Atletico began the new era, minus Carl Abbott, with Dean Thomas temporarily at the helm,
with a comfortable 5-0 victory at Chelmsley Town.
With a number of players following the previous manager to Market Drayton, it was only a
slightly unfamiliar line up as many have stayed, with Benjamin Rad partnering Rich Munday
in central defence and Kyle Minto getting a start along side Steve Hart up front. In midfield
Lee Butler was playing his last game for the club, along side the sprightly and vastly experienced
Richard Lavery, who was signed for the club in the week by Dean Thomas. Also encouraging was
a number of Youth players being given a run with the squad, named as substitutes.
Any nerves or worries about how the players would react were settled in the first quarter
of an hour as AFC raced into a 2 goal lead. Hart was brought down on the edge of the area
on 9 minutes and Butler signed off with his trademark free kick, curling the ball around the
wall and out of the reach of James Kelly into the net. Minutes later and Butler was provider
with his corner being met in the centre by Rich Munday, who headed his first goal for the club.
10 minutes before half time AFC took a commanding lead, after good work by Hart and Mitchell
Tomlinson, saw the ball played across the area where no one could quite get a touch. Marcus
Jackson sent the ball back in the area and Tomlinson knocked down into the path of Hart to
blast in from close range. Tomlinson then saw his own effort tipped away by Kelly, before Lavery
almost had a dream debut, his header being agonisingly just the wrong side of the post.
5 minutes into the second half and the game was wrapped up. First almost straight from the restart
Minto raced down the right, got to the byline and crossed back for Isaac Cooper to pick his
spot and pass the ball into the net. Then minutes later Hart scored the goal of the game, receiving
the ball on the left edge of the area and firing across goal into the right corner, in off the
inside of the post. Minto attempted a cheeky lob, but Kelly was alert and managed to reach the
ball, before he couldn't quite convert a rebound from another hart shot. Chelmsley did create
chances in the second half late on, but Haydn Whitcombe was on hand to keep a clean sheet saving
from James Taylor and Rob Ellis, as Hinckley saw the game out for a deserved victory.
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