Another industrious performance on a very heavy pitch saw Atletico past Stafford Town,
and although the score line was close, this was down to some excellent keeping from their
debut keeper Ryan Cheshire.
For AFC also making their debut was Jordan Perk starting the match in defence and ex Hinckley
United winger Chad Degville-Cross, starting on the subs bench. Both teams struggled with the
conditions early on, as the days rain had left the surface very heavy, but Stafford were
first to have a chance forcing Haydn Whitcombe down low to his right to push around a close
range effort. For Hinckley Javia Roberts had their first chance and scored from it, when
Ryan Seal did well to win the ball and neatly played in Roberts in left channel who ran in
on goal beating Cheshire at his near post. Agar then had a chance controlling a cross field
ball, but couldn't keep his strike under the bar. Chesire then pulled off a super save at
his near post as Roberts this time ran in the right channel passing a defender then shooting
goalwards. Stafford always looked like they had a goal in them on the break, and Whitcombe
had to be alert just before the break to tip a long range effort onto the bar.
AFC made a change at half time bringing on Degville-Cross and he provided more attacking
options. Darious Darkin forced Chesire to dive pushing the ball onto the cross bar, and
as the rebound took the ball straight up and back down again the keeper, lying on the floor,
managed to clear the ball again before Agar got to the follow up. Stafford still pushed
looking for an equaliser and when Ryan Bradshaw beat Whitcombe, James Williams was back on
the goal line to clear the ball to safety. Seal and Agar combined, and Seal beat his marker
cutting back goal bound, but as the ball went past the reach of Chesire, it crashed off the
inside of the post and back into the keepers hands. With 10 minutes remaining the Army lads
combined to double Hinckley's lead, as a Seal free kick was played into the left channel for
Agar, who chipped to the back post where Ryan Paddock was waiting unmarked to head down
into the goal. Seal then had another opportunity to beat Chesire when played through the
middle, but after again putting the ball beyond his reach, the ball crashed off the post for
a second time. Just as the game was in it's last moments Stafford managed to score a consolation
goal with a run down the left, and a cross to the far edge of the penalty area Matt Beedell
struck the ball on the half volley firing into the top corner with Whitcombe having no chance.
However that was the last kick of the match and AFC took the 3 points, a little bit ugly, but
welcome none the less.
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Stafford Town match details