Hinckley AFC 2-0 Coventry Copsewood

Hinckley AFC 2-0 Coventry Copsewood

Hinckley AFC moved to the top of the Midland League First Division with a 2-0 win over Coventry Copsewood at St John’s Park this afternoon.

In front of 231 people, goals late in each half from Nathan Walker and Marco Adaggio settled a tightly contested affair in which the visitors finished with ten men following Andy Wilson-King’s red card.

Another three points extends AFC’s unbeaten run to twenty matches, and with top of the table Highgate United losing at home to Cadbury Athletic, Carl Abbott’s side are now at the summit of the league table for the first time since the opening day.

Hinckley made three changes to the side that beat Lichfield City last week, with Avun Jephcott, JJ Melligan and Luke Richards all returning to the side.

It was the visitors who had the first the game’s first goal attempt, though, as Liam Cairns volleyed over after Isaac Cooper was caught in possession.

But Hinckley started to have the better of affairs after that, and JJ Melligan headed narrowly wide after Adaggio’s pinpoint cross with the outside of his foot.

Walker and Melligan then went close with 25 yard free kicks as Hinckley began to dominate.

Walker’s delivery from set pieces was proving a threat for Hinckley, who had a distinct height advantage over their opponents. Dom Smith went close from Walker’s corner, forcing a superb reaction save from James Costello, who tipped onto the bar.

From the resulting corner, the ball was cleared off the line, and after Copsewood couldn’t fully clear Adaggio blazed over from twelve yards.

Walker and Smith combined from a corner again two minutes later, when Smith’s header was superbly cleared off the line by Michael Quirke’s diving header, and from the resulting corner, Smith headed straight at Costello.

Two minutes before half time, Hinckley took a deserved lead thanks to some intricate build up play. Linking up on the inside left channel, Walker and Richards exchanged neat passes to set up January’s Player of the Month twelve yards out, who drilled past Costello.

The second half was a much quieter affair that saw little in the way of goalmouth action, though the visitors felt they should have had a penalty when the ball appeared to strike an arm in the box, but referee Simon Hill waved away the protests.

The closest Copsewood came to equalising was with ten minutes remaining, when James Ritson’s first touch after coming on as a substitute was only parried by Sam Arnold, but Danny Kavanagh cleared.

With three minutes of normal time remaining, Copsewood were reduced to ten men when Wilson-King was dismissed for a second bookable offence following his late challenge on Walker.

Adaggio sealed AFC’s win in stoppage time, finishing off another intricate move. Rob Millington battled to win the ball in the area, and after exchanging a one-two with Adaggio found himself through on goal. But, unselfishly, he squared for Adaggio to slam home his fifteenth league goal of the season.

That rounded off a month of five wins in five for Hinckley AFC, and with visits to Bolehall Swifts and Bromsgrove Sporting to come in March, Carl Abbott will be hoping for a similar month to come.

Hinckley: Sam Arnold, Danny Kavanagh, Isaac Cooper, Dom Smith, Alex Morris, Nathan Walker, JJ Melligan, Avun Jephcott (Ross Clarke 72), Rob Millington (Mitchell Tomlinson 90+4), Marco Adaggio, Luke Richards (Tyrone Clarke-O’Connell 62). Subs not used: Justin Nisbett, Michael Healy.

Goals: Nathan Walker (43), Marco Adaggio (90+3)

Copsewood: James Costello, Andy Wilson-King, Danny Fraser (Petajon Gordon 79), Craig Civzelis, Michael Quirke, Ben Atkins, Michael Bawding (Stuart Adamson 67), Liam Cairns, Martin Gormley, Connell Farrell (James Ritson 79), George Whitelaw. Sub not used: Lawrence Rawlings

Attendance: 231