Atletico took a stroll in the Park, comfortably dispatching Aylestone in the FA Cup preliminary
round, and could afford to play the last 20 minutes down to 10 men through an injury, and even
miss a penalty.
Gone were the negative tactics of midweek and AFC lined up with a more familiar 4-4-2 with wide men
Sean Williams and Isaac Cooper aiding George Bowerman and Sam Agar up front. All four players
terrorised the Park defence and had them twisting and turning all over the place as AFC dominated
the first half building a 4-0 half time lead. As early as the 6th minute Williams easily went round
the left back and laid the ball on a plate for Bowerman 15 yards out to sweep his shot past Tom
Gutteridge in the Park goal. 10 minutes later Bowerman had his second, timing his run perfectly
beating the offside trap and then deftly lifting the ball over the stranded Gutteridge. Minutes
later and AFC had stormed into a 20 minute 3 goal lead when Williams cut inside from the left channel
fired a shot goalwards from the edge of the area that Gutteridge could only parry to the feet of
Agar who tapped into the empty net. With 10 minutes to half time the match was effectively over as
a contest as Darious Darkin scored the goal of the game, receiving the ball on the centre circle,
running forward past 2 defenders to the edge of the area and unleashing a swerving shot into the
top right corner of the net.
With the game as good as over AFC sat off in the second half, but the game turned scrappy as
Aylestone began to put in a number of bad tackles and their yellow card count began to notch up.
Just after the hour all 3 Hinckley substitutes came on, but then 5 minutes after that Lee Tyres
made a disgraceful tackle on Darkin for which he amazingly didn't receive his second yellow card,
but his manager saved the referee by substituting him straight away before he did. Unfortunately
for Darkin he couldn't continue and was carried off, leaving AFC to play the last 20 minutes with
10 men. Park though seemed more interested in kicking the player rather than the ball and Haydn
Whitcombe only had 1 save of note to make. Agar had a glorious chance to make it 5 late on, but
was cut down in the area just before he could shoot, getting up to take the penalty himself, but
Gutteridge dived the right way and saved the ball. Then with the last kick of the game, in injury
time, Foster was allowed space and scored a meaningless goal for Park, as AFC just waited for the
final whistle happy that no other players had been injured.
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Aylestone Park details