Atletico kicked off the new season with a credible draw against higher league Heanor
Town in the FA Cup extra preliminary round.
With a number of players unavailable due to holidays and suspensions a makeshift AFC
side saw 5 players make their competitive Hinckley debuts. Jamal Clarke, Shaquille
Lee and James Williams started, plus Peter Williams and Tom McCrystal came off the
subs bench. With Sam Agar suspended and Ryan Seal on holiday no recognised striker was
on the pitch, meaning Sean Williams and the returning Rico Taylor would be taking up
the attacking duties.
AFC certainly started the game with more impetous, looking to get at Heanor before they
had a chance to settle, and with a sudden downpour just before kick off leading to a greasy
pitch this added to Hinckley's advantage of having pacey front men. Taylor saw his header
saved and Darious Darkin flashed a shot past the upright before Heanor responded with a
header from a corner also going wide. Williams and then Taylor again forced Joe McCormack
into saves before Ryan Paddock gave Atletico the lead with 5 minutes remaining of the half.
From a Taylor corner, he lost his marker and headed past McCormack, with the Heanor keeper
not having a chance from such close range.
Heanor came out for the second half and then showed their higher league status as they began
to command possession and create more chances in search of an equaliser. Even so AFC
had great chance on the hour to double the lead when Taylor went on a run taking the ball
past a couple of defenders before squaring into the area, but Sean Williams just could get
on the end of it. Heanor equalised shortly after this chance after a neat move from
Nathan Benger and Kieran Debrouwer played in Elliott Reeves behind the AFC defence and he
slotted past Tom Cross to level the scores. This lifted Heanor and for the final 30 minutes
virtually laid seige to the Hinckley goal, though the AFC defence held firm and the only
real scoring chance was a late Benger header that was just wide of the post. Both clubs
will have to do it all over again next Wednesday night in the replay.
click here for:
Heanor Town match details