Hinckley AFC 2-2 Lichfield City

Hinckley AFC 2-2 Lichfield City

Hinckley AFC extended their unbeaten run to five league games with a 2-2 draw at home to Lichfield City tonight.

After a goalless first half, Lichfield took the lead after 53 minutes, which sparked a rush of four goals in nineteen minutes. Marco Adaggio and Dom Smith turned the game on its head, before Lewis Hayden equalised for the visitors eighteen minutes from time.

But Hinckley will be pleased to come away with a point in a game where they were forced to play midfielder and club captain JJ Melligan in goal due to Sam Arnold being unavailable.

The Irishman was largely untroubled by the visitors, who only really tested him once during the ninety minutes.

After his brace on Saturday, Marco Adaggio was rewarded with a start, while John Clapp and Dominic Smith returned to the heart of the defence.

And Hinckley could have taken the lead within a minute. Jon Huckfield misjudged the bounce of the ball, setting Luke Richards free. After a powerful run, the forward’s shot was turned over the bar by Jon Clough in the Lichfield goal.

From the resulting corner, Clough was called into action again, making a routine save from Smith’s header.

Minutes later, Matt Gardner beat the offside trap, and after beating Clough his lob struck the bar and bounced away.

Isaac Cooper then tested Clough with a thirty yard effort as Hinckley had the better of the opening exchanges.

After that, goalmouth action dried up, and the only other chance of the first half came when Clapp stooped to meet Cooper’s corner, but headed over from close range.

After the break, Melligan was tested for the first time, when Gavin Hurren’s long range free kick swerved in the air and was parried away well by Hinckley’s stand in ‘keeper.

And somewhat against the run of play, it was Lichfield who took the lead after 53 minutes. James Bennett-Tindall’s loose back pass was intercepted by Mark Rose, who slotted into the corner to give Melligan no chance.

But Bennett-Tindall made amends just a minute later. His cross, via a Smith flick on, was met by Adaggio at the far post, who calmly nodded into the far corner to level affairs again.

Robbie Millington spotted Clough off his line shortly after, but his long range effort was well held by the retreating ‘keeper.

Midway through the second half, Hinckley took the lead. Cooper’s magnificent delivery from a right wing free kick was met by Smith’s powerful header, which was past Clough before he knew it.

But Hinckley’s lead lasted only four minutes. Joe Haines’ high cross rebounded back off the bar, and Hayden slammed the ball into the roof of the net from ten yards.

The final sniff of goal for either side came late on, when Lee Osborne latched onto Hayden’s through ball, but Smith recovered well and Hinckley cleared.

A point apiece keeps both sides firmly in mid table, with Hinckley remaining one place and one point below Lichfield, in tenth.

Hinckley: JJ Melligan, Mitchell Tomlinson, Isaac Cooper, Dominic Smith, John Clapp, Avun Jephcott, Nathan Walker, Robbie Millington, Matt Gardner (Ross Clarke 60), Marco Adaggio, Luke Richards (James Bennett-Tindall 29). Subs not used: Jordan Rushton, Bekir Halil.

Goals: Marco Adaggio (55), Dominic Smith (68)

Lichfield: Jon Clough, Jon Huckfield, Joe Haines, Gavin Hurren, Dan McLeod, Luke Himson, Dan Worrall, Lewis Hayden, Lee Osborne, Mark Rose, Alex Cooper. Subs (all unused): Ashley Bennett, Dan Thurstance, Jordan Hunt, Gary Birch, Tom Forsyth.

Goals: Mark Rose (53), Lewis Hayden (72)

Attendance: 115