Hinckley AFC 2-2 Racing Club Warwick
Hinckley AFC were denied an eighth win on the bounce as Racing Club Warwick snatched a late equaliser at St John’s Park.
Hinckley were made to pay for not taking their chances as substitute Jamie Corrigan prodded home an 89th minute leveller for the lowly visitors and prevented AFC taking all three points.
The Racers had taken an early lead when Joaquim Santos de Barros slotted under Sam Arnold, but Luke Richards levelled for Hinckley after 37 minutes.
JJ Melligan turned the game on its head and gave AFC the lead with sixteen minutes to go, but Corrigan’s late goal sent the visitors home with a point.
Carl Abbott made four changes to the Hinckley side that beat Alvis Sporting last week, with Arnold, Nathan Walker, Melligan and Richards returning to the starting line up.
And it didn’t take long for Richards’ first involvement of the game, the forward latching on to Ross Clarke’s through ball and shooting straight at Ryan Bennett.
Warwick’s main threat throughout the first hour was Jake Brown, and after he turned away from Dom Smith, Adam Laight sliced wide from the edge of the box.
Then, Santos de Barros shot narrowly wide after Hinckley didn’t deal with a corner as the visitors started brightly.
Indeed, it was Warwick who took the lead on thirteen minutes. Santos de Barros was given too much space in the box, and he capitalised on the sloppy defending to slide under the advancing Arnold.
That seemed to liven Hinckley up, and the Clarke/Richards combination were prominent again five minutes later. The former’s through ball fed the latter, who crossed low. Marco Adaggio met the cross and looked certain to score, but after beating Bennett, Matthew Warner cleared off the line.
Dom Smith then headed Clarke’s corner over as Hinckley pushed for a leveller before half time.
And it came eight minutes before the break as Richards twisted his way into a shooting position and drilled into the far corner.
Hinckley then started to dominate, and Michael Healy could have given Hinckley the lead after being sent through on goal by Melligan, but Bennett saved well.
A minute before half time, Richards’ cross caused havoc in the visitors’ box as Melligan’s shot was cleared off the line, before Healy’s effort was saved by a full stretch Bennett.
Hinckley started the second half as they finished the first, and five minutes into it, Richards should have given Hinckley the lead, but Bennett saved when one on one.
Then, Clarke’s low ball in found an unmarked Adaggio six yards out, but Adaggio couldn’t control and the chance was gone.
But Warwick were always a threat on the break, and Santos de Barros should have equalised after catching Smith in possession, but Alex Morris recovered well.
After 69 minutes, Richards attempted to break free from Tom Reynolds’ challenge, but after evading two trips was cynically wrestled to the floor. Reynolds escaped with just a booking, but Hinckley couldn’t make the most of the free kick.
Melligan gave Hinckley the lead with fourteen minutes to go, when Adaggio’s long range effort struck the post, and the Irishman tapped home the rebound.
With six minutes left, Terence Morton’s shot was deflected onto the roof of the net as the visitors pushed for an equaliser, but Adaggio came within inches of securing the win for Hinckley as he could only divert Justin Nisbett’s cross wide.
And Hinckley were made to pay for not taking their chances in the final minute of normal time as Corrigan prodded the ball just out of the reach of Arnold from eight yards.
Warwick could have snatched the win in stoppage time, but Ryan Langmead shot wide after beating Arnold to the ball.
But Hinckley will take the positives from a game in which they created enough chances to have won, and their unbeaten run now stands at 22 ahead of Tuesday’s match at fellow high flyers Bolehall Swifts.
Hinckley: Sam Arnold, Danny Kavanagh, Mitchell Tomlinson, Dominic Smith, Alex Morris, Nathan Walker (Avun Jephcott 45), JJ Melligan, Ross Clarke (Justin Nisbett 77), Michael Healy (Rob Millington 59), Marco Adaggio, Luke Richards. Subs not used: Isaac Cooper, Tyrone Clarke-O’Connell.
Goals: Luke Richards (37), JJ Melligan (76)
RC Warwick: Ryan Bennett, Mark Turton (Thibault Troadec 87), Jamie Vadasz, Matthew Warner, Ash Buswell, Tom Reynolds, Terence Morton, Adam Laight, Ryan Langmead, Jake Brown (Jamie Corrigan 69), Joaquim Santos de Barros (Elliott Powell 64). Subs not used: Rob Campbell, Simon Reading.
Goals: Joaquim Santos de Barros (13), Jamie Corrigan (89)