Hinckley AFC 1-0 Pershore Town

Hinckley AFC 1-0 Pershore Town

It may not have been a classic by any means, but Hinckley AFC’s 1-0 win over Pershore Town at St John’s Park was their fourth in five Midland League First Division games.

The first half was fairly uneventful, but there was more for the 157 supporters to shout about after the interval, and Justin Nisbett’s somewhat fortuitous goal on the hour was enough to give Hinckley the three points that takes them into the top half of the table.

Hinckley made two changes to the side that beat Atherstone last week. Dominic Smith returned to the heart of the defence to renew his partnership with Alex Morris, while Tyrone Clarke-O’Connell replaced Luke Richards, who was still suffering from the injury that forced him off against Allexton.

In a first half which saw very little goalmouth action, Nisbett was proving a threat down the right wing. He beat Jake Donnelly on numerous occasions, but the closest Hinckley came to profiting was when Matt Gardner couldn’t stretch far enough to divert the ball home.

The visitors could have taken the lead midway through the first half, but when George Coley got in behind the Hinckley back line, his lob over Sam Arnold was weak and Morris recovered to clear.

At the other end, Nisbett cut inside and fed Clarke-O’Connell, who was denied by Steve Webb’s last ditch tackle.

The game was much more of a spectacle after the interval, and this time it was Clarke-O’Connell proving a threat. When he beat Webb and squared for Gardner after 48 minutes, the striker’s touch was heavy and Andrew Yarnold was allowed to gather.

After 53 minutes, Avun Jephcott was caught in possession, allowing Pershore to break, but Morris blocked Craig Connor’s shot from a tight angle.

Then, on the hour mark, Hinckley took the lead. Great work from Clarke-O’Connell down the left saw him beat his man and cross with the outside of his foot. At the far post, it looked as though the danger would be averted, but Donnelly’s attempted clearance hit Nisbett and looped beyond the stricken Yarnold.

Pershore nearly replied immediately, when Mark Hands’ free kick was destined for the top corner until Arnold plucked it from the air.

Clarke-O’Connell then beat Webb again before pulling back towards Nathan Walker. The substitute couldn’t quite reach the ball, and it fell to Robbie Millington behind him. However, Millington dragged wide from fifteen yards.

As Pershore pushed forward in search of a late equaliser, Connor Trotman saw his shot superbly blocked by Smith, before, in the dying moments, Webb cut inside but saw his low effort comfortably saved by Arnold.

Hinckley: Sam Arnold, Mitchell Tomlinson, Isaac Cooper, Dominic Smith, Alex Morris, Avun Jephcott, Simon Johnson (Nathan Walker 60), Robbie Millington, Matt Gardner (Marco Adaggio 71), Tyrone Clarke-O’Connell, Justin Nisbett (James Bennett-Tindall 71). Subs not used: Jordan Rushton, Dominic Oliver.

Goal: Justin Nisbett (61)

Pershore: Andrew Yarnold, Steve Webb, Jake Donnelly (Connor Trotman 80), Mark Hands, Bradley Jones, James Walker, Matthew Chambers (Jordan Adams 80), Steve Roche, George Coley, Craig Connor, Joe Walsh. Subs not used: Adam Blake, Scott Walsh

Attendance: 157