Atletico received the perfect Yuletide present winning this top four Boxing Day clash,
in front of a record home crowd of 348, thanks to second half goals from Andy Westwood
and 'local hero' Luke Richards.
With a number of changes to the midweek team that beat Boldmere, Jamal Clarke and Jack
Farmer returned to the defence, with James Williams switching to left back in place of
the absent Lee Thomas. It was a first half of few chances as both sides cancelled each
other out, both being well disciplined off the ball and even though there was plenty of
passing football, both defences limited the chances created. Haydn Whitcombe made a couple
of regulation saves, though was fortunate to save a Tom McGlinchey header that rebounded
off the post. For AFC Ryan Seal saw his effort smothered by Will Highland, before the keeper
parried a 30 yard swerving shot, from Paul Sullivan, away for a corner. Leaving the first
half score less.
The second half AFC got into their stride, and introduced JJ Melligan as a sub, his first
appearance this season. Highland was immediately into action as Clarke forced him into a
point blank save, but the keeper was rooted to the spot for the opening goal 10 minutes
into the half. Sullivan did excellent work on the left, getting to the line and crossing,
with Callum Earls heading away to the edge of the area, where Andy Westwood was waiting, hitting
the ball on the half volley through a crowd of players and into the back of the net with Highland
not even seeing the ball. Seal almost doubled the lead when through on goal, but even though
Highland missed the ball it struck his out-stretched leg and drifted the wrong side of the post.
AFC didn't have everything their own way and Whitcombe had to be alert to tip away a Jake Holt
free kick, and maintained his clean sheet with a diving stop from Matt Stenson. Hinckley sealed
the points in the dying moments as a perfectly timed through ball from Seal saw Josh Smith
comically miss his clearance and left Luke Richards one on one with Highland, Richards slotting
the ball past the keeper to the raptures of the home fans behind the goal, players and fans
celebrating as one.
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B4668 FC match details