alex Penney making his debut in the
centre defence and JJ Melligan playing his first game since he returned to the club. As
Marco Adaggio was serving the last game of his suspension, and Ryan Seal was unavailable,
Luke Richards was back up front, supported by Sean Williams.
It didn't take AFC long to get used to the conditions and the personnel changes as Williams
opened the scoring for Hinckley on the quarter hour. Richards combined with Williams on the
edge of the area, and Williams wrong footed his marker and then slotted the ball under
the advancing Phil Smith. Melligan followed this up forcing Smith to gather twice as Hinckley
had a spell of pressure following the goal. Atherstone had their own spell shortly before
half time, and Tom Cross had to be alert to an Ashley Gray header.
After half time AFC were pretty much dominant until the final stages of the match. Richards
should've added a second from the kick off but when clear for a header he placed it just
the wrong side of the post. However it wasn't a long wait for the second goal, and again
Richards was involved combining with Nathan Walker to set him up from the edge of the area
to calmly place a curling shot around Smith into the corner of the net. Williams again
found himself through in the area but his cross shot was cleared and then Mitch Tomlinson
made a run from right back into the area, but couldn't get enough power on his shot to
threaten Smith in the Adders goal. As the game entered the final minutes Atherstone tried
to get something out of the match and Cross made an excellent reaction save tipping
over Mark Latham's close range header, keeping his clean sheet and ensuring the win for Hinckley.
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Atherstone Town match details