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  December 2015 News
Saturday 19th
Stafford Town 2 - 3 Hinckley AFC
Atletico returned to winning ways in the league, though made hard work of overcoming a spirited Stafford Town, with a Ryan Seal penalty taking the points.

Despite Stafford being the bottom placed club they were much the better side in the first half and ultimately would rue not making the most of their better chances. Former Burton Albion striker Greg Pearson was making his debut for AFC, but it was Ryan Seal that showed first making Richard Stone get down low to his effort. The bright start soon drifted away though and Stafford created the better chances for the rest of the half. Spencer Gunnell forced Tom Cross into a great double save, first blocking his initial shot then tipping the rebound effort onto the bar. Stafford eventually took the lead midway through, an initial header from Gunnell came back off the crossbar and with the AFC defence not reacting quick enough the ball was played straight back in for Gunnell unmarked to simply head past Cross. Jason Cunningham then headed over when well placed and Gunnell put along range effort over, before Gunnell again forced Cross into a diving save to keep the score to 1-0. At the other end Pearson saw his long range shot pushed wide by Stone but the closest AFC came to scoring was when Lee Thomas overlapped on the left running into the area and tried an effort from a tight angle that beat Stone but rebounded off the inside of the post and was cleared by the Stafford defence.

The second half was a different story with a slight formation change with Seal moving further forward in centre midfield and Marcus Jackson switching from right back to right midfield and Stafford had real trouble coping with the runs of these two players. The first chance for AFC was was almost straight from the restart as a free kick was played to the back post for the unmarked Alex Morris to head down but just wide of the goal. AFC scored with their next attack, Jackson took the ball down the right running through two tackles before winning a corner and Jackson crossed into the packed penalty area, however despite the many Stafford defenders Marco Adaggio managed to turn the ball into goal. Atletico then took the lead 5 minutes later in almost the same way, Jackson again did well on the right winning a free kick and again this was played into a packed Stafford area, with JJ Melligan in the right place to force the ball into goal. Stafford though hit back with an equaliser minutes later as a right wing cross was headed into his own net by Chris Gray. Hinckley continued to press forward with Jackson setting up Seal who saw Stone save low to his right and then Morris headed over another Jackson set piece. Hinckley took the lead again on the hour when Pearson used his strength to power through the Stafford defence into the area and just as he was about to shoot from 12 yards was clipped from behind by Tom Green, for which the Town defender was shown a straight red card. Seal stepped up to take the spot kick and put it beyond the reach of Stone. Jackson then fired over when well placed, and the Hinckley forwards found Stone in inspired form as a 25 yard half volley from Adaggio was superbly tipped away, before Pearson was denied in a one on one and then Adaggio again saw the Stafford keeper push around another goal bound shot to keep the final score down to 2-3.

click here for: Stafford Town match details

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