Hinckley AFC 5-1 Atherstone Town

Hinckley AFC 5-1 Atherstone Town

Hinckley AFC continued their free scoring recent run with a 5-1 victory over Atherstone Town at St John’s Park today.

Carl Abbott’s side have now scored seventeen goals in their last four games, but they had to come from behind against the Adders after Mark Latham had given the visitors an early lead.

Once Marco Adaggio equalised, though, there was no looking back, and Matt Gardner put Hinckley ahead before half time with his tenth league goal for the club.

Gardner added a third after the break, before substitute Robbie Millington, with his first goal for the club, and Darren Eggleton’s stoppage time own goal rounded off a comprehensive ninth victory in ten.

But the game wouldn’t have happened at all were it not for the hard work of the ground staff at Heather, who made the car park end goalmouth playable despite a hard frost overnight.

Hinckley made two changes to the side that beat Stafford Town last week. Mitchell Tomlinson returned to right back, with Isaac Cooper dropping to the bench, while Gardner came back in instead of the ill Tyrone Clarke-O’Connell.

In an end to end game, it was the visitors who had first sight of goal when Cameron Stuart saw his shot saved.

Luke Richards proved threatening down Hinckley’s left, and he twice shot wide in the opening stages as both sides pressed for the opening goal.

And it was Atherstone who got it fifteen minutes in, when Latham rose highest to head home Stuart’s left wing corner.

But their lead didn’t last, and just three minutes later, Alex Morris knocked down a corner and Adaggio stabbed home from close range to level affairs.

Shortly afterwards, Stuart saw his twenty yard free kick well dealt with by Sam Arnold, and from the resulting corner, Mitchell Tomlinson cleared off the line.

After 26 minutes, Hinckley took the lead for the first time in the game. After Adaggio’s header was blocked, Gardner bundled the ball in from the resultant goalmouth scramble.

Two minutes before half time, Zak Ginvert broke forward for Atherstone, but dragged his shot wide after twisting past Tomlinson.

The second half continued in a similar vein, and after Adaggio’s powerful run forwards, Richards saw his shot saved by the near post by Phil Smith.

If Atherstone’s task to get something out of the game was tricky, it was made even more difficult after 55 minutes when Kurtis Mewies felled Richards and earned himself a second booking.

And from then on it was one way traffic. Smith reacted well to stop Richards’ powerful shot on the hour, and Gardner extended Hinckley’s lead eight minutes later. He capitalised on Latham’s slip to round Smith and slide home his second of the game.

When Millington caught Smith in possession after 78 minutes, there was only going to be one outcome: the Hinckley substitute slotted home to get off the mark for the club.

Michael Healy nearly scored his first league goal for the club in the dying moments: he hit the post after Smith did well to save JJ Melligan’s shot.

The final goal of the game came in stoppage time, when Eggleton diverted Healy’s low cross into his own net with Smith beaten.

Hinckley: Sam Arnold, Mitchell Tomlinson, Alex Morris, Dominic Smith, Avun Jephcott, Nathan Walker, JJ Melligan, Ross Clarke, Matt Gardner (Michael Healy 72), Marco Adaggio (Robbie Millington 72), Luke Richards (Justin Nisbett 78). Subs not used: Jordan Rushton, Isaac Cooper.

Goals: Marco Adaggio (19), Matt Gardner (26 & 68), Robbie Millington (78), Darren Eggleton (90+ OG)

Atherstone: Phil Smith, Matty Selvester, Christian Mullings, Darren Eggleton, Mark Latham, Kurtis Mewies, Cameron Stuart, Lewis Gorle (Lee Chapman 64), Ben Ashby (Tom Randle 84), Zak Ginvert, Anton Astley (Ryan Ball 64). Subs not used: Dale Panter, Leigh Everitt.

Goal: Mark Latham (16)

Attendance: 175