Hinckley AFC 0-1 Bolehall Swifts
Hinckley AFC were knocked out of the Les James Challenge Cup at the first hurdle after a 1-0 defeat to league counterparts Bolehall Swifts.
Alex Morris’ own goal was the only goal of a game, and came in a first half that saw little in the way of goalmouth activity.
It wasn’t until the final twenty minutes that the match livened up, and Hinckley twice hit the post, but they couldn’t force the goal that would have sent the tie into extra time, and it was Bolehall who progressed to the next round.
Hinckley included new signing Robbie Millington in their starting line up in place of the suspended Nathan Walker, with fellow new boy Matt Gardner making his debut as a second half substitute. Avun Jephcott also came into the side to replace Asa Wright.
The first half was a quiet affair, with neither side having much in the way of goalmouth action. The closest either side came to opening the scoring early on was when JJ Melligan’s long range effort was comfortably dealt with by Paul Hathaway.
In innocuous circumstances, the visitors took the lead after 35 minutes. A left wing cross to the far post was not dealt with by the Hinckley defence, and the ball looped off Morris and over Sam Arnold.
After half time, Hinckley began to assert some more pressure on the Bolehall defence, but the visiting ‘keeper was rarely tested. When Hinckley broke down the left two minutes after the interval, Melligan couldn’t find Millington at the far post, and Hathaway claimed.
As the match entered the dying stages, Hinckley pressed for an equaliser. First, Bolehall failed to deal with a set piece, and in a crowded penalty area, Dominic Smith’s poke goalwards struck the inside of the post.
Then, with seven minutes remaining, Gardner nearly made an instant impact. Turning on a sixpence in the box, his low shot bounced off the base of the upright, and Bolehall hung on for the win.
But Hinckley will have an immediate chance for revenge: the sides meet again in the league on Tuesday evening at St John’s Park, kick off 7-45pm.
Hinckley: Sam Arnold, Bekir Halil, Isaac Cooper, Dominic Smith, Alex Morris, Avun Jephcott, JJ Melligan, Robbie Millington, Mark Bellingham (Luke Richards 81), Justin Nisbett, James Bennett-Tindall (Matt Gardner 58). Subs not used: Mitchell Tomlinson, Asa Wright, Dominic Oliver.
Bolehall: Paul Hathaway, Scott Goodby, Jamie Abbott, Joseph Obi, Ryan Millerchip, Adam Goodby, Michael Pollard, Steven Day (Tyler Bronwlees 73), Dave Yonwin, Lee Smith, David Boal (Tom Capworth 59). Sub not used: David Haywood.
Goal: Alex Morris (35, OG)