Pershore Town 1-2 Hinckley AFC
A stoppage time winner from centre back Dominic Smith gave Hinckley AFC a dramatic 2-1 victory over Pershore Town to extend their unbeaten run to fifteen.
Smith was determined to meet Nathan Walker’s 93rd minute corner, beating home keeper Andy Yarnold to the ball and powerfully heading home from six yards.
That completed the turnaround for Hinckley after Pershore’s Joe Walsh scored at both ends; firstly giving his side the lead before deflecting Walker’s free kick past Yarnold to level affairs.
This came after Yarnold saved two penalties to keep his side in the game, preventing Marco Adaggio and JJ Melligan from the spot in the space of three first half minutes.
Hinckley made four changes to the side that were held by Pilkington XXX last week; Jack Hartopp, Mitchell Tomlinson, Smith and Michael Healy all coming into the side.
The first half hour was short of much goalmouth action, but Hartopp had to be alert to deny Walsh after he was played in by Daniel Lennon.
Then, after Lennon took the ball around Hartopp, Alex Morris was on hand to clear off the line.
At the other end, Morris headed narrowly over from Healy’s corner, before Hinckley had the chance to take the lead after 37 minutes.
Robbie Millington’s persistence down the right saw him cross low for Adaggio, who was tripped in the box. Adaggio himself took the penalty, but Yarnold guessed correctly and palmed away his powerful spot kick.
Three minutes later, Smith was bundled over from Healy’s corner, and referee Paul Tyler pointed to the spot again. This time Melligan took the penalty, but it saw the same outcome: Yarnold dived the right way and saved.
And Hinckley were made to pay for the missed penalties on the hour, when Pershore took the lead. Lennon’s shot was blocked by Isaac Cooper, but the rebound fell kindly to Walsh, who drilled into the bottom corner out of Hartopp’s reach.
Hinckley nearly levelled soon after, but Millington’s shot was superbly saved by Yarnold after taking a deflection on its way towards goal.
Steve Roche could have doubled Pershore’s lead after 69 minutes, but Cooper’s recovering tackle denied him.
And that was to prove crucial seven minutes later. Walker had only been on the pitch for four minutes after coming on as a substitute, but his free kick deflected off Walsh’s head to leave Yarnold stranded as the ball nestled into the bottom corner.
Hinckley pressed for a winner after this, but didn’t test Yarnold until Smith powered home Walker’s corner to the delight of the travelling fans.
Pershore: Andy Yarnold, Steve Webb, Jake Donnelly, Matt Mitchell, Dave Williams, Joe Walsh, Craig Conner, Mark Hands, Daniel Lennon, Joe Robinson (Jordan Adams 90), Steve Roche (Matt Chambers 75). Subs not used: Scott Walsh, Anton Mann.
Goal: Joe Walsh (61)
Hinckley: Jack Hartopp, Mitchell Tomlinson, Isaac Cooper, Dominic Smith, Alex Morris, Michael Williams (Nathan Walker 72), JJ Melligan, Michael Healy (Tyrone Clarke-O’Connell 66), Rob Millington, Marco Adaggio, Luke Richards (Charlie Ntamark 66). Subs not used: John Clapp, Ross Clarke.
Goals: Joe Walsh (76, OG), Dominic Smith (90+3)