Sam Agar and Paul Sullivan scored the goals that helped Atletico win this battle against
a Lichfield side determined to defend rather than attack.
AFC answered Lichfield's style of anti-football by being patient, keeping the ball moving
and taking their chances when they came. With injuries and unavailability Atletico started
with an unfamiliar back line of James Williams and Lee Thomas at centre back whilst Lee Butler
would play right back and Chad Degville-Cross at left back. It was obvious straight from kick
off that Lichfield had come for a draw, constantly sitting off Hinckley and putting 9 men behind
the ball, trying to get chances from set pieces. To a degree it worked for them in the first
half, as most of the play was in midfield and chances were few. Hinckley did have the ball in
the net twice, but the first was ruled out for a foul on the keeper as Sam Agar headed in and
the second was ruled out as the linesman judged the ball to have gone out of play before a cross
into the box was blasted in by Javia Roberts. Lichfield did have an appeal for a penalty turned
down, before Dan Griffiths put his shot just wide. The first half ended very scrappy with a
series of poor discipline from both teams and a flurry of bookings for both sides.
Second half Hinckley moved the ball a bit more looking to break through the packed Lichfield
defence. Javia Roberts shot from a tight angle grazed the crossbar, before Hinckley forced a
series of corners from which they took the lead. Ryan Seal placed his corner to the near post
for Agar to nip in front of the defender and head past the stranded Ed Kelly. Lichfield had to
amend their game plan and space began to open up as they came forward in search of an equaliser.
City's Luke Chapman placed his free kick over and Nick Harris fired straight at Haydn Whitcombe,
before an AFC break away saw Sean Williams fire goalwards, but blocked on the way to goal. James
Williams was then unlucky as he saw his header from a set piece beat Kelly, but headed away
by a defender on the line. As the game approached the final minutes there was a controversial
decision from an AFC point of view, when Degville-Cross looked to have got across and won the ball
fairly, but the linesman flagged for a foul as the Lichfield player went to ground resulting in
Degville-Cross being shown his second yellow and was sent off. With the game now into injury
time Lichfield threw everyone forward, forcing a series of corners which resulted in Whitcombe
making three excellent point blank reaction saves to hold onto the lead. And to finish the match,
Hinckley broke away from Lichfield's pressure and Paul Sullivan on as a second half substitute
was calm on the edge of the area as defender looked to get back, and he placed his shot into
the top right corner to make sure of the points for AFC.
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