Two goals in extra time put Atletico through to the next round of the FA Vase, beating Wolves Sporting
in an entertaining, thrilling game of football.
With both sides towards the top of their league and both sides on long unbeaten runs, Wolves run
lasting back as far as August, it always promised to be an end to end, open, classic game, and it
didn't disappoint. AFC had to do it the hard way though, even if starting slightly the better, found
themselves being a goal down in the first quarter. In the first 10 minutes in Wolves first meaningful
attack, Mark Williams was judged to have fouled Jak Barnes and pointed to the spot, Dan Westwood took
the penalty kick however Haydn Whitcombe dived the correct way and turned the ball away from goal.
Wolves were keeping the pressure on despite this set back and only minutes later took the lead when
a shot from Kieron Northwood beat Whitcombe but bounced down off the underside of the bar, and fell
to Westwood who blasted goalwards and despite Isaac Cooper's efforts to clear off the line, the
linesman indicated it had crossed and the goal was given. Hinckley hit back first with a Sean Williams
30 yard free kick cannoning off the cross bar and then with Jamal Clarke played through in the
area but couldn't curl his effort into the goal. On the half hour Paul Sullivan had a glorious
chance to equalise in a neat passing move that took out the Sporting defence he was clear in on
goal, though his effort was out of the reach of Dan Crane, the dual registered Hednesford Town
goalkeeper, unfortunately it also just shaved the outside of the post. As both keepers were kept
busy at both ends, Whitcombe was forced into saves from Dimi Dunkley and Westwood again, whilst Crane
turned another Sullivan effort away from goal, and then Sullivan headed against the bar from a right
wing cross. With it looking like Sporting might take a narrow lead into half time, AFC hit the
equaliser almost on the whistle. Sullivan ran through the middle drawing players in and then played
Lee Butler on the right, who came inside past his marker teeing up Sam Agar who's shot from 20 yards
beat Crane into the net.
Hinckley started the second half how they finished the first and Cooper really should've done better
when well placed but put his shot over, before Ryan Seal saw his effort deflected past the wrong side
of the post. With legs beginning to tire some tackles were started to be mis-timed and there was a
scrappy period with a few yellow cards handed out to both sides, before the tempo picked up again
in the last 10 minutes as both teams went in search of a winner. Agar fired just wide from a good
position on the right of the area, and for Sporting Scott Cooper had a superb chance for glory but
his free header 8 yards out went agonisingly over the bar for Wolves.
With nothing to separate the two sides the tie went into extra time. Understandably as both sides had
spent their energy, the first half of extra time was a low key affair with only one real chance for AFC
which was an Agar shot blocked by Crane in the Sporting goal. Both teams lifted themselves one more
time for the second half of extra time with Jon Letford seeing his volley go straight into Whitcombe's
hands, and Angelo Franco saw a long range shot acrobatically tipped away for a corner by Whitcombe.
From that corner Pete Williams brought the ball out of defence breaking away through the centre circle
and playing in Sullivan through the left channel, and he fired past Crane into the top corner from
15 yards. With minutes left Sporting threw everything forward in search of the equaliser and right
on 120 minutes thought they had it. Dunkley and Westwood combined nicely and the later pushed the ball
past the on rushing Whitcombe only to see Mark Williams last ditch goaline clearance save Hinckley.
Yet from that clearance AFC found themselves on the break again and it was the turn of Seal and Agar to
combine on the edge of the area, with Agar timing his chip perfectly to score Hinckley's third and
win the tie, putting Atletico into the second round of the FA Vase for the first time ever.
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Wolves Sporting match details