Hinckley AFC 2-1 Barlestone St Giles

Hinckley AFC 2-1 Barlestone St Giles

Hinckley AFC will contest a cup final in their inaugural season after a 2-1 win over Barlestone St Giles in the Jelson Homes Senior Cup Semi-Final last night.

First half goals from Luke Richards and Justin Nisbett, either side of Damien Irons’ leveller for the Leicestershire Senior League side, was enough to put Carl Abbott’s side into the final, where they will face either Bardon Hill Sports or Melton Mowbray. They meet in the second Semi-Final next week.

Hinckley started the brighter, and after a couple of powerful surges forward from Richards, only a fine save denied Nisbett from opening the scoring sooner.

The clock read nine minutes when Nisbett did give AFC the lead. Michael Healy made good ground in the final third to feed Nisbett, whose low drive from an acute angle found the bottom corner.

But Barlestone levelled seven minutes later, as the first piece of indecision by Hinckley’s defence was capitalised upon, and the Irons bundled the ball past Jack Hartopp from six yards.

Richards continued to threaten the Barlestone defence as the half wore on, and deservedly got on the scoresheet seven minutes before the interval.

Good link up play on the right between Nisbett and JJ Melligan saw the former’s pull back converted by Richards, placing it low into the bottom corner.

The second half saw Hinckley battle to maintain the ascendancy, with both sides having chances to add to the scoring.

Barlestone’s best chance came midway through the half, when a goalbound strike was blocked on the line by Melligan, and the rebound tipped over by Hartopp.

A goalless second half was enough to send Hinckley throughto a cup final on their inaugural season to reward another fine turnout from their supporters.

Hinckley: Jack Hartopp, JJ Melligan, Isaac Cooper, Mitchell Tomlinson, Jordan Rushton (Dom Smith 70), Avun Jephcott, Justin Nisbett, Ross Clarke (Nathan Walker 80), Michael Healy (Tyrone Clarke-O’Connell 80), Matt Bailey, Luke Richards. Sub not used: Sam Arnold.

Goals: Justin Nisbett (7), Luke Richards (38)

Barlestone: Ryan Poole, Anthony Hurd, Ben Adcock, Dave Roberts, Callum Harris, Nathan McAllister, Scott Davies, Terry Godfrey, Joel Storer, Craig Leonard, Damien Irons. Substitutes: Ben Gilbert, Frank Armson, Nathan Singh, Ryan Wykes, Matt Neal.

Goal: Damien Irons (16).