Hinckley AFC 1-6 Uttoxeter Town
After Hinckley AFC’s comfortable win at Southam United on the opening day, a 6-1 mauling by Uttoxeter Town was not on anyone’s script.
Hinckley were brought back down to Earth by their impressive newly promoted counterparts, whose quick passing and movement was too much for the hosts to handle.
The sides went in to half time level with a goal apiece, after JJ Melligan had quickly cancelled out Matt Redshaw’s early strike.
But five unanswered second half goals left Hinckley shell shocked, as Uttoxeter took their first three points of the season back to Staffordshire.
The warning signs were evident for Hinckley early on, when Redshaw got in behind the Hinckley defence, only for an excellent recovering tackle by John Clapp to deny him.
From the resulting corner, however, the visitors went ahead. Sam Arnold’s indecision saw him fail to claim the ball, and after a brief goalmouth scramble Redshaw converted from close range.
Hinckley’s response was quick though. Melligan’s burst into the box was ended by a foul, and the Hinckley captain dusted himself down to convert the penalty.
Uttoxeter thought they had scored a second midway through the half, when Redshaw’s clever lofted ball was slammed home by James Curley. Their celebrations were cut short on seeing the assistant referee flag for offside.
Uttoxeter continued to have the better of the chances before the break; Arnold making good saves from Curley’s close range effort and Redshaw’s back post volley.
Hinckley’s only other chance of note fell to Luke Richards – he couldn’t stretch far enough to finish Justin Nisbett’s cross.
Arnold made a third good save shortly after the interval, when he turned Curley’s one on one around the post, but he could do nothing about Uttoxeter’s second goal 52 minutes in. Redshaw’s far post chip was cut back by George Marshman, and Kyle Esplin applied the finish from barely a yard out.
Redshaw scored his second of the evening after 65 minutes, when he slammed home from twelve yards after a pull back from the byline.
And with Hinckley chasing the game further up the field, they left themselves even more exposed at the back.
The second penalty of the evening was converted by Jack Holley after 76 minutes, following Clapp’s late challenge on Curley, before substitute Alex Woods curled a shot into the far corner with five minutes remaining.
The visitors weren’t finished there, though, as just three minutes later Arnold brought down Curley inside the box, and Holley scored the game’s third penalty of the evening to leave Hinckley’s fans and players alike in a state of disbelief.
Hinckley: Sam Arnold, Greg Webb (Ray Facey 58), Tyrone Clarke-O’Connell, Bekir Halil, Richard Robinson, John Clapp, JJ Melligan, Matt Bailey (Nathan Walker 58), Luke Richards, Justin Nisbett, Avun Jephcott (Mark Bellingham 63). Subs not used: Adrian Jones, James Bennett-Tindall.
Goals: JJ Melligan (8, pen)
Uttoxeter: Alex Langridge, Jack Holley, George Marshman, Liam Sowter, Mark Springall, Doug Price, Martin Gadsby (Jason Cockshutt 90), Kyle Esplin, James Curley, Matt Redshaw (Alex Woods 74), Ollie Mellor (Jonathan Lamburn 82). Subs not used: John Littler, Pat Taylor
Goals: Matt Redshaw (6, 65), Kyle Esplin (52), Jack Holley (76 pen, 88 pen), Alex Woods (85)