Hinckley AFC 0-0 Walsall Wood

Hinckley AFC 0-0 Walsall Wood

Hinckley AFC will face an FA Cup replay after holding Midland League Premier Division opponents Walsall Wood to a 0-0 draw at St John’s Park.

It was the first time the club have been involved in a goalless draw, but the game wasn’t without action as Hinckley had to play over half the match with ten men after Liam Smith was sent off.

Sam Arnold saved the resulting penalty to deny Joey Butlin, and AFC controlled the game for large spells after the break without creating any clear cut chances.

Hinckley made three changes to the side that were beaten by Coventry United on Tuesday, with Arnold, Javia Roberts and Luke Richards returning to the starting line up.

It was the visitors who had the first chance of the game, and they came close to taking it as Butlin’s rasping drive from a free kick struck the base of Arnold’s post.

A minute later, it was Hinckley’s turn to hit the woodwork: Sean Williams’ long range strike was tipped onto the frame of the goal by a full stretch Mariusz Kisiel.

Midway through the half, the visitors had a guilt edged chance to take the lead, but fluffed their lines and scuffed wide with the goal gaping.

Then, with seven minutes to go before half time, Smith was shown a straight red card for holding back as last man. Butlin stepped up to take the resulting penalty, but Arnold guessed correctly and saved low to his right.

After the break there were few clear cut chances; and though Hinckley had the better of the half Arnold was the busier of the two goalkeepers, clawing a cross from under his bar before smothering bravely at the feet of onrushing attackers.

Hinckley’s numerical and divisional disadvantage didn’t show during a gutsy, composed and organised performance, and it is all to play for in the replay at Walsall Wood’s Oak Park ground on Tuesday.

Hinckley: Sam Arnold, Mitchell Tomlinson (Jamie Newton 52), Liam Smith, Jean Kalenda, Alex Morris, Neil MacKenzie, Javia Roberts, Nathan Walker, Sean Williams, Marco Adaggio, Luke Richards (Justin Nisbett 64). Subs not used: Oli Basham, Ryan Taylor, Deqwon Ebanks, Jack Jepson, Jack Hartopp.

Walsall Wood: Mariusz Kisiel, Steven Hayles, Grant Beckett, Josh O’Garro, Luke Wright, Anthony Juxon, Charlton Davies (Shane O’Reilly 82), Harry Harris, Joey Butlin, Leon Taylor (Toumani Sidibe 71), Corey Currithers. Subs not used: Ben Taylor, Sam Price, Dale Faultless.

Attendance: 241