Uttoxeter Town 0-3 Hinckley AFC
Ten man Hinckley AFC produced a memorable second half performance to record a 3-0 victory over Uttoxeter Town today.
Carl Abbott’s side recorded their twelfth victory in thirteen matches at Oldfields, but they had to play the whole of the second half with ten men after Avun Jephcott was sent off in first half stoppage time.
By that time, AFC were already a goal up after Marco Adaggio scored his twelfth goal in just eleven league games. But despite playing a man light after the break, Hinckley never gave Uttoxeter a sniff of goal, and strikes from Nathan Walker and Michael Healy secured the win that moves Hinckley up to third.
Hinckley made six changes to the side that beat Nuneaton Griff on Boxing Day, with Sam Arnold, Michael Williams, Jephcott, JJ Melligan, Rob Millington and Luke Richards all coming into the side.
And Arnold was called into action early on, saving low from Jon Littler’s twenty yard free kick.
Then, James Curley found space in between Dominic Smith and Alex Morris, but the league’s top scorer could only poke onto the post, and Arnold gratefully clutched onto the rebound as Uttoxeter had the better of the early chances.
But it was Hinckley who broke the deadlock after sixteen minutes. Adaggio cut in from the left, and after his first two shots were blocked, he made no mistake third time around, firing into the roof of the net from ten yards.
Two minutes later, the same player nearly made it 2-0, glancing narrowly wide from Melligan’s left wing free kick.
Town’s Matt Redshaw was then stretchered off with a suspected cruciate ligament injury, and his replacement Alex Woods nearly levelled affairs on the half hour, but Williams cleared his effort off the line.
Uttoxeter continued to have the better of the chances as the half went on, and Curley should have made it 1-1 on 32 minutes, but somehow headed wide when unmarked six yards out.
Then, in first half stoppage time, Hinckley were reduced to ten men. Curley’s foul on Walker in the middle of the park sparked a melee, in which Jephcott was sent off for his part and Curley booked.
Carl Abbott reshuffled his Hinckley side at the break, sacrificing Millington to bring Isaac Cooper on at left back, leaving Adaggio alone up front.
And despite their man disadvantage, Hinckley doubled their lead on 52 minutes when Walker’s free kick from wide on the left deceived Alex Langridge, flying over the beaten ‘keeper and into the back of the net.
The rest of the second half saw little goalmouth action: Hinckley were well organised and gave their hosts little to shout about.
Michael Healy secured Hinckley’s win twenty minutes from time, controlling Adaggio’s cross and keeping his composure well to finish into the bottom corner to send the seventy or so travelling fans, who were in magnificent voice all afternoon, home happy.
Uttoxeter: Alex Langridge, Jack Holley, Jon Littler (George Marshman 75), Ollie Richie, Mark Springall, Dom Ward, Martin Gadsby, Liam Sowter, James Curley, Matt Redshaw (Alex Woods 24), Ollie Mellor. Subs not used: George Warburton, Harry Price.
Hinckley: Sam Arnold, Michael Williams (Michael Healy 64), Avun Jephcott, Dominic Smith, Alex Morris, Nathan Walker, JJ Melligan, Ross Clarke, Rob Millington (Isaac Cooper 45), Marco Adaggio, Luke Richards (Tyrone Clarke-O’Connell 67). Subs not used: Matt Gardner, Justin Nisbett.
Goals: Marco Adaggio (16), Nathan Walker (52), Michael Healy (70)